The new Aare Ona Kakanfo, Chief Gani Adams, yesterday said he would spare no effort in ensuring the unity of the Yoruba race and promise to protect the interest of the region, placing curses on enemies of the race.
Speaking after the rites were performed, Adams said: “As the 15th Aare Ona Kakanafo, I consider myself lucky that there is no war at hand confronting the Yoruba race now. In other words, we are living in peace time. However, I am not pleased with the level of Yoruba unity today and I am very concerned. Therefore, my greatest priority is the unity of the Yoruba race at home and in the Diaspora.
“I will, therefore, spare no effort in ensuring the unity of Yoruba race within the contemporary Nigeria body polity.
“To take the journey further, I will, after this inauguration, launch the Aare Ona Kakanfo Foundation. This will further promote the culture of the people and document the history of the Aare Ona Kakanfo title.”
Though the new Aare Ona Kakanfo is not expected to lead the Yoruba race to war, he was charged by various speakers at the event to fight the war of unity and bring all Yoruba sons and daughters together in order to develop the race.
Earlier, the new Aare and the Alaafin were driven by a chariot to the venue of the installation. The chariot which was followed by a convoy of vehicles amidst chanting of ‘Iku Baba Yeye’ from the crowd who followed them, went round and acknowledged cheers from the people before the dignitaries were ushered to their seats.
Adams’s wife, Mojisola, and her daughter seated among prominent personalities on the front row which included the Oba Aromolaran and White Cap Chiefs from Lagos State.
The programme started around 1.55pm immediately the Oyo State Governor, Ajimobi, arrived at the venue.
Adams also promised to protect the interest of Yorubaland and work together with all sons and daughters of the race in order to further develop the land to an enviable height in the international circle
Adams said, “ I want to assure everyone that as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo, I will use my position, God’s willing, to protect the interest of our land.”
The Aare Ona Kakanfo promised to use his office to project the Yoruba culture and tradition by promoting and sustaining the identity of the people globally.
He added, “ The journey has started from here. And my first appeal goes to Yoruba sons and daughters who are outside the shores of the country not to forget that there is no place like home.
“This was what informed the formation of the Oodua Progressives Union, Gani Adams Foundation and Olokun Festival Foundation. Please, see Yorubaland as the place to be. Don’t give the race a bad name. Come home and invest,” he added.
Aare Adams also appealed to the Federal Government to address the issue of power in order to boost economic activities of Nigerians and to address the problem of insecurity which is ravaging some parts of the country.
He said, “My second appeal as the Aare Ona Kakanfo goes to the Federal Government to attend to some of the major roads in Yorubaland that are critical to its citizens. These include Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo-Ilorin, Lagos-Badagry, Sagamu-Benin, Badagry-Lusada-Sokoto, Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo, Osogbo-Ilesa, Ilesa-Akure-Owo-Lokoja and Lagos-Abeokuta.
“To our esteemed Governors in the South-West, I call for cooperation, no matter the party line. The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission should be empowered. And I want you all to see me as a partner in progress.
“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.”
The Chairman, Committee for the Installation, Archbishop Emeritus, Ayo Ladigbolu, had earlier described Adams as a worthy person eminently qualified to hold the title.
Ladigbolu said the installation of Adams as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land was part of the activities marking the 47th coronation anniversary of the first literate Alaafin of Oyo.
At the event were the Owa Obokun of Ijeshaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran; Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal; the Akinrun of Ikirun, Oba Rauf Olayiwola; Ondo State Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi; former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko; Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Suraj Adetunmbi; Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan; Secretary to the Osun State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti; Publicity Secretary of the Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin; Mr. Niyi Akintola (SAN); former Governorship aspirant in Ogun State, Gboyega Nasir; former Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Bakkita Bello; Sat Guru Maharaji; and Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon , among others.