Leading entertainers and culture promoters, including Chief Ebenezer Obey, Adebayo Salami, Bolaji Amusan and Wasiu Alabi Pasuma, have backed the appointment of the Coordinator of the Odua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, as the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, announced the appointment on Sunday.
The decision has generated some controversy, although the larger percentage of the Yoruba establishment, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, have okayed it.
In an interview with our correspondent on Thursday evening, Salami, popularly called Oga Bello, said that since Adams had accepted the appointment, all that everyone needed to do was to support him to ensure his success.
“I personally have no problem with the appointment since Gani Adams has accepted it. All I want to advise him is to carry the office the way it befits an Aare Ona Kakanfo,” Salami said.
Also describing the appointment as a welcome development, Amusan, otherwise known as Baba Latin, said that his reason for supporting the elevation could be different from what others were considering.
According to him, Adams’ love for Yoruba culture and tradition is unparalleled.
He said, “Gani Adams has consistently been championing the Yoruba cause for long, especially from the perspective of our culture. The last time I see an English dress on him was during his wedding. Anywhere you see him, he is in agbada or buba and sokoto, while many of us will be jumping about in foreign attire.
“Also, all the festivals that would have died completely, Gani Adams is the one bringing them back. Apart from the Olokun Festival that he organises, there is no Yoruba festival in any part of the country and even outside that you will not see him there.
“When Gani was doing all of these, he did not have it in mind that he wanted to become the Aare Ona Akakanfo. He was just doing them based on the interest he has in the culture and people.
“Now, we have to remember that times have changed. Gone were the days that the Aare had to be carrying guns around. Gani possesses all modern attributes of a generalissimo and that is why I am delighted that the Alaafin has appointed him.”
Music icon, Chief Ebenezer Obey, also espressed satisfaction with the development.
According to him, he (Obey) knows the responsibility attached to the office because of his closeness to the last Aare, the late Chief MKO Abiola.
“I took part in organising Chief Abiola’s inauguration programme and plans for advancing the cause of the people. Gani Adams truly deserves the honour based on his antecedents. I pray that peace, progress and prosperity will mark his time in office. I congratulate him, congratulate the Alaafin and congratulate the people.”
In a statement signed by an associate of Pasuma, Semiu Afolabi, the fuji musician described the proclamation as a sudden but good news to the public and the Pasuma family.
He said Gani typified a great man who rose from grass to grace.
“Your appointment is coming at a time we need to consolidate the values and strengths of the Yoruba race. Your contribution to the rediscovery of values of the Yoruba race can never be underestimated and overemphasised.
You have ceaselessly seen to the growth and peaceful cohabitation of the land and we appreciate the judgement of the Alafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi (Iku baba yeye), in the appointment. We enjoin you to lead the race to freedom and greatness.”