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At Alaafin’s memorial lecture, Gani Adams asks Oyo govt, Oyo Mesi to be fair in selecting successor

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THE Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubal- and and leader of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC),

Chief Gani Adams, has called on the Oyo State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde and the Oyo Mesi to be transparent in the selection of the new Alaafin of Oyo.

Adams made the plea on Friday at a memorial lecture in commemoration of the first anniversary of the passing of the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, held at Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo.

He said the call became imperative in view of the position which the Alaafin occupies in Yoruba history.

The Aare Ona Kakanfo said: “There is a difference between religion, culture and tradition. The throne of the Alaafin is purely traditional and the process has to be followed traditionally.

“As the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, I am not part of the selection team. The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Oyo Mesi.

“That is why I am appealing to the state governor and the entire Oyo Mesi to be transparent in their choice, given its implication for not only Oyo town but the entire Yoruba race.

“Also, I am appealing to the family of the late Kabiyesi to keep his memory alive. This kind of lecture is a good step.”

Other dignitaries who attended the event include Nigeria’s former Ambassador to The Philippines, Dr Yemi Farounbi; the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, African Newspapers of Nigeria (ANN) Plc, publishers of the Tribune titles, Mr Edward Dickson; the Editor, Saturday Tribune, Dr Lasisi Olagunju and columnist and a member of the company’s Editorial Board, Dr Festus Adedayo.

Other are the Owaloko of Ijesa, Oba Ajibola Akinrewa; the Iba of Kishi, Oba Mos- hood Aweda Oyekola Lawal; Mr Kolawole Esan, Dr Kola Ogunmola and Professor Akinkunmi Alao.

The lecturer, Professor Akin Alao of the Department of History, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, described Oba Adeyemi as a selfless and dedicated tradi- tional ruler who believed in equity and fairness.

Professor Alao said the king, during his lifetime, fought for the rights of the traditional rulers.

According to hi, many traditional rulers owe their promotion and recognition to the effort of the late Alaafin, whom he described as an encyclopaedia of Yoruba history and culture, a reason the memory of his reign will linger.

In his welcome address, the first son of the late king, Prince Israel Adeyemi, said his father lived for the peo- ple of Oyo town and Oyo State in general.

According to Prince Adey- emi, Oyo town witnessed unprecedented growth dur- ing his father’s 52-year reign.

He said: “Kabiyesi meant different things to different people, depending on the type of relationship you had with him. However, no matter the relationship you had with him, one thing that everyone will agree with me is that our late father had some exceptional qualities that made him stand out among all the traditional rulers in Nigeria. He was a spe- cial bred, what the Yorubas would refer to as ‘Akanda’.

“As human beings, we all have our faults and as the Yorubas would say, ‘Kosi bi ase morin to, ki ori ma mi’. Our father had his own faults like any other human beings but one fact you cannot deny is that he was a legend in his own way.

“In the area of tradition and culture, he was unmatched and exceptional. He brought dignity and honuor to the traditional institution.

“Oyo town, during his reign, witnessed tremendous growth and development. He brought back the lost glory of the Alaafin and put Oyo town and the insti- tution of the Alaafin on the map of the world.

“Perhaps the area which our late father excelled and is well known and respected is intellectual and academic pursuits.

“He was an intellectual powerhouse and intellectual colossus. His brain and intellectual capacity and capability were second to none. At times, I wonder how a man that had only a secondary school qualification could rise to such intellectual height. But that was Kabiyesi for you, always reading and researching. He never stopped learning until he passed on.

“We the children therefore felt that one of the best ways to keep his legacy alive is through academic works of this nature.

“On a lighter note, I re- member one day, I jokingly said to him, ‘Kabiyesi, you know children inherit a lot of traits from their father. For example, some of your children will inherit your sense of dressing; some, your dancing dexterity; some, your political prowess and ingenuity and some, your love for women. But if I had to make a choice, Kabiyesi, in asking for a trait that I would like to inherit from you, I would ask that you just remove your brain and give it to me’, to which he laughed heartily. That was how intelligent our father was. He had both native and academic intelligence.

“One thing that the death of our father and death in general has taught me is the shortness and brevity of our lives on earth. We therefore need to leave our footprints in the sands of time so that posterity can remember us when we are gone.

“The question I want to ask you is, what legacy are you leaving for posterity to remember you for? We can’t all be like Obafemi Awolowo, like Nelson Mandela or even like Lamidi Olayiwola Atan- da, but you can, in your own little way, leave something for posterity to remember you for.

Oba Adeyemi died on 22 April, 2022 during a brief illness.

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