Aare Ona Kakanfo is one of the most prestigious traditional titles a man can bag in his lifetime. Only a warrior with a die-hard spirit can have the privilege of having such a title.
Here are things to know about the title.
* The Kakanfo is meant to be the head of the Eso’s (the Alaafin’s special military force) and the head of the Yoruba army. Meanwhile, the title in those days was reserved for the greatest Yoruba tactician.
*The title of Aare Ona Kakanfo is an Oyo title, and the Alaafin has the right to choose the best candidate.
*By virtue of his office as the commander of the Alaafin army and that of the entire Yoruba nation, Kakanfo of old was required to go to war at least once in three years on the orders of the Alaafin and he must return dead or alive within three months. In other words, he is to return a victor or be brought home dead.
*During the days of Oyo Empire, Oyo indigenes or residents were never made Kakanfos because the Aare was not to give way to anyone, not even the Alaafin if the need ever arose.
*Modern day Aare Ona Kakanfo is ceremonial, it has now become one of the titles (if not the main title) in Yoruba land and Nigeria general.
*The title of Aare on a Kakanfo was generally a title given to the Generalissimo, the war general during the Oyo Empire.
* The Aare Ona Kakanfo led battles, fought wars, mobilised and trained “soldiers” and conquered the enemies, amongst other responsibility.
*The first Aare Ona Kakanfo was Kokorogangan from (Iwoye Ketu). Others are Oyatope of Iwoye, Oyabi of Ajase, Adeta of Janata, Oku of Jabata, Afonja of Ilorin, Toyeye of Ogbomoso, Edun of Gbogun, Amepo of Abemo, Kurunmi of Ijaye, Ojo Aburumaku Ogbomoso and MKO Abiola of Abeokuta.
*MKO Abiola was the last holder of Aare Ona Kakanfo title.
*The demise of Abiola in 1998, the position of the Aare Ona Kakanfo (Generalissimo), head of Yoruba warriors had been vacant until Sunday, October 15, 2017.
*Gani Adam’s received the monarch during his 79th birthday celebration.
*He was the National coordinator of the Odua People’s Congress.
*He was declared by the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Sunday October 15, 2017, as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land.
- Shukurat Alimi for encomium