The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Sunday declared the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, Gani Adams, as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
The position was held last by the late MKO Abiola, who died in the detention camp of the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, in 1998 for refusing to trade his presidential mandate for freedom.
In June this year, there was an indication that Adams could be named the new Generalismo of Yorubaland by the monarch but the OPC leader refused to confirm nor deny the rumour.
But Alaafin, who confirmed the declaration on Sunday night, said that a letter of appointment had been issued to Adams during his (monarch’s) 79th birthday celebration.
“Yes, I have confirmed Otunba Gani Adams as the next Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. He emerged out of the five aspirants that I considered for the position but I will hold a press conference where he will be formally announced. It is after this announcement that the traditional rites for his installation will start,” he said.
When asked how the lot fell on Adams, the first-class monarch said this would be disclosed during his press conference scheduled for this week.
Mr. Segun Akanni, who is the Personal Assistant to Adams, also confirmed the appointment on Sunday evening.
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 in the old Oyo Empire
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.
Gani Adams symbolized the face of the Yoruba struggle after the annulment of Chief MKO Abiola, a Yoruba man that won a presidential elections, organized by the former military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. He started under the leadership of Dr Fredrick Faheun, of the Oodua People’s Congress.
Gani Adams later fell out with Dr Fasheun, started the youth wing of OPC. His wing became very formidable, vocal in protecting the interest of the Yorubas, as a result of the denial of Abiola in actualising his mandate. Though Abiola died in prison, but it is very instructive that Adams is stepping into the shoes of the previous occupants of the office.