Below is an explanation published on the official Facebook page of the Alaafin of Oyo on why former OPC leader, Gani Adams was chosen over Bola Tinubu, Ayo Fayose, others to be the 15th Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
‘Alaafin of Oyo said, “Yorubas are blessed with many illustrious sons; who are capable of being saddled with the exalted; but taxing, position of Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. Due to one reason or the other, some are avoiding it”.
Based on his pedigree and influence across all divides in Nigeria; especially in Yorubaland, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was approached, but he declined the sumptuous offer. He forbore, not borne out of fear, but as a result of the attending heavy tasks required of the office, which he may not have the luxury of time to expeditiously perform. He said “Asiwaju Tinubu has been penned down for another title, the Asiwaju of Yorubaland”. This will be done in collaboration with other prominent monarchs in Yorubaland.
Furthermore, he said, “Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is equally capable and eminently qualified, but age is no more on his side. I would have loved him being the Aare Ona Kakanfo. Obasanjo is brave and fearless”. Fayose and some other prominent Yorubas were also mentioned. The Alaafin then assured that: Though, it is the prerogative of the Alaafin to appoint anyone deemed fit for the title, but further consultations will be made. By these assertions of Kabiyesi, it became emphatic and expedient that the two gladiators, Tinubu and Obasanjo, are out of the race.
After all, it is not that there are no other people of high profile besieging the palace of Kabiyesi, jostling for the burdensome title. However, the title of Aare of Ona Kakanfo is not that ceremonial. It means the Generalissimo of Yorubaland in the real sense of it. The Aