It is now official. Otunba Gani Adams is the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
He was installed in Oyo, Oyo State on Saturday by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
The traditional rites for the installation began on Wednesday and ended on Friday.
By his installation, Gani Adams is the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
He succeeds late politician and businessman, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, who was installed 19 years ago.
Speaking at the occasion, the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Adams, said the unity of Yorubaland was of utmost importance to him.
He said he would, therefore, do everything possible to achieve that.
Promising that he would be a bridge builder, Adams urged the governors of the South West of the country to unite notwithstanding their political leanings, in order to ensure the advancement of the cause of the Yoruba nation.
“It is 558 years ago that the first Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Kokorogengen of Iwoye was installed. I know that so much is expected of me.
“My appointment is a challenge, considering the power and glamour brought to the position by the 13th and I4th occupiers, Late Chief S. L. Akintola and Late Chief MKO Abiola respectively.
“I consider myself lucky because there was no war ravaging the Yoruba nation now, except the gradual extinction of Yoruba culture and values which must be urgently protected and preserved,’’ he said.
He added: “I want to assure you all that I will not disappoint you on my new role. I will establish Aare Ona Kakanfo Foundation and website for the projection of Yoruba culture and values.
“I will give scholarships to Yoruba children to aid their education because education is light. I promise to preserve and protect Yoruba culture and values.’’
Adams also urged the federal government to ensure good road and rail network as well as electricity to boost the tourism potentials of the country.
He was grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara for their support.
Speaking at the occasion, the Alaafin of Oyo, deplored the disunity among the Yoruba.
According to him, the disunity hard affected the growth of the race in different ways.
He called on Adams to use his office to promote the culture and tradition of the Yoruba, and ensure peace.
Alaafin spoke of Adams: “He has contributed immensely to upholding them. He has shown enough charisma to deserve the honour. He may be young but he is very bold and courageous.
“Gani Adams is a cultural enthusiast who projects and defends our race wherever he goes. These are traits synonymous with an Aare Ona Kakanfo.’’
Alaafin debunked the belief that the occupiers of the position die young.
He said they had invoked the spirit of the ancestors to grant Adams long life and the race, unity.
“I have installed two Aare Ona Kakanfos as the Alaafin and I don’t want to install another before I join my ancestors,” Alaafin said.
Present at the occasion were the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, Yoruba traditional rulers, prominent Nigerians across political divides, Yoruba socio-cultural groups and many others.