Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, was recently in Iwoye-Ketu, a community in Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State, to tour the birthplace of the first and second Aare Ona Kakanfo, Kokorogangan and Oyatope.
It was the first time in history that an Aare Onakakanfo would visit the home of his predecessors. Adams visited the community with about 150 prominent members of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC).
For the people of Iwoye-Ketu, the visit was quite timely. For long, the people had waited to host a new Aare Ona Kakanfo. Thus, thousands of people and several traditional rulers welcomed Aare Adams to the town.
In his speech, Adams said the title of the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland was never for a cowardly person, adding that only a brave and courageous man who is always ready to make huge sacrifices for the race merits the title. He explained also that the title was sacred, adding that the sanctity of the stool must be respected, even beyond the shores of Nigeria.
“Let me say it clearly that, as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, my position is traditional and not ceremonial. By the special grace of God, it is the prestigious title of Aare Ona Kakanfo that made it possible for me to visit the ancient town of Iwoye, and all the neighbouring towns. I am highly humbled by this singular honour done on me and all members of my entourage.’’
Aare Adams also unveiled the statue of the first Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Kokorogangan, in Iwoye. While unveiling the statue, the culture activist said he was in the ancestral home of the first and second Aare Ona Kakanfo to pay homage to the great warlords that saved the Yoruba nation from external aggressors in their days.
He dismissed the age-long myth that holders of the title usually die prematurely.
Said he: “From the information gathered here so far, I think it is pertinent to tell the world that Kokorogangan, the first holder of the title, lived for a period of 120 years, between 1650 and 1770, and many of his successors lived even beyond.
“Today, history is made in Iwoye-Ketu and its environs, because this is the first time in our history that an Aare Ona Kakanfo would visit the home of his ancestors. My visit is historic, and it is a strong signal that the Yoruba nation is on the verge of greatness once again.”
Responding, the Ooye of Iwoye-Ketu, His Royal Majesty, Oba Joel Adedamola Aremu Alaye, expressed appreciation to Aare Adams for visiting the home of his predecessors, Kokorogangan and Oyatope.
The elated monarch said the reception given to Adams and all his entourage was in line with the tradition of the Yoruba.
“This is the first time in the history of this ancient town that we will be playing host to the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland. As a true son and ambassador of the race, we are happy that Aare Gani Adams truly identifies with our rich cultural heritage. This has shown that he is a symbol of unity to all Yoruba sons and daughters, either at home or in the Diaspora,” the traditional ruler said.
Aare Adams also spoke with another prominent Yoruba monarch, the Alaketu of Ketu in the Republic of Benin, Oba Akanni Adeduloye Aderomola. He said he was happy to visit the monarch, explaining that it was the responsibility of the traditional rulers to preserve the cultural identity of the Yoruba wherever they might be.
“As custodians of Yoruba culture and tradition, we all have a duty to uphold our cultural identity, particularly when it comes to appeasing our deities, who have been forgotten for years.
“On this note, I advise all our revered monarchs, particularly those whose kingdoms are located outside Nigeria, to continue promoting our culture by celebrating our deities through festivals, so that they can experience unique and special development and transformation. I also urge all true sons and daughters of the race to support the traditional rulers in their bid to project the image of the race positively to the world,” he said.
Adams also appealed to the Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosu, to construct the road between Imeko and Iwoye, saying the road leading to historical towns like Iwoye-Ketu and other neighbouring towns should be accessible to road users.
“It is traumatic plying this road. I can feel the agony experienced daily by residents of these towns. I am appealing to the Ogun State governor to, as a matter of urgency, rehabilitate this road for easy movement and for posterity,” he said.
Aare Adams later visited sacred places and palaces of the monarchs in Oke Agbede, Moriiwi, Waasimi Okuta, Derin, Ketu and Igbale Aiye, where he prayed for peace and tranquillity in the entire land of Oduduwa.
He expressed appreciation to Hon. Albert Asipa and Muyideen Ogunkunle, an engineer, for their efforts in making the visit a success.
Other monarchs that received Adams and his entourage were Onipopo of Popo, Onisabe of Sabe, and Onikoyi, among others.