How I Will Operate As Aare Ona Kakanfo – Gani Adams

Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designae who is due to be sworn in soon has revealed at the palace of Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, how he will play his role as the Yoruba generalissimo.

According to a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adepoju, on Saturday, Adams said he would work with traditional rulers and other people to preserve the unity of the Yoruba and the progress of the country.

According to Oba Olugbenle, who welcomed Adams to Ilaro, “Whatever that comes from Oyo is automatically ours in Ilaro because that is where we came from.

“Alaafin (of Oyo) is a peculiar oba to us in Ilaro and I want to use this opportunity to thank him for his choice of Gani Adams as the new Aare Ona Kakanfo.

Aare OnaKakanfo: Alaafin Speaks On Choice Of Gani Adams 

By Toba Adedeji
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi who has slated 13th January, 2018 for the installation date spoke on reason why Gani Adams is fit for the appointment.
  • Alaafin cleared the air on controversies surrounding the announcement of Gani Adams as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo on 15th October 2017.
Explaining the Choice of Adams as Aare OnaKakanfo, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, said the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, Gani Adams, was chosen as the new Aare OnaKakanfo of Yorubaland after considering his antecedents as a Yorubaman who had exhibited passion for defending his people, their culture and tradition.
He noted that Adams was courageous and bold whenever he stepped forward to defend the Yoruba race.
According to him, the choice of Adams was well thought out before a decision was taken. He has shown enough charisma to deserve the honour.
“If you have been observing him in the past many years, Adams attends all Yoruba festivals, irrespective of where they are held. He also promotes our culture through so many means including his annual Olokun festival.
“I picked him because he loves the Yoruba race and all the culture and tradition of our people. He has contributed immensely to upholding them. Whenever he attends these festivals, he goes with a large entourage and financially, he is always responsible for the cost. He does not attend in order to benefit financially.
“He may be young but he is also very bold and courageous. These are traits synonymous with an Aare OnaKakanfo. Adams is a Yoruba cultural enthusiast. He defends the race anywhere he goes. Among his strengths is that he has strong supporters in every town in Yorubaland through his Oodua People’s Congress
“Money or material wealth is not considered before choosing an Are OnaKakanfo. Abiola promoted everything that had to do with Yoruba race. He was popular among his people and he was close to traditional rulers. So, Adams may not be as rich as Abiola but I can tell you he has all the qualities an Aare OnaKakanfo should possess. He leads an organisation that is ever ready to defend the cause of the Yoruba race. Is there any Yorubaman that has such clout as Adams without being a politician today?” Alaafin concluded.

Aare Ona Kakanfo: Gani Adams To Be Installed Next January

Following the announcement of the National Coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land, the installation has been fixed for January 13, 2018.

According to a statement issued by his Director of Media And Communication, Femi Adepoju, “The palace of the Alaafin Of Oyo, Iku Babayeye Ikeji Orisa, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi has scheduled the installation ceremony of the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate, Otunba Gani Adams as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo for January 13 2018.”

According to him, details of the installation program would be announced at a later date.

Re: Kakanfo My Foot! By Taiwo Adisa

I have come to recognise the awe, power and relevance of the Aare Ona Kakanfo title very early in life and it was not just about the exploits of the title holders as we read in the books. As a primary three pupil, my class teacher, a woman, decided to conduct a test and promised whoever came first would be named Aare Ona Kakanfo of the class. I came tops and was named the Aare Ona Kakanfo.

And what were the duties of the Aare? I was given a seat directly opposite the class teacher, presided over affairs of the class and dished out punishments. That included dishing out strokes of the cane to some offenders and in some instances appointing the big boys in the class to stretch out key offenders whose names entered the black book. I enjoyed the reign but little did I know it was a ploy by the woman (a nursing mother) to save herself the stress of having to give recalcitrant pupils strokes of the cane.

In those days, it was fun and responsibility co-joined. I saw classmates fell over themselves to curry the favour of the Aare. On our way home, some classmates would offer to carry the Aare’s bag, in anticipation of lesser punishment in case their names enter the black book.

As years went by, I got to read the historical essence of the Aare Ona Kakanfo title. More than the childlike innocence with which we held that title in primary three, it became clearer to me that the title was reserved for warriors, the Generalissimo of Yoruba land. The Aare was the man who led the wars of the Oyo Empire, he never returned from a battle defeated. It was a powerful title for powerful men.

