Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yoruba-designate, Otunba Gani Adams, yesterday said the title offered to him by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, will moderate his radicalism and strengthen his resolve to contribute to the unity of Yoruba.
This is just as he said that the tile has fulfilled the wish of the activist-lawyer, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), who always hailed him as “generalissimo”.
Adding that the new title will moderate his radicalism, he described the Alaafin as a highly respected monarch and an intelligent leader, adding that he consulted with the traditional institution, political class and leaders of opinion in Yoruba land before giving him the title. Adams told reporters in Lagos that the status had catapulted him to the enviable position of a statesman.
The Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) leader said he accepted the offer with optimism and enthusiasm in deference to the Alaafin, who, historically, has the prerogative to confer the honour on him, following consultation with the Oyomesi.
“But I will not compromise my principle. I will not betray the cause of Yoruba people. I will also be a good Nigerian. I will relate with all Nigerians, based on justice. The position of Aare Ona Kankanfo is a position of a statesman.”
Adams, who holds 52 chieftaincy titles in Yoruba land, promised to work with prominent leaders to unite the race and fight for its progress.
He added: “Chief Obafemi Awolowo became the premier of Western Nigeria at the age of 45. Gowon became Head of State at the age of 38. Obasanjo became Head of State at 42. In the United States of America, Bill Clinton became president at 42, George W. Bush at 42 and Barack Obama at 46. In France, the president got there at 39. In Austria, the president is 31. At 47, I can occupy any position in Nigeria.
“Chief Ladoke Akintola became the Aare because he was the premier. Chief MKO Abiola became the Aare because he was a philanthropist. Gani Adams is a promoter of Yoruba culture. Since March 15, 1999, I have been serving Yoruba as the coordinator of OPC.”