CALL FOR UNITY
The journey has started from here. And my first appeal goes to Yoruba sons and daughters who are outside the shores of the country not to forget that there is no place like home. This was what informed
the formation of the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), Gani Adams Foundation and Olokun Festival Foundation. Please, see Yorubaland as the place to be. Don’t give the race a bad name. Come home to invest.
As the 15th Aare Ona Kakanafo, I consider myself lucky that there is no war at hand confronting the Yoruba race now. In other words, we are living in peace time. However, I am not pleased with the level of Yoruba unity today and I am very concerned. Therefore, my greatest priority is the unity of the Yoruba race at home and in the Diaspora.
I will, therefore, spare no effort in ensuring the unity of Yoruba race within the contemporary Nigeria body polity.
To take the journey further, I will, after this installation, launch the Aare Ona Kakanfo Foundation. This will further promote the culture of the people and document the history of the Aare Ona Kakanfo title.
Since we are now in the era of Information Technology, we will be unveiling historical documents obtained from the Iku Baba Yeye on the Aare Ona Kakanfo title to a website.
2018 makes it the 30th year that the last holder of the title, Aare M.K.O. Abiola, stood before you for his installation. He died on July 7, 1998 and the post was vacant for almost 20 years.
Same happened when the 13th holder of the title, Aare S.L. Akintola, died on January 15, 1966. It took more than 22 years before his successor took over. Why? There is the myth that holders of the title will always die a violent death. But, this is not so because many holders of the title lived to be more than 100 years.
So, apart from setting aside the myth and projecting the image of the office, documenting the Aare Ona Kakanfo title will also let people know that a child born of humble beginning like me can make it.
From the extreme North of Yorubaland, Arigidi-Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government the rural area of Ondo State, here I am emerging as the Aare Ona Kakanfo.
My second appeal as the Aare Ona Kakanfo goes to the Federal Government to attend to some of the major roads in Yorubaland that are critical to its citizens. These include Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo-Ilorin, Lagos-Badagry, Sagamu-Benin, Badagry-Lusada-Sokoto, Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo, Osogbo-Ilesa, Ilesa-Akure-Owo-Lokoja and Lagos-Abeokuta.
It will also be a major plus if the government, as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari in his January 1, 2018 speech, attends to rail transportation as fast as possible.
The issue of power is also critical. This will empower artisans more.
Security is equally important. All these would aid the development of the tourism potential of the country.
Several countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Britain, Turkey, Singapore, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Israel have diversified their economy to tourism.
I want to assure you that I will work with various stakeholders to turn our land into a viable tourist destination.
To our esteemed Governors in the South-West, I call for cooperation, no matter the party line. The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission should be empowered. And I want you all to see me as a partner in progress.
I offer myself for service once it is for the advancement of the Yoruba race. The various groups in the South-West should also resolve their crises.
I will also persuade seven of our elders, who are not partisan, to work with me in uniting all Yoruba and resolve differences wherever they may arise.
In closing, let me express my profound appreciation to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, for their support.
I want to thank our host Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for his immense contribution towards the success of today’s event.
I also thank other governors for their support and contributions, financially and morally.
Let me thank all those who contributed to the success of this installation ceremony, especially members of the Planning Committee, the media and many others too numerous to mention.
I also want to thank my wife, Erelu Mojisola. She is a Pillar of Support and a Role Model for Women.
I want to assure all that as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo, I will use my position, God willing, to protect the interest of our land and our dear country Nigeria.
Mo ki gbogbo yin o
A dele bare o
Igba mi a tu ile Yoruba lara lágbara Olodumare, Amin.
Aare Ona Kakanfo Gani Adams
January 13, 2018.