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.

OPC Members Drag Gani Adams Before EFCC On $22m Fraud Allegations

Some members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) have dragged the factional na­tional coordinator of the organisation, Otunba Gani Adams, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Com­mission (EFCC) for allegedly diverting $22m.

The aggrieved members made these claims of financial fraud in a three-page petition, dated March 4 and signed by 26 members of the National Coordinating Council of the group.

The petition was report­edly received at the Lagos office of the anti-graft agen­cy on March 11.

They alleged that one of the purported offences of Adams was diversion of $22 million, which he al­legedly received on behalf of the group from the late Libyan leader, Muamar Ghadaffi.

The aggrieved OPC members, who signed the petition were Messrs Ra­sak Arogundade, Monsuru Akande, Adesina Akinpelu, Kehinde Ogunyale, Ade­ola Adeagbo, Ranti Akande, Gbenga Egunlusi, Lateef Oshodi, ‘Layiwola Ogun­solu, Olusoji Folorunso, Sunday Bankole, ‘Segun Olusanya and Sunday Ade­bayo and Idowu Akintunde.

The list also comprised Oyename Adebayo, Lateef Kaka, Oladipupu Musa, Musiliu Amusa, Lateef Ogungbayi, Morufu Salami, Rotimi Akinsowon, Taofik Hameed, Dauda Oyelowo, Yinka Olowoporoku, Adio Odewole and Alexander Adesina.

The petition reads in part: “Besides funds stolen or misappropriated by Adams, there is also the case of about six million members (using Adams estimate of OPC membership strength during his pro-Jonathan campaigns) who are obli­gated to obtain the group’s identification cards at N2,500 each.

“From identity cards alone, Gani Adams pockets about N15 billion every year.

“Adams equally diverted N150 million specially set aside by the NCC and meant for building a hotel for the OPC in each South- West state capital. This is besides the N100 million or more, also made by en­couraging unwary members to buy shares in the hotel project. The hotel scheme was conceived in 2007 but has failed to see the light of the day.

“This situation is no lon­ger acceptable to us and the generality of the OPC cadre who have been at the receiving end of Adams misdemeanour. Ours has been for too long, like the proverbial masquerade that farted, it can only bear the nauseating stink until it is dissipated with time.”

Reacting through his Per­sonal Assistant, Prince Ola­lekan Segun Akanni, the OPC boss stated that if the petitioners had their facts, they would meet at the EFCC.

“Those behind the peti­tion are expelled members of the group who are seek­ing relevance by saying the same things for a long time without anything to show for it.

“One of the vocals among them has been try­ing to get the attention of the leader and has even de­manded a certain amount of money for him to ditch his co-rebels,” he said.

OPC, Lambasts Benin Chiefs Over Comment On Oduduwa History

The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has accused Benin palace chiefs of distorting Oduduwa history, saying their comments were capable of triggering discord between the Yoruba and people of the Benin Kingdom.

The group also said the research being relied on by the chiefs to deny the relationship between people of the two races lacked credibility.

The National Coordinator of the congress, Gani Adams, said in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that the comments credited to the palace chiefs about Yoruba origin were unhistorical and unreliable.

Mr. Adams said such poorly researched claims lacked historical credibility, could be inflammatory and could set the two noble race against each other.

He said the relationship between ”the Yoruba Omo Oduduwa and the Edo was rooted in history and shrouded in mystery in other to keep the two vibrant nations together and oil the chord of communal relationship for ever.”

“Even, though some writers of historical documents about the relationship and chord of brotherhood between the two have allowed personal sentiments and pecuniary consideration to overrule their sense of judgement, clarity, fairness, objectivity and harmonious cohabitation. And the purported statement from an high chief of Benin belong to this trend,” the OPC leader said.

“We should not indulge in diluted information coined by agents of destabilization which emphasised those things that divide us instead of talking of those things that unite us.”

‘Whatever angle or point of view any writer come out with in this discourse, the fact remains constant that there is a bond of relationship which is not fleeting but fundamentally essential between the Yoruba Omo Oodua and the Edo Omo Eweka the Great.”

He appealed to the traditional institutions in Benin and Ile-Ife to be wary of palace chiefs who he said were only out to pitch the two noble royal houses against each other by their sheer impetuosity and face service.”

Mr. Adams commended the royal sagacity and visionary posture of the Ooni of Ife, Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, not only for remaining calm, but for refusing to “dignify the sender of those ill-researched statements with any response”.