And history has told us of the myths and mystiques around that title. One of the names of the previous holders that struck me is Ojo Aburukamu. The name portends danger and easily strikes fear- One who is so fierce and would not die.

Notwithstanding the changing times and the rise and fall of Empires, historical relics still give today’s generation a sense of connection to the past. A sense of belief that their forebears actually had sense of organisation and operated strong and complex political institutions long before the advent of the scramble for and partition of Africa. That is my point of departure from some social media commentators and those a friend called English-speaking graduates of today, who have tended to question the essence of the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland where there is no one single Oba of Yoruba land. Or even some of those who question Gani Adam’s credentials as the right candidate.

One of the critics who put pen to paper in the traditional media is a former News Editor of The Punch, Tunde Odesola, who wrote from the US. His grouse was that he did not see any visible impact of the Adams-led Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the fight to actualise the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential mandate of the late Chief MKO Abiola. He linked the organisation more to thuggery and violence than noble objectives.

Even while I believe that the OPC is big enough to defend itself, I make bold to state that the organisation did some noble exploits in those days of the jackal. Maybe Odesola lacks the requisite information. But suffice it to state that the OPC had directly affected Odesola’s daily bread when its enthusiasts turned themselves to emergency vendors to help save Punch from the ban imposed by the vendors’ association at the start of the unsold policy. With the presence of OPC, the newspaper kept afloat and was able to break the vendors’ resistance in weeks.

I am one of those who have remained impressed by the rise of the ‘Carpenter’ Adams. Years back, I recall how a committee of five Oodua sons, Wale Adedayo, Gani Adams, Wale Adeoye, Kayode Ogundamisi and this writer met at Adeoye’s Maryland home to fashion out some good causes for the emerging OPC under Adams. The amiable Adams internalised the outcomes of those brainstorming sessions, expanded on them and it is not a surprise that honour for him is coming from home and abroad..

What to add? Only to congratulate Adams for doing Yoruba youths proud and urge him to keep his head up in this position of high responsibility. And just like my own tenure as Aare Ona Kakanfo of primary three class ended in backstabbing and revelry, may Gani’s tenure defy the tragic myth already weaved around that title.

This Maina Saga…

The story of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, former Chairman of Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, which broke last week promises to remain in public eye for long. It has already won for itself an unwinding lifespan, following the trajectory from 2010 to date.

Some commentators hailed the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in ordering Maina’s sack as salutary and presidential. I beg to disagree. The president cannot direct the sack of a civil servant by fiat. In the same vein, he cannot distance himself from everything that is bad in his administration. The buck stops at his table and like he promised during the campaigns, Buhari must lead from the front. In what looks like trying to turn pap (agidi and in Yoruba it’s called eko) to a match stick, some persons are trying to paint a victim image for the president in all this. It’s what the dramatists would call attempting to pack someone’s stew with bread in his presence. Whether Buhari admits knowledge of the Maina saga or not, I take it as his fault; if he feigns ignorance, I stick to my gun. I will not be party to those who paint a saintly image of a father whose children are turning out as armed robbers. As head of the family, he takes the blame and the praise.

And to his order that Maina be sacked? What does that amount to? Nothing; just nothing. Presidential verbal directives can do nothing to deny a civil servant his job. The appropriate agencies that can do Maina harm are the Office of the Head of Service and the Federal Civil Service Commission. As far as those have not commenced disciplinary measures against the man, the presidential directive is of no effect. And if that is the situation, Maina would continue to earn his money (he was said to have earned N22million already) while the EFCC continues to waste its paint on buildings the Maina family claimed are inherited.

Kakanfo My Foot! Part 2

By Tunde Odesola

I heard their babble, those who bayed for my blood and canvassed support for the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate, Gani Adams, on the basis of his relative young age and perceived accomplishments.

Spanish-American philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist, George Santayana, in a moment of elucidation on the primacy of history, reasoned, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” According to Samuel Johnson’s book, ‘The History of the Yoruba’, “In war, they (Kakanfo) carry no weapon but a baton known as the ‘king’s invincible staff.’” Unmmhh?

So, the Kakanfo carried no weapon? Why then the prattle about the need for a young, aggressive person to occupy the post? In the not-too-distant past, after the colonial era, to be precise, the Yoruba have fought and won political battles in the Nigerian political space using their intellectual range of vision and not through bloodletting.

Historically, the Yoruba have never run away from a war. For them, it is not the acme of excellence or the celebration of the ‘Omoluabi’ ethos to uphold the ridiculous and the vile. Employing their international connections and links across the nation, the Yoruba, during the June 12 crisis, spearheaded the war against the smiling ‘agbako’ (gnome) and rogue general, chasing him to a faraway hilltop cove.

They also stopped the dark-goggled dimwit, who wore the uniform of a general but had no balls to visit the South-West, from leaving the Ass-o-Rock, where he was holed in his dying days. “Talo sope ao ni baba, kai, a ni baba!” goes a popular Yoruba chant.

It means, “Who says we don’t have a leader; hold it!, we have a leader!” Yes, the Yoruba have qualified leaders who can be Aare Ona Kakanfo. They don’t necessarily need to be young, says the history book as they do not have to bear arms but must be steeped in ‘oogun abenugongo’ (juju).

If you’re looking for authentic babalawos, the Awise Agbaye, Prof Wande Abimbola; and the Araba of Osogbo, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, are time-tested. If you are looking for a war general, the Yoruba have a former Chief of Defence Staff, Lt.-Gen. Alani Akinrinade (retd.). The Yoruba also have the National Leader, All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Afe Babalola; a former Ogun State governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba; human rights activist, Chief Femi Falana (SAN), just to mention a few – who, by their antecedents, are much more qualified than the factional leader of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Adams – to be the next Kakanfo.

Because he is mischievous, I never know what to expect whenever my friend, Adeolu Adeyemo, calls. Last week, I picked his call and held my breath, “Deolu, bawo ni, (how are you)?” I greeted.

By the way, Adeyemo is the chief correspondent, New Telegraph newspaper in Osun State. He cleared his throat, “Jo, (please) Tunde, I need your reaction on the Aare Ona Kakanfo issue.” “Why my reaction, I asked,” suspecting he had something up his sleeve. “I used your WhatsApp reaction yesterday, and I was directed by my head office to get a more comprehensive reaction on the issue,” he said. “Oh, I see. You have to give me some time to put something down,” I said.

Thus, the article, “Kakanfo my foot!” was birthed. When I finished writing the piece, the man who has the most profound influence on my career as a journalist, Mr Adeyeye Joseph, a former Editor, The PUNCH, read it on Whatsapp, and said, “You must be ready for trouble after this is published.” The article caught fire on the social media as soon as it was published in The PUNCH of October 18, 2017, instantly setting the tone for discourse on the impropriety of Gani becoming the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land.

So, when I saw Kayode Ogundamisi, whose name I mentioned in the article, shooting from the hips – in reaction to the article a few hours after its publication, I smiled and remembered the warning of my mentor.

As soon as the day broke, a neighbour in my Agege suburb of Lagos State, Rosemary Ayenero, who now resides in the UK, woke me up with a call. “Boda Tunde, kilo se eyin ati Kayode Ogundamisi (what’s the matter between you and Kayode Ogundamisi)?” she asked agitated. “Kayode Ogundamisi,” I yawned, trying to shake off sleep. “Yes, Kayode said you lied against him; that he was never in Ondo State in 2000,” Rosemary stressed. “An almost lifeless man came to my office and said he was the secretary general of the OPC. He said he was the second-in-command to Gani Adams. At the time, the only secretary general of the OPC I knew was Kayode Ogundamisi; that was why I took him for Ogundamisi,” I said. “Ah, omo adugbo leyin mejeji o. (The two of you are from the same neighbourhood, you shouldn’t fight),” Rosemary advised. “You know me, would I cook up a lie against him,” I asked my neighbour. “But Kayode too doesn’t lie,” she said.

The die was cast. Who was in the wrong? It was me. But did I deliberately bring Ogundamisi into the story to malign him or make my story credible? No, because the story, without his name, remains very, very credible. But, would it be honourable to keep quiet in the face of Ogundamisi’s denial? No! Ogundamisi has the right to be angry, I apologize. I went through the online reactions praising and condemning the article.

Notably, most of the reactions condemning the write-up did not answer the eternal truths I raised. Gani must just be the next Kakanfo, whether or not Orunmila approves of it. Mainly, those who condemned the article latched onto the denial by Ogundamisi, throwing out the baby, the bathwater and the mother. But the Kakanfo-in-waiting has not come out to deny that he fled when his convoy was attacked in 2000, in Ondo State. He has not denied that several members of the OPC on his entourage were killed in the attack.

Among the truths I raised in the article was the murderous and violent nature of the OPC led by Adams. I also pointed at the uncountable number of exploitation, rape, extortion cases by OPC members in various police stations and courts across the South-West. The article went on to underscore the fact that the OPC was not ‘securing’ our land for free. It was collecting money for the services rendered and thus, should not be seen in the light of Rotary or Lion clubs. I recalled that the OPC got a multi-billion naira contract from the Goodluck Jonathan administration to secure oil pipelines when Nigeria has a standing army, navy, air force, police, Department of State Services, Customs, Immigrations, etc. I noted that in order to show gratitude for the juicy contract, Adams led his OPC members on the rampage along the Ikorodu Road in Lagos, a few days to the 2015 presidential election.

In a telephone discussion on Monday, Professor of History and Fellow, Historical Society of Nigeria, Siyan Oyeweso, said the Kakanfo must be stubborn and courageous, traits he said Gani possesses to a hilt. He said Gani had grown from being a carpenter to acquiring higher education, stressing that the Yoruba need Gani to ward off the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen attacks and other such threats.

In response, I told the scholar that the post is too big for Gani, who lacks the elocution and erudition to speak on behalf of an educated race such as the Yoruba. We should allow King Ajagbo, whom Samuel Johnson said introduced the Kakanfo title, to rest on peacefully in his grave by installing a befitting candidate, please. ‘E je ka se bi won se nse, koba le ri bi o se nri’. If the Yoruba need a chief ‘maiguard’, we know where to look.

Odesola wrote from the United States.

Another Kakanfo On The March

By Dare Babarinsa

A few months ago, Otunba Gani Adams informed me that our baba, Kabiyesi Alayeluwa, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo, was going to honour him with the historic title of Are Ona Kakanfo, an office that is surrounded by so many myths and drama. For Adams, this is a singular honour so much different from all the others he has garnered since he emerged on the stage as a significant and controversial presence in the self-determination group. Adams has given meaning to the militant phase of our struggle against military rule and the second phase that is still playing out now in creating a new Commonwealth.

Adams is the national coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, but apart from this, he is involved in more eclectic enterprises. On the cultural plane, he is the organizer and founder of the yearly Olokun Festival, set up to honour the Yoruba goddess of the sea and wealth. He is of the opinion that politics should not be left to politicians alone. He believes that the Yoruba people of Nigeria should be under only one regional government to maximize their advantage and advance their economic and cultural interests. With the new honour coming from Oyo, Adams now has a pedestal to pursue those interests.

Adams was one of the young people who heeded the call of Dr Frederick Iseotan Fasehun, the founder and President of OPC. Fasehun, Nigeria’s leading anesthesiologist and the enterprising physician had abandoned the stethoscope for the dangerous enterprise of opposing military rule, especially after the infamy of the June 12 annulment. Fasehun reminds one of another physician, Dr. Agostinho Neto, the poet and freedom fighter who became the first President of independent Angola. In 1995, he invited me to his house in Isolo to discuss the nascent Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC and wanted us to collaborate. Most right-thinking Nigerians felt seriously insulted by the criminal annulment of Chief Moshood Abiola’s victory at the June 12, 1993, presidential election. I told Fasehun about Idle Oodua and that though we share similar objectives, it was my colleagues’ advice that the lion and the leopard should hunt in different neighbourhoods. He agreed with us.

Fasehun is one of the bravest men I ever met. In 1996, Chief Anthony Enahoro who was on the hit-list of the Sani Abacha killer squad decided to flee the country. This was after Enahoro’s old friend, the incomparable Osibakoro, Chief Alfred Rewane, was assassinated by suspected agents of the military junta. With the help of a foreign embassy in Lagos, the veteran nationalist and journalist had been in hiding for many weeks while the killer-squad was desperately searching for him. Few days to his departure, Enahoro was brought to the home of our redoubtable leader, Dr. Amos Akingba, a man who fitted that era of danger and daring like he was created for it. It was from the home of Akingba in Ikeja that Fasehun led the team that took Enahoro from Nigeria to the Republic of Benin through the famous NADECO (National Democratic Coalition) route to begin his journey into exile that would ultimately end in the United States.

But Fasehun, who refused to go into exile, was soon caught in the Abacha net when he was arrested in December 1996. He was to remain in the gulag under the most humiliating condition until General Sani Abacha died suddenly in 1998 and General Abdulsalami Abubakar came to power. Abubakar freed Fasehun along with other political prisoners. By the time he returned in 1998, his organisation, the OPC, had become a behemoth. It was easily the most visible of the several self-determination groups and Fasehun towered above other militant leaders like Rotimi Obadofin and Abiodun Kolawole. The metamorphosis was complete, the success was great and so were the troubles. Many of his followers wanted a different kind of organisation from the one that Fasehun ran before he went into detention. The struggle was intense and the contradictions soon led to serious split and bloodletting. Senator Abraham Aderibigbe Adesanya, the leader of Afenifere, the mainstream Yoruba political and cultural movement, was seriously worried about this and tried to find a solution to it. One of the measures taken was the formation of the Coalition of Yoruba Self-Determination Groups, COSEG, bringing in all the militant groups under one umbrella.

Despite the formation of COSEG, the contradictions within the OPC persisted and this led to the permanent schism with the formation of the Gani Adams faction in 1999. With the continuous disruption of peace in the South-West, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, the new President, ordered the arrest of Adams who was accused of “heinous crimes,” including the assassination of a police officer in Bariga, Lagos. Adams denied the charges, saying, “We are not confrontational.” He added: “We are fighting for self-determination, sovereign national conference and loose federation.”

But he went into hiding and the government put a one million naira price on his head, a lot of money in 2001. President Olusegun Obasanjo gave a marching order to the Inspector-General of Police, Musliu Smith, and the then Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mike Okiro, that Adams must be captured dead or alive. Okiro, a lawyer, was later to serve with distinction as the Inspector-General of Police.

The situation worried every Yoruba leader. I met with Baba Adesanya in his Apapa, Lagos residence, on his invitation. He was worried about the official clampdown on the OPC and its leadership. He said it would be disastrous if Adams was killed by the police. He said we should get Adams to surrender so that he can have his day in court. He promised that Afenifere would help him with legal representation. I promised that we would take action.

I sent messages to Adams in his hideout through our mutual friends that I would like to see him. Soon his emissaries came to my office at Acme Road, Ogba, and we took off to Adams’ safe house in Agege. We met Adams in an ebullient spirit and in the midst of his people presumably senior members of the OPC. Some youths were holding video recording cameras. I delivered my message and there was immediate uproar. They said no, we will fight. I told them the game is different now and Olusegun Obasanjo was now our elected President. We will fight, but only through the legal and democratic process. Nigeria has shed too much blood. Adams agreed to surrender through his lawyers.

The following day, I met with Okiro at the Police Command Headquarters in Ikeja and told him that Adams has agreed to surrender and that his lawyers would contact the police. I said if he is killed, even by accident, it would be regarded as enemy action by many people. Okiro promised to take appropriate action. Few days later I was with Baba Adesanya again at his Apapa residence to discuss another matter when someone called him on the phone. Adams had been captured. Baba was worried whether he was alright. We later called other people and a police officer confirmed that he was with them but unhurt.

Since then, Adams has transformed from an irascible militant into a sophisticated public figure. He has immersed himself in self-education and has acquired more knowledge about traditional Yoruba politics and modern Nigerian power play. He is an asset in the intractable struggle to re-arrange Nigeria and put the Yoruba people from the River Niger to the Atlantic under one government. This was the expectation of the founding fathers of Nigeria, especially Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his colleagues of the old Action Group, AG. The only obstacle to achieving that goal today is the clan of mostly decadent Yoruba political class who regards the current structure of the Nigerian Commonwealth as a boon for their members.

The Kakanfo is an old Oyo title. However, it has acquired pan-Yoruba significance especially since the Yoruba wars of the 19th Century. Though the Kakanfo is not part of the Iwarefa (the kingmakers) chiefs in Oyo, called the Oyomesi, he is regarded as third in rank and second only to the Basorun. Being the head of the military, he must live outside the capital. That practice is only peculiar to Oyo among the old Yoruba states. In other Yoruba kingdoms, the head of the military, called the Balogun, the Lejua, the Bafon and other titles, was allowed to live in the capital of each kingdom.

In the 19th Century, three kakanfos created the allure of the title and its pan-Yoruba significance. Afonja, who was based in Ilorin, was the Kakanfo who rebelled against his overlord, the Alaafin. His Fulani guests and collaborators later staged a coup against him, got him executed, and seized the rulership of Ilorin till today. His rebellion led to the fall of Oyo and the destruction and subjugation of many Yoruba towns under the trammel of the Fulani. The second was Kurumi, who was based in Ijaiye, helped Atiba to create the present city of Oyo, but who opposed Atiba’s son and successor Alaafin Adelu. Kurumi insisted that Adele must die with his father according to the Constitution of the old country, instead of becoming the Alaafin. Ibadan, the new military power, opposed him. War was inevitable and Ijaiye was defeated. The victorious Ibadan ruler, Oluyole, a descendant of Alaafin Abiodun, felt the title of Kakanfo was inferior and proclaimed himself the Basorun, though the real Basorun was still alive and well in the new Oyo.

The third Kakanfo was Latoosa, the ruler of Ibadan, who violated the ethos of the old Yoruba country which stipulated that every prince who can trace his roots to the Royal House of Oduduwa in Ile-Ife is co-eval with his colleagues and has the right to independence. Catoosa sent his troops to subdue the Ekiti, Ife, Egba, Igbomina and the Ijesha kingdoms and these led to a state of general wars culminating in the 16-year Ekitiparapo War. More than 500,000 soldiers participated in the gory conflict until it stalemated into a bloody daily struggle halted only by the imposition of British colonial rule in the closing years of the 19th Century. Catoosa, who moved his headquarters to the Ibadan war camp in Igbajo, died during the conflict. After that war, the Alaafin refused to confer the title of Kakanfo anymore until Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II, gave the title to Chief Ladoke Akintola, then the Premier of the defunct Western Region.

The fear that was expressed when Chief Moshood Abiola took the title in 1988 is still being voiced now that Adams is stepping into his shoes. The belief is that the Kakanfo would not die a peaceful death. However, it is on record that Ojo Aburumaku, who succeeded Kurumi as Kakanfo, died peacefully in his home at Ogbomoso

Aare Ona Kakanfo: Gani Adams Announces Three Appointments

The newly appointed Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Adams on Sunday made three appointments to assist him in his new office.

They are Chief Femi Davies as Special Adviser on Events and Strategy, Prince Segun Akanni as Chief of Staff, and Rev. Femi Adepoju as Director of Media and Communication.

A press release from the Lagos office of the Aare Ona Kakanfo on Sunday said the new appointments take immediate effect.

The statement read; “Chief Femi Davies is a seasoned journalist who hails from Abeokuta, Ogun State. Davies was Consultant Media to former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel. A mass Comm graduate of the Ogun State Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Davies is the publisher of Metronews Nigeria.

“The award winning and well travelled media practitioner is media consultant to Olokun Festival Foundation, Oodua People’s Congress, Oodua Progressive Union among other Organizations. Besides Jornalism his core professional field, the Gbobaniyi of Arigidi  Akoko is also an accomplished Movie/Music Producer and Promoter with  proven records in Events and Hospitality concern.

“Prince Segun Akanni who is the Chief Of Staff until his new appointment was Personal Assistant to the Aare Ona Kakanfo. He was born to a Royal family in Ileogbo, Ayedire Area of Osun and had his both Primary and Secondary schools education in Ileogbo.

“He holds a Diploma and Degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management (IRPM) from the Lagos State University, LASU Ojo, Lagos. Akanni also holds a Diploma in Tourism Management from the International School of Aviation in Ghana. He joined Oodua People’s Congress in late 1998 in Ijeshatedo, and later moved to Ojo area of Lagos state where he started his career in OPC as the zonal secretary of Tedi zone. In 1999, he was elevated to the position of Local Government Publicity Secretary in Ojo.

“His commitment to the emancipation of the Yoruba race earned him an appointment in the office of the National Coordinator of the OPC in year 2002 as the Protocol Officer II and media Assistant to Otunba Gani Adams. In 2007, Akanni became The Personal Assistant to Otunba Gani Adams, the position he maintained until his new appointment as The Chief of Staff to the New AARE Gani Adams.

“Prince Akanni has been to over fifty countries in the course of propagating the gospel of Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) with Aare Onakakanfo, OPU, an organization formed by the Are Onakakanfo for the Yorubas in diaspora with Chapters in over seventy-eight counties.

“Akanni wrote a book in honor of Otunba Gani Adams titled The Volunteer of Savanah in 2015.

Director of Media and Communication, Reverend Femi Adepoju, an accomplished journalist is a political and entertainment writer.

“The Publisher of Rhema News Online is President, Full Steam Communications and Entertainment.

“Adepoju is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the United Bible University, Lagos.

“Born in Akure, Ondo state in 1968, Adepoju was Lagos State House Correspondent for The News/ PM news from 1996 to 2005. He resigned as Society Editor, The News group to join Daily Independent (Breaking News) where he later resigned as News Editor after 4years of service to the Lagos based publishing house. He co-founded First weekly Magazine from where moved to Media Consultancy after 3 years as Managing Editor in 2010.

“As a Media Consultant, Adepoju co-managed Connect Communications after which he was appointed Special Assistant on Media, to former Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state in 2011. He functioned in that capacity till February this year and later joined Oodua Voice Media as Editor In Chief until his latest appointment.

Aare Ona Kakanfo: I Won’t Die Young – Gani Adams

Following superstitious speculations that being installed as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland may shorten the life span of Chief Gani Adams, the newly installed designate has said no such thing will happen.

He said “Let me say that death belongs to God. Only God can decide and determine when anyone can die and until God decides, I will not die young as the defender of my people. Aare title is highly spiritual and I have handed over my destiny and tenure to God.

“The position in the past meant that you have to continually fight wars to protect your people, and may be killed in the process, but that was before Nigeria became a sovereign nation. The job in the modern era is limited in terms of physical defence because there are security apparatus to settle disputes.

“However, it has become a position to unify the Yoruba race, defend their interest and believe in their cause.”

The 47-year-old leader of the OPC also reiterated that he would not dump the OPC. He said “The OPC is my sweat. I will delegate some powers to some members to continue to run it while I oversee it.

“The OPC gave birth to the Oodua Progressive Union which I have established in 78 countries to cater for the interest of Yoruba people in Diaspora.

“I will continue to have a stake not only in the OPC but in all groups in Yorubaland.

“I intend to use my position to unify and strengthen all factionalised pressure and cultural groups in Yoruba land…

“This title is a reward from my people on the basis of honour and not salary.”

Kankanfo: Oluwo Tasks Gani Adams To Curb Kidnapping, Ritual Killing In Yorubaland

By Toba Adedeji

Oluwo of Iwo land, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi has tasked the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Otunba Gani Adams who was recently appointed as Aare Ona Kakanfo to curb kidnapping and ritual killing in Yorubaland.

The revered monarch made this request in a statement made available to OSUN DEFENDER by his press secretary, Mr. Alli Ibrahim.

Describing Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s choice of Otunba Adams as appropriate, Oluwo said there can not be any better time to appoint Generalissimo of the Oyo Empire other than now.

Oluwo said, “Appointment of Gani Adams is a right decision especially at this fragile period when our revered and rich tradition is threatened, when people are killed in the name of culture. what a serious war against humanity?; at a time when ritual killings are perpetrated in the name of culture and kidnapping is trekking to Yoruba race barefooted.

Gani Adams, he said, his primary duty is to defend Yoruba race, her people and culture against oppression.

” You must do all within reach to curb kidnapping; curtail incessant killings of mostly the students for rituals by Alfas, Pastors and Ritualists;  stopping Offering of human part as sacrifice; Promoting modernization of sacred places and modernization of sacrificial tools to community development projects such as road patching, borehole, human empowerment.”

“Otunba Gani Adams, all these are wars that must be fought if our tradition is to be attractive once again, because no child will be motivated to a deity and culture that accept human being as sacrifice.

Oluwo concluded that the appointment of Otunba Gani Adams will liberate the Yorubas from poverty of mind that has beclouded the sense of reasoning, for accepting offering a child that may grow up to be president of this nation to deities.

Holiday In Hell – Travails Of Frederick Fasheun And Gani Adams In Detention, By Onigegewura

From her perch on the wall of the Abuja High Court, the statute of the blindfolded Lady of Justice silently watched over the usual traffic of humanity that daily passed underneath her scale and sword to seek, negotiate, and dispense justice in this hallowed compound.

This bright morning of March appeared to be no different from any other. But unknown to anyone, a drama would soon begin to play that would shatter the day’s routine.

All heads turned as the Black Maria roared into the court compound, screeching to a halt just after the gate. Men in prison warders uniform alighted from the front passenger side and swiftly moved to the back of the vehicle. Metal clanged against metal as they worked on the heavy locks of the iron door that soon swung open to allow the Black Maria spill its contents into the morning sun.

