SENATE President, Senator Bukola Saraki; state governors, including Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and his counterpart in Anambra, Willy Obiano; the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111; former Governor Timpriye Silva, among others on Sunday gathered in Lagos to celebrate Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, on the anniversary of his one year in office, describing the title he holds as deserving and belonging not only to the Yoruba race but the entire country.
Other dignitaries present at the event: tagged the grand reception/presentation of documentary on Aare Ona Kakanfo, which took place at the Oregun area of the state include the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Adesola; the Saki Arigidi, Oba Isa Olanipekun; other obas from across the Yorubaland, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who sent a representative; the governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi; spokesperson of pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, among others.
Speaking at the event, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi, who was one that coronated the Aare a year ago, while enumerating the qualities of the incumbent to make him deserve the rare honour, asserted that the scope of title covered the entire country and, therefore, was beyond the Yoruba race.
The Bashorun of Oyo, who represented the Alaafin, said that was the reason the monarch had to write to foremost Yoruba Obas and equally engaged in wide-ranging consultation before Aare Adams was finally picked and installed in the exalted office.
“The title of Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland is for all Nigerians, not for Alaafin or Oyo alone. That was why when Baba (Alaafin) was to install him (Gani Adams), he wrote to all the obas in Yorubaland to let them know and their endorsement,” the Bashorun said.
The Alaafin rejoiced with the Aare and his wife on the occasion of the celebration, even as he prayed for long reign for Iba Gani Adams.
The Timi of Ede, in his earlier remark also spoke in the same vein, describing the title of Aare and whoever the holder is as a bridge that linked the Yoruba people together, expressing appreciation to the Alaafin for bestowing the title on Iba Gani Adams.
He equally lauded an elder statesman, Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu, for also playing key role in letting the choice of Iba Gani Adams for the post come to reality, just as the monarch ended his speech with a song indicating that all the Yoruba Obas and others would join hands together to ensure success of his reign as Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
In their goodwill messages, the Senate President, Senator Saraki, who was represented by Yusuff Olaniyonu; Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Akeredolu represented by Rasheed Badmus, the state Commissioner for Mineral Resources, and the Anambra governor, who was also represented, praised the qualities in Gani Adams, declaring that the Alaafin had made the right choice, commending him for such.
This was just as they all pledged their continued support for the Aare, praying for a long reign in office for him to enable him to accomplish his mission.
Also speaking, former Bayelsa State governor, Silva acknowledged that Yoruba remained a great nation, saying it was the reason that accounted for his gracing the event, adding: “Yoruba is a great nation and that is why I came here today, and I represent the Ijaw nation.”
“To be an Aare is no mean feat especially after MKO Abiola, we can only pray for more greatness and long life for Aare.
“Today, I pledge the support of Ijaw people to the cause of Yoruba and Aare and at any time you need the support of Ijaw, you can count on us. And we hope to be attending this event for many years to come,” he further added.
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