By Adeola Badru
IBADAN- A retired archbishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Reverend Ayo Ladigbolu, has dismissed the myth that every occupant of Aare Ona Kakanfo did not live long, as being speculated, describing the insinuation as a fallacy.
He noted that the position has changed from that of a warrior to one of leadership since the reign of Ladoke Akintola.
On the level of preparation for the installation, he said the 80-member committee headed by him had put plans in motion in conjunction with the committee set up by the state government to ensure the smooth and successful conduct of the installation to forestall any hitch before and after the event.
The cleric noted that Oba Adeyemi made the right choice by pronouncing Adams as the new Aare, 20 years after the demise of the last occupant, late Chief MKO Abiola, who died on July 7, 1998.
Archbishop Ladigbolu said this, yesterday, at a press briefing held at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Secretariat Ibadan, heralding the installation of the national coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani Adams as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo tomorrow.
He said the myths that surrounded the short life-span of the previous title holders of Aare Ona Kakanfo are baseless and unfounded as being speculated by people who are not vast in the history.
Ladigbolu said: “When you fight a war and win, you move to another location. So, it is a position that kept them on the move and as such, they have to be prepared. The position of Aare Ona Kakanfo, from time immemorial, is a position that involves fighting war almost on monthly basis. As the Generalissimo, they don’t have a particular location.”
“We now have the Army, Airforce, Navy, and Police to defend the territorial integrity and as such, the job of the Aare Ona Kakanfo is limited. Instead of fighting a war, it has now become a position of unification where the occupant is expected to unify the Yoruba race. The myth of being a warrior has been broken through Ladoke Akintola. Akintola, in 1964 was a politician. He was not a warrior or activist. The title was given to him based on his position as the Premier and leader of the Western Region. After that, the late Chief MKO Abiola became the Aare in 1998.”
He said the function of Aare Ona Kakanfo was to believe in the cause of the Yoruba and must be loyal to the Alaafin and all Yoruba Obas.
Tracing the history of Aare Ona Kakanfo, Archbishop Ladigbolu said: “The position of the Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yoruba land by antecedent is not for the highest bidder, a position which by demand comes with sound might and spiritual profundity reserved only for a person of substance who has fought for the interest of Yoruba race.”
While speaking on the prerogative of Alaafin to appoint Aare Ona Kakanfo, Archbishop Ladigbolu stated that with the intelligence and wisdom of the forefathers, they gave the right and power to the Alaafin of Oyo.