Following the announcement of the national coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani Adams as the new Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, insideoyo.com presents some things you didn’t know about the title.
Adams, who hails from Arigidi-Akoko area of Ondo State is succeeding an Egba-man, late MKO Abiola,
who died in detention camp of the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, in 1998, for refusing to trade his presidential mandate for freedom, as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
Below are the things you need to know.
1) The title was said to have been created between 16th and 17th centuries by Alaafin Ajagbo, who was said to have reigned in Oyo-Ile, the then headquarters of the Oyo Nation.
2) It’s the highest war title.
3) It is bestowed on someone considered to be brave and loyal to the Alaafin and the Yoruba cause.4) The holder of the title served as the Field Marshall and Commander of the military arm of the Oyo Empire.
5) The title symbolises the power of the Oyo Empire.
6) Only the Alaafin can bestow such title on any deserving Yoruba son.
7) The holder of the title must not be defeated in war. It is a taboo for an Aare Ona Kakanfo to return from battle defeated. He either wins the battle or dies in the battlefield.
8) The Aare Ona Kakanfo, at inauguration, must completely have his head shaved and must undergo some strenuous rituals to test his agility and ability to withstand torture.
9) The last (14th) holder of the title, Abiola and the holder before him, the late Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, were both politicians. They both died in circumstances that could be likened to the title they held.
10) The title has now become ceremonial as wars are no longer there to be fought.