The title, ‘Aare Ona Kakanfo’ can be traced to the 16th and 17th centuries when Alaafin Ajagbo was reigning in Oyo-Ile, which was the then headquarters of the Oyo nation. It is believed to be the
highest war title and is only given to someone considered to be brave and also loyal to the Alaafin and the Yoruba people.
The holder of the title is also the Field Marshall and Commander of the military arm of the Oyo Empire. Only the Alaafin has the ultimate power to bestow such title on a qualified Yoruba son. It is a taboo for the holder of the title to get defeated in war. He has just two options when he is at war, ‘he either wins the battle or dies on the battlefield’.
Notwithstanding, the title has become more or less a ceremonial title as no wars are being fought today.
However, since the 16th century, the Yoruba race has had 14 Aare Ona Kakanfo and has just gotten the 15th announced by the Alaafin Oyo on Sunday, October 15, 2017.
The 14 past holders of the title include:
Kokoro gangan of Iwoye, Oyatope of Iwoye, Oyabi of Ajase, Adeta of Jabata, Okun of Jabata, Afonja of Ilorin, Toyeje of Ogbomoso, Edun of Gbogun, Amepo of Abemo, Kurunmi of Ijaiye, Ojo Aburumaka of Ogbomoso, Latosisa of Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola of Ogbomoso and Moshood Kashimawo Abiola of Abeokuta.
The newly appointed holder of the title is the Oodua People’s Congress leader, Otunba Gani Adams of
Arigidi-Akoko in Akoko North-West, Ondo state.
Surprisingly, criticism has been trailing the announcement of the OPC boss by the Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, as the new Aare Ona Kakanfo on Sunday.
While the monarchs of Yoruba land and some political bigwigs hail the choice of the Alaafin, some Nigerians still think the OPC boss is not fit for the post.
encomium.ng brings you reactions from concerned Yoruba men and women.
Everything we now do in Nigeria must have the interference of politics in it. What is the achievement of the so-called Gani Adams as far as the Yoruba race is concerned? I think there are better people who have truly contributed to the well-being of Yoruba people, he is not fit for the post.
What has happened now is just as a result of popularity. The OPC group has done nothing but cause chaos in recent times. Gani himself has been declared wanted in the past when his men were terrorising people, is that kind of person fit to hold such prestigious position? They are just playing politics.
I don’t think Gani deserves that sea. People that have held that position in the past, we felt their impact. Somebody like MKO Abiola, he was a successful businessman respected by everyone, even beyond the shores of Nigeria. Gani, on the other hand, has not even earned the respect of Yoruba people let alone the world.
To me, I think nowadays, the oracle only recognizes those that have ‘small change’ (rich). Aside from the fact that, he is troublesome, I don’t see anything that he has done in the past that made them install him.
It’s just that the government has been able to curb their excesses. We used to have them (OPC members) on our street and we know how they treat people. They threaten people with charms. I just hope they won’t start doing that again now that their leader has been made Aare Ona Kakanfo.
Gani Adams does not have a clean file, he was always engaged in one trouble after the other. In a nutshell, he was not, to a great extent a peacemaker. I just hope they are not planning to make him an instrument for any hidden agenda. Yoruba leaders can be funny at times.
I just hope he is able to uphold peace. The title is far greater than the man, but no amount of criticism from us can change what has happened.
– Azeezat Kareem