“I must also commend the political maturity and sagacity being displayed by the Imperial Majesty, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, who has been consistent in his peace diplomacy shuttle among the traditional Obas in Yoruba land which has kicked – off a brand new era of harmonious relationship among the Obas in the south – west,” Mr. Adams said.

He warned those he described as ”scripters of divisive statements, the procurer of false history and the spreader of ill -researched historical fallacy to put a stop in their unholy act and allow peace, unity, harmony and era of brotherly interaction take control among the traditional rulers in the South West including their sibling in Edo State.”

”We are warning them to stop sowing seeds of discord among the Omo Oduduwa and their siblings in Edo State,” the OPC leader said.

The Ooni of Ife had on Tuesday said Benin Kingdom in Edo State remained part of the expansive Yoruba race, a pronouncement that may spark fresh rivalry and altercation between people of the two ancient kingdoms.

The monarch made the comment in reaction to a statement credited to the palace of the Oba of Benin challenging the claim by the Alake of Egbaland, Adedotun Gbadebo, that the Ooni of Ife remained the pre-eminent spiritual leader in Yorubaland and environs.

Oba Ogunwusi, via a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare, had said he was not interested in any supremacy battle with anyone but that he would continue to put the records straight and avoid distortion of history from any quarters.

The monarch said going by historical evidence detailing the Oduduwa lineage, Benin Kingdom remained part and parcel of Oduduwa House.

“We in Oduduwa land have always seen and regarded our people in Benin kingdom as part and parcel of Oduduwa House. They are our brothers and sisters, coupled with historical facts to back up this position,” Ooni Ogunwusi said.

The Alake had, while hosting the Oba Ogunwusi in his palace on February 7, rated the Ooni as the number one monarch in Yorubaland and other territories considered part of the Oduduwa House.

In his rating, Oba Gbadebo said Oba Ogunwusi was number one of the five principal Obas in Yorubaland, followed by the Alaafin of Oyo, then by the Oba of Benin (in third position), the Alake of Egbaland (fourth) and the Awujale of Ijebuland (fifth).

But in a swift reaction on Tuesday, the Esogban of Benin and Odionwere of the Kingdom, David Edebiri, rejected the ranking, saying the Ooni of Ife was a son of the Oba of Benin and that the Oba of Benin stool has no relationship with the Yoruba race.

The Esogban said, “We wanted to discard this report as something that was not necessary at all. We do not see how the Alake of Egbaland suddenly woke up to think that the Oba of Benin is also a Yoruba Oba.

“There is no basis for such classification; Oba of Benin has nothing to do with the Yoruba Obas. It is simply unnecessary, unless they simply want to stir up an unnecessary controversy.

“We are not in Yorubaland. To be frank, it is because many of them are not willing to come up with the truth, the word Oba is alien to Yoruba monarchy; it is not part of their title from time immemorial.

“For instance, the one they call the Oba of Lagos, these are recent adaptations. In the 50s, there was no Oba of Lagos, what we had was the Eleko of Eko. That is the title of the King there. In Ibadan, you have the Olu Ibadan. You come to Abeokuta, you have the Alake of Egba land. You come to Oyo, you have the Alaafin of Oyo. In Ilesha, you have the Owa-Obokun of IIesha. So no Yoruba monarch had as part of his titles the word Oba except the Oba of Benin.

“That word Oba is indigenous to Benin. It is only in recent times you find everybody bearing Oba. When the Western Regional conference of traditional rulers took place in Benin City in 1942, go and check the attendance, there was no other monarch in the whole of the Western Region then that bore the title of Oba, except the Oba of Benin.

“So it is an unnecessary excursion, an unnecessary attempt to turn history upside down by the Alake by classifying the Oba of Benin as third in the hierarchy of kings.

“Our own traditional history says that the Ooni of Ife was a Benin Prince who wandered from here to Ife, settled there and became the ruler there. That is the position, if they don’t know, they should send people here; we will teach them.

“We will show them landmarks. So this is unnecessary misrepresentation of history. Maybe the Alake wanted to mention a different place and not Benin.

“The monarchical rulership in this part of the world started from Benin during the era of the Ogisos. It was the son of the last Ogiso, Owodo, that wandered from here to Ife and he became a ruler there, carrying everything about the Benin monarchical system to that place. There is no basis for such classification.

“The Ooni of Ife, by historical facts, is a son of the Oba of Benin, so they are not in the same class. The Oba of Benin is the only one that answers Oba, the rest don’t. But today, we hear Oba here and there, they are all recent adaptations. I am saying categorically that the word Oba is indigenous to Benin and not to Yoruba nation.”