William Shakespeare was correct when he said: “ There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”
These words define the story of Aare Gani Adams, who has positively altered the history of the Yoruba race.
A few moments after the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, told the world that he had chosen Otunba Gani Adams as the Aare Onakakanfo-designate of Yorubaland, the news spread across the nation and beyond like a wind, bearing in its wake, great waves of surprises, criticisms, and applause.
And up till today, reactions continue to pour in torrents.
Those reactions, mostly positive, had sent a strong signal to all and sundry about the personality of Gani Adams.
It never came as a surprise to those of us that saw the writing on the wall.
It is the result of the calculated effort of a young man who saw the need to unite the Yoruba race and project its image positively to the world.
Gani Adams: Changing The Tide Of Yoruba History- By Kehinde Aderemi
For more than two decades, Gani Adams, through the Olokun Festival Foundation, an outfit he established several years ago, has been promoting Yoruba culture, tradition, and festivals across the states.
For years, he has built a strong relationship with everybody that matters in Yoruba land, and that reputation garnered him a lot of respect and applause, even among the elites who see him as a very courageous man.
Many of the most respected voices in Yoruba land and Nigeria as a whole have also applauded his appointment, congratulating the Alaafin for choosing Adams, who has a history of protecting and promoting the interest of the Yoruba race wherever he finds himself.
Though some “doubting Thomases’ raised issues about his age, wealth, experience, and the myth surrounding the position of the Aare Onakakanfo.
Gani Adams, who is qualified for this position, while reacting to all the issues raised over his appointment, was quick to say that death is a product of God, adding that the myth surrounding the position of an Aare Onakakanfo is in the minds of the people and the power of life and death is also in the hands of God.
Who dares question God over His supremacy over all creatures of the world? Gani Adams, has, indeed, changed the course of history in recent times.
Let me begin with his age. Gani Adams is 47, but he is blessed with the rare wisdom of elderly people, that is even beyond his age. Two years ago, I had a personal experience with him that proved this.
But it is a story for another day. Besides, a prominent Yoruba adage says” Ti omode ba mo owo we, yoo b’agba jeun” meaning, a young chap who is well-behaved will relate successfully with the elders.
Over the years, Gani Adams had extended his hands of fellowship to all the elders in the land and beyond and they all appreciate his humility.
Today in Nigeria, nobody has a more robust personal relationship with all the Obas in Yorubaland than Aare Gani Adams.
Since his appointment as the Aare Onakakanfo-designate, he has been visiting the Yoruba Obas across the nation, seeking their blessings and assuring them that he is up to the task.
Therefore, the issue of age is never a factor, especially, when it has to do with doing the right thing at the right time.
Issues were raised also about his wealth. People compared Aare Adams with his predecessor, the late MKO Abiola, who was a business mogul and philanthropist.
These are two different personalities. Adams, like the late Abiola, is a man of the people.
He is not a poor man and he is wealthy in all senses. The young man has great influence across Nigeria and beyond, and his role as a freedom fighter and promoter of Yoruba culture and heritage created a platform for his affluence.
For over two decades, he has consistently sponsored various major festivals and events across Yorubaland and Nigeria.
As far as I am concerned, wealth is a creation of man and it doesn’t matter the amount of money you have in the various banks of the world, what is important is how you are able to touch the lives of others positively in life.
Whoever gets to meet with him would have a good story to tell about how he has been a strong sponsor and supporter of good ideas and that, to me, is an indication of a great man.
Besides, the Yorubas are a very wise race. For instance, Chief Obafemi Awolowo became the pathfinder of the Yoruba race at a very young age.
And until his death in 1987, and up till today, the late Chief Awolowo’s name and ideas still remain sacrosanct in Nigeria.
The role of a generalissimo is never for the cowardly. For over two decades, Adams has been fighting for the cause of the Yoruba nation.
With his new appointment, the ‘war’ to unite the Yoruba race has just begun and surely, he will succeed.
But the question is: What is he bringing to the table as the new Aare Onakakanfo? Aare Gani Adams is bringing sanity to the revered stool. He is bringing sanctity, global respect, and courage.
At a recent ‘’Thank You’’ visit to the revered monarch, the Alaafin of Oyo described Aare Adams as a symbol of Yoruba unity.
He explained that the job of a generalissimo is to protect the interest of the Yoruba race.
Let us emphasize that before Alaafin can consider anyone for a position in Oyo, such a person must have all that it takes to qualify for the position.
Oyo’s titles are sacred, they are not given on a platter. Those titles have to be earned. And Gani Adams truly earned it.
BY IYABO AINA
Publisher News Rain Nigeria