*By Kazeem Awojoodu, Ibadan.
In his efforts in fostering unity among the Yorubas, the Are Ona Kakanfo of the Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams on Friday led delegates of Oodua Progressive Union (OPU) homes and abroad on a courtesy visit to the Palace of Obaro of Kabba Palace to identified with the people of Okunland.
9Janewshub.com.ng reports that Iba Gani Adams, the 15th Are Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland and his entourage arrived Kogi State on Friday for 8th OPU Convention tagged, “OPU Kabba 2022.
In his speech, Iba Gani Adams said, we moved from Lagos State on road for almost ten hours to identify with you and for our annual convention, those people present here are the delegates of Odua Progressive Union, they’re indeed warrior of OPU, and I appreciate you for hosting this 8th World Congress.
He said, “I’m happy coming here and also for hearing you and the cultural troupe that Okun people are not from North but from Yoruba and Ile-Ife that’s exactly what I want to hear, that we are all descendants of Oduduwa.
“Have been thinking of coming from here since three years ago but I understand that all things are possible when it’s God said time, Alaafin Ajagun was the one that started the Aare-ona Kakanfo Chieftaincy since 1530, almost 500 years ago and I’m the 15th Are.
“There is no Are that don’t fight a war, but we have different types of wars, we have intellectual war, there is war in fighting to defend ones cultural identity, it is not all fight that we fight with gun’s, we have spiritual war, since you become a pronounced war lord you will fight a war, we have to fight war, either gun war or spiritual war and since roughly four years I have become Are I have been fighting wars, I have fought spiritual wars, and intellectual wars, there is no how you will become a war lord that you will not fight a war. So my coming here is not just a mere coming, I’m so grateful to God for stepping this land which is Oduduwa land that have not stepped for many years, I’m so grateful when our Baba talked that after Chief Obafemi Awolowo I’m the second person to be here for this course, and I congratulate myself for such feat.
“Senator Adeyemi Smart is my long time friend and he told me many stories about the Okunland, though I cannot remember it all, he told me many about Lokoja and others then I realized that we the Yorubas are gradually loosing potentials due to non challant attitude, the Yorubas meet themselves at this point due to their uncare attitude, when you have a siblings that are somewhere suffering and you neglected them because you’re somewhere enjoying that is not fair enough.
***IBA GANI ADAMS DELIVERING HIS SPEECH…
“No tribes in Africa can defeat the Yorubas if we come together to fight a war, but if the Yoruba people in Okunland are neglected while facing trouble from the hands of oppressors is not good enough, If the Yoruba people of Kwara are suffering from hands of oppressors the Yorubas in the West might say they are less concerned all that attitude is not good, now we are facing the music, so I beg you all to be in Unity, though we are not here to fight war, we are here to do Congress and to pay homage to the Royal fathers and to also greet and identify with our people who are our siblings.
“My message is that Okun Development Association which is an association saddles with the responsibility of development of Okunland must been seeing as a formidable entity for all the associations that are in this Okunland, am also advising the executives of the development union to stay clear of Politics.
He said, “Don’t involve in politics because politics do break union, if there is an association within your grup that wants to associate with Politics let them be and for those that want to be fighting for Okuns Interest should continue in such regards, this will further maintain unity and love among you, this will not allow politics to destroy you. I urge you to always come to the extent your network to the western part of the country.
“As Okun traditional rulers are visiting the Ooni of Ife, they should also be going on visit to Alaafin too, I can assure you that they will also be coming to visit you here, this will help in foster the unity among the Yorubas, I’m going to the Ooni’s Palace on Monday for Oduduwa’s Festival I will discuss this matter with our highly referred father’s both the Ooni and Alaafin on how they will find time out of their busy schedules to pay you a visit. Moving closer to each other will give us ample opportunity to know whatever resources we have that we can use in helping one another.
“We also have a lots in common, the same way you people hail your king is the exact same way we do in my hometown in Arigidi Akoko, there is no difference between the Akoko’s and the Okun’s, because we also hail our king Shaki of Arigidi with ‘Otio’ which you also use here.
“The dialect you speak here is not different from the one the people my great grandma who hailed from Ajowa town speaks. So we all have a lots to do, we don’t have to engage in a gun war, we just have to be in unity and continue to live together in peace, love and harmony wherever we find ourselves in the world, we did not leave you alone, we cannot neglect you, Okun people are part of us in the west and I’m impressed with this loud ovation. Iba Gani Adams said.
In his address, the Obaro of Kabba, who also doubles as the Chairman of Okun Area Traditional Council, His Royal Majesty, Oba Solomon Dele Owoniyi, called for establishment of University in Okunland, he noted that it’s only the Okunland among other ethnicities that in Kogi State that up till now don’t have a single University.
He said, have discussed with the Ooni of Ife about the establishment of a University in our land, even if it’s private we are okay with it, I’m pleading to Aare Gani Adams to help us also work on it, help us canvas your people to come and invest in tertiary education here, we have land and we are ready to give it out free of charge for the development and advancement of our land, having university in land will further develop us bother economically and socially.
He however commended the Yoruba unity initiatives of Iba Gani Adams, stressing that if the Yorubas can come together under one umbrella to advance their common interest and welfare of their people it will be a splendid development.
In Iba Gani Adams entourage that paid homage to Obaro in his palace are the members of Odua Progressive Union (OPU) both home and Diaspora, members of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC), the Olokun Festival Ambassadors among others.
Kogi State ALGON Chairman, Hon. Dr. Yinka Taofik, who is also the Executive Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area of the State and his counterpart, Hon. Moses Olorunleke Executive Chairman Kabbabunu Local Government Commended Oba Gani Adams and his entourage for identifying with the Okun’s, he also applaud Governor Yahaya Bello for hosting the Iba Gani Adams and his entourage. They also maintained that the people of Okun’s are descendants of Oduduwa migrated from Ile-Ife.