An Oyo prince and a retired Methodist Archbishop, Ayo Ladigbolu has said that contrary to the prevailing myths, there is nothing that stops an Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land from residing in Oyo town with the Alaafin if the holder of the office wishes to do so.
This is just as Ladigbolu, who is the chairman of the coronation ceremony, declared that accepting the title doesn’t mean death sentence.
Ladigbolu made this known during a press briefing in Ibadan, organised by the Oyo State government as part of activities lined up for Saturday’s installation of Otunba Gani Adams as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
At the press briefing which had representatives of Oyo, Osun and Ondo State governments, Ladigbolu explained further that “So anyone telling you that Aare Ona Kakanfo doesn’t see the Alaafin is telling you a lie. There is nothing that stops the Kakanfo from seeing the Alaafin. He would want to see the Alaafin to plan. If he wishes to live in Oyo, there is nothing that stops him. And you know the new Aare resides in Lagos.
“There were many people who crave the position, there are many people who want the position from all parts of Yorubaland.
“The Aare Ona Kakanfo will work in connection with all Yoruba leaders and traditional rulers in promoting the culture of our people and ensuring territorial integrity of our land, Nigeria.
“That is why today we are preparing for the instalation of the new Aare Ona Kakanfo.
“He is already in seclusion, he is in the process of retreat and instalation. He has been in Oyo since yesterday,” he added.
He continued: “To accept the title of Aare Ona Kakanfo is not a death warrant. Infact Ojo Aburumaku died in his house. He did not died in the war front. Aare Latosa also did not die at the war front. They died in their respective homes.
Going down memory lane, Ladigbolu said the office of the Aare Ona Kakanfo (Generalissimo of Yorubaland) was created by Alaafin Ajagbo in 16th century in order to serve as the commander of the Yoruba army in defending its territory.
Ajagbo, he recalled, appointed one of his friends, Kokorogangan to be the first Generalissimo of Yorubaland and Commander of its army.
He disclosed that the traditional title is not honorary or ceremonial chieftaincy one but a functional one created by Alaafin Ajagbo about 558 years ago.
Speaking on the significance of the title in this modern age, Ladigbolu said Aare Ona Kakanfo is to protect the culture and values of the yoruba race from incursion of foreign cultures.
He said: “The significance of the title in this modern time is to protect the Yoruba territory from the incursion of foreign cultures and values. I know that some of you might have been asking why do we need to have an Aare Ona Kakanfo now?
” Surely, there are incursions into our territory by foreign ideas, culture and values. With all these, if we don’t guard our territory well in this age of globalization, we will soon witness the total collapse of our cultural and traditional system.
“That is the reason why we need a visionary Aare Ona Kakanfo to be in the vanguard of projection and protection of our cultural heritage and tradition,” he explained.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy matters in Oyo State, Mr. Bimbo Kolade said the installation was an another way to promote Yoruba culture.
He said “The installation of Aare Ona Kakanfo is an opportunity to celebrate Yoruba race. That is why the state government said it is an opportunity to celebrate culture, the one that cuts across the Yoruba.”