One by one, from the vehicle’s dark recesses, they appeared at the vehicle’s door-mouth and jumped down from the tailboard. Five men tied together by a common travail. As soon as their feet touched the ground, they all turned to face the vehicle and two of them stretched forth their hands. A smallish figure, bowed almost double, emerged, took hold of the outstretched hands and slid to the ground.

Any observant person could easily see the pain and fatigue etched on his elderly countenance. Supported by his two younger companions, the man trundled, half stooping and half dragging himself, into the courtroom.

He was apparently well known. For many of the policemen and lawyers hanging around exchanged quick questioning glances and whispers – gestures that spoke volumes. Their whispers and glances no doubt questioned the transition in this eminent man who had looked urbane the first time that he showed up in the court some weeks before. On that occasion, the grey in his beard and in his full mat of hair had glistened with reverence and dignity. Gone was that man. He was now replaced by a visibly ageing, sickly and weak caricature.

The group from the Black Maria, hedged by lawyers, spectators, journalists and security details, sauntered into the courtroom, from where the entourage fanned out into separate seats.

The lady Judge could not but notice the sharp metamorphosis in the condition of the leading figure in this nationally acclaimed case. With his discomfiture plainly visible, the man sat before her with sweat profusely oozing from his body; making his cloths to stick to his body as if with glue. Even a blind man would know this was a sick man who had no stamina for the rigours of a prolonged inquisition.

“This case is adjourned!” She abruptly announced, racking the gavel against the wooden block.
This time, the six men, sandwiched by security details, turned towards the exit.

When they got outside, the elderly figure broke away from his five co-accused and headed towards a bench where sat a lady with wide-rimmed glasses on her motherly face. His wife. Smiling up at him, she made space for him on the long low bench.

As he drew close to her, he apparently said something and the smile vanished from the woman’s face, quickly giving way to an alarmed look. He only took two more steps before he pitched forward, collapsing squarely on her laps. She let out an ear-piercing scream.

Everybody scampered in the duo’s direction. Black Maria co-passengers. Police. Warders. Photographers. Journalists. Lawyers. Well-wishers. The Prosecutor. Court officials. A medley of sympathy and curiosity. Instantly, a frenzied rescue effort began, employing water in different containers, newspapers, fans of all shades and sizes; everything went into the First-Aid attempt. Anxious moments went by.

But vanity upon vanity, nothing would resuscitate the distressed man. Finally a vehicle drove up and eager hands quickly stretchered the dying man into it.

As the vehicle fled the court premises with screaming sirens, the sympathisers stood transfixed for some uncomfortable moment, unaware that they stood under the silent Statute of Justice with its scale and sword.

One question played on everybody’s lips – will this detainee survive his ordeal; or had he become yet another casualty of Nigeria’s detention system that had seized him hale and hearty six months earlier when he heeded an innocuous invitation from the police?

That is where this story begins…

Onigegewura’s Note: What you have just read is the prologue to Dr. Frederick Fasheun’s Holiday in Hell – My Journey Through Detention. It is a chronicle of his experience when he was detained alongside the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Otunba Gani Adams, and four other members of the Oodua People’s Congress in 2005.

(C) Olanrewaju Onigegewura

OPC Cautions Herdsmen On Attacks

Oodu’a Peoples’ Congress (OPC), a Yoruba socio-cultural group has warned herdsmen against continuous attacks on innocent people and communities, saying it would not tolerate killing of farmers in the Southwest.

The group cautioned the Federal Government against initiating the controversial grazing bill. It said it would resist the move to promulgate a law that would give privilege to a section of the country.

Rising from a general meeting held yesterday in Gbagada, Lagos State, OPC members described the controversial grazing bill as an “insult” to the people.

Its National Publicity Secretary Shina Akinpelu, said: “It is an insult to collective psyche of Nigerians to hear that a bill is being considered to allow or create grazing zones for the herdsmen. The OPC and the whole Yoruba nation reject such proposition and will resist it with all that we have.”

The OPC members also called on Otunba Gani Adams to stop parading himself as leader of the group. They accused Adams of trading off the group for personal gains. They all condemned Adam’s style of leadership.

More than 1,000 members of the group across states attended the meeting. OPC national officers, who attended the meeting, included Chief Boye Mayunpe, Alhaji Amusa Musiliu, Lagos Island chapter Chairman, Alhaji Lateef Oshodi; Oyo State chapter chairman, Chief Adeola Adeagbo and his Kwara and Bayelsa states counterparts, Comrade Moruf Olanrewaju and Comrade Akeem, among others.