It is no longer news that Otunba Gani Adams, the OPC National Co-ordinator is the new Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. In this interview held at his Lagos home, the tall, dashing and ebullient leader of millions of Yorubas, spoke to City People Publisher Seye Kehinde about how the Alaafin trusted him enough to make him step into the big shoes of those before him left behind by the likes of Chief S. C Akintola, Chief M. K.O Abiola and others.
Congratulations on your new title Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. How does it make you feel?
I feel highly delighted receiving the letter from Kabiyeesi, the Alaafin of Oyo. I feel highly honoured because this is the only Chieftaincy title in Yorubaland that cuts across and is never held in any community, except coming from the Kabiyeesi, Iku Baba Yeye. It is the only Chieftaincy title that binds the entire Yoruba. That is the Aare on a Kakanfo title. I was happy to receive the letter from Kabiyeesi. I believe it is a call to service to the Yoruba race. Its not a political title. It is a title that you have to use, to write the entire Yoruba race and to chart a way forward for the Yoruba race. So, I am highly delighted receiving it.
Did it come to you as a surprise?
It didn’t come as a surprise, but I couldn’t dream of becoming an Aare Ona Kakanfo just like that. For about 16 years before now some people had always predicted that Gani, you will be given a chieftaincy title that binds all Yoruba people together. What kind of Chieftaincy title it will be, I didn’t know. And from various quarters I have been having the spiritual message. And I remember vividly the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Anytime he sights me, he will shout The Generalismmo. The 1st time, he said it, the 2nd time, he said it and it was the 3rd time he said it that it now became clear to me that ok it is Aare Ona Kakanfo that he means. He will say I Greet You.
But it didn’t occur to me on time that it had to be Aare Ona Kakanfo because of the impression created, by that I mean, the negative impression created about the title, about the impression some people have created that anybody that becomes Aare Onakakanfo will not last. That is false. That is not true. From my own personal opinion, I believe every human being is walking within the shadows of death and life. It is only God that gives you long life, that gives you a peaceful way of living and building the prosperous life for you. Everything a human being does is a risk.
If you are driving from one place to the other, it is a risk. If you fly to Abuja, it is a risk. Even if you invest in a business, it is a risk. Those that contest elections are taking a risk. Anything can happen. I believe that when there is a call for service you have to prepare for it. I don’t see my new Aare Ona Kakanfo title as a risk but as a call to service for the Yoruba race.