The ancient town of Oyo State was in frenzy on Saturday, January 13th, 2018, as Otunba Gani Adams was installed as the 15th Aare Ona kakanfo Of Yoruba Land.
The Durbar Stadium, Oyo State, venue of the installation was filled to capacity of eminent personalities across the country. The carnival like occasion which was witnessed by a mammoth crowd was the first of its kind in recent times, as many of those who came to witness the event were asked to go to the stand installed with viewing screens.
In a statement signed by Alaafin of Oyo, His Royal Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi titled, “The Making of New Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland”, the monarch noted that since the demise of Aare Moshood Olawale Kashimawo Abiola, there have been pressure from different quarters to install another Aare.
He said that he took his time to look for another war hero known in Yoruba language as ‘Akinkanju’ pointing out that, “After years of searching and consulting, it gives me great pleasure today to announce that we have finally zeroed our dragnet on a distinguished son of Oduduwa, a Yoruba in whom there is no guile. Alaafin, who prayed never to witness the successor of Gani Adams, urged for unity among the people of the South West said, “Today, Gani Adams has been christened and henceforth, he shall be known as, “Aare Ona Kakanfo”.
In his acceptance speech after completing all spiritual rites and his installation, Adams, who noted that there couldn’t be a more humbling occasion for him than his installation as Aare Ona Kakanfo said, “my installation as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo is a challenge that has made all past challenges seem like a child’s play.
“I offer myself for service once it is for the advancement of the Yoruba race. The various groups in the South-West should also resolve their crises. I will also persuade seven of our elders, who are not partisan, to work with me in uniting all Yoruba and resolve differences wherever they may arise. I want to assure all that as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo, I will use my position, God willing, to protect the interest of our land and our dear country Nigeria”, said Aare Gani Adams.
Traditional rulers and chiefs in their hundreds witnessed the epoch-making occasion.
However, the Ooni of Ife, and some other notable monarchs in the South West were conspicuously absent.
Among the traditional rulers in attendance were: Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji Aje Ogungunniso 1, who led the Olubadan-in-Council to the milestone event; Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, was represented by the white cap chiefs led by Chief Adesoji Ajao; the Oyo Mesi, and some of the twenty-one Ibadan Obas newly installed by the Oyo State Government were also in attendance; Oba of Arigidi in Ondo State, Dr. Yisa Olanipekun; Olofa of Ofa, Oba Mufutau Muhammed Oloyede Gbadamosi; Elese of Igbaja, Oba Ahmed Awuni Arepo; the Olubaka of Okaland, Oba Yusuf Adebori Adeleye; and the Ahaba of Ajagba, Oba Thomas Oluwole Adesayo.
Also in attendance was the Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, who arrived at the venue at exactly 1:50pm, Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr Agboola Ajayi represented Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi represented Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State.
Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan represented Governor Akinwunmi Ambode; and Osun State Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti stood in for Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola.
Former governors were also not left out of the event as Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and Mr Emmanuel Uduaghan of Oyo, Ondo, and Delta States respectively graced the occasion. Other attendees include, Senator Monsura Sumonu representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN), Elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; activist and spokesperson of the Pan Yoruba Socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Mr.Yinka Odumakin; Chief Yemi Elebuibo, and Yeye Oge of Kwara and Osun States.