By Lukman Adebiyi
On Friday, April 30, Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Adams and several other personalities paid surprise visits to some orphanages and Old people’s homes in Lagos. The reason was to shower them with gifts as a token of gratitude to mark his 51st birthday.
At the different facilities visited, Iba Gani Adams gave out various gift items, including cash donations, beverages, food stuffs, household commodities, detergents, toiletries and different clothes to the needy.
Some of the facilities visited with gifts and cash include Regina Mudi Elders home, Mushin, and the SOS Children’s Home, Isolo, all in Lagos.
On Saturday, May 1, many eminent personalities gathered at the Berger area of Lagos to celebrate the leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
Those in attendance include prominent monarchs, political bigwigs, leaders of socio-political groups, culture enthusiasts, and activists, among others
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who had earlier visited Iba Gani Adams at his Omole Phase 2 residence, led over 50 monarchs to bless Adams and his wife, Ayinba Mojisola Adams and children with prayers.
In his remarks, Oba Adeyemi said Adams’ coronation as Aareonakakanfo was no mistake. He decried the security situation in the South-West, warning that the bandits and kidnappers do not have the monopoly of violence. He noted that the Aareonakakanfo and his traditional warriors have the capacity to protect the entire South-West but said they were being careful to avoid collateral damage.
The revered monarch said insecurity in Nigeria has thrown the country into a huge tailspin. He charged the Federal Government to be proactive in ensuring that the South-West is safe for residents.
“The monopoly of violence must be concentrated in government, but regrettably, we are not having that now. Bandits and kidnappers now have monopoly of violence than the government which is the reason we are in this current situation,” he noted.
Oba Adeyemi also commended Iba Gani Adams for his courage, steadfastness and doggedness in the struggle for the liberation of Yoruba race, adding that Adams has truly proved the gods right that his appointment was divine.
“Aare Gani Adams’ appointment is divine and based on merit. It took me over five years to consult widely and seek the support of the gods in the spiritual realms before he was appointed. He didn’t contest for it neither did he struggle for it. He was divinely appointed and my prayer is that he will lead Yoruba race for a long time,” the Alaafin prayed.
Onifegunwa of Ifegunwa in Ile-Ife, Oba Adewole Adedire, who stood in for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, extolled the virtues of Iba Gani Adams. He said the Obas and all those that matter most in the traditional institution in the South-West will always support Aare Gani Adams in ensuring that the region remains safe.
In his speech, Iba Gani Adams expressed appreciation to the dignitaries in attendance. He recalled that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented such a gathering last year.
“Last year, we only manage to do the special thanksgiving programme. But today, I give glory to the Almighty God for His grace to celebrate and show love to orphans, old people and students, among others. I am very happy and fulfilled to spread joy on the faces of indigent students in four of our tertiary institutions in the South-West. Today, Aare Onakakanfo Foundation will give cash donations and scholarship to indigent students from four different universities. The institutions are University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, University of Ibadan and Lagos State University.”
“The cash donation is to encourage the students to take the Yoruba language seriously, so that it doesn’t go into extinction.
Adams also urged the Federal Government to make sure that the South-West is safe, insisting that the government has the capacity to improve the quality of education across the country by initiating programmes that can identify and help brilliant but indigent students in different tertiary institutions.
“As far as I am concerned, this is just the beginning. The Aareonakakanfo Foundation will continue to support students, and we will soon extend the gesture to other universities,” he assured.
Some of the beneficiaries of the donations include Miss Alabi Monsurat (University of Lagos); Ayinde Oritoke Kafayat Adenike (University of Ibadan); Okegbemi Taiwo (Lagos State University) and Nurudeen Abass Adesinmi (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife).
Ayinde Kafayat Adenike, who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries, applauded the gesture by Aare Gani Adams. She said the scholarship would spur her and other beneficiaries to work harder in their respective disciplines and to promote the Yoruba language.
“I want to appreciate our father for counting us worthy of this award. It is not easy to emerge the best students in our various universities and departments. It is a reward for determination, hard work and dedication. I believe the award is to encourage us to be more determined and more focused in our studies.
“To the Aareonakakanfo of Yorubaland, it is wonderful to be part of your success story. I want to assure you that we will not disappoint you, and we will go out there to promote those values and ideals that you believe in and epitomise as a leader and role model,” she noted.
Scores of prominent personalities attended the event. They include the deputy governor of Kogi state, Comrade Lawrence Onoja; white-cap chiefs representing Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos, Oba Dipo Olaitan, the Alago of Kajola Ijesha, Oba Akeem Agbaosi, Saibu, Alaguda of Aguda, Oba of Shasha, Oba Sunday Olaniyi, Baale of Allen-Ikeja, High Chief Bolaji Thomas Jaji, Aare Onikoyi of Yorubaland, Chief Tomori Williams, Senior Special Assistant to Ekiti State Governor on Tourism, Wale Ojo Lanre, his Oyo state counterpart, Akeem Ige, , Deputy leader of Afenifere, members of the Aareonakakanfo Chiefs-in-Council, members of the OPC and Oodua Progressives Union (OPU) from all over the world.
Also in attendance were Prof Derin Ologbenla, Lagos State Chairman of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Musiliu Akinsanya (MC Oluomo), members of Igbo-Speaking community in Lagos, Fuji music stars, Alhaji Kollington Ayinla and Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, Apala music crooner, Musiliu Ishola, Babatunde Akanbi Ogunronbi, President Roofing Association,Mr. Callistus Agaoma, Baba Ewe of Isolo, Alhaji Rasheed Agunbiade, Mr. Tunde Faduola, and members of Calabar Community Group.
There were assorted food and drinks, even popular artistes, Lanre Teriba Atorise and Q.Dot thrilled the guests.
On Friday, there was a special Jumat Thanksgiving Service at the Omole Central Mosque, Omole Phase II, Ikeja, Lagos, even as another thanksgiving service at the Saviour’s Ministry C&S Worldwide, Alausa Ikeja concluded the week-long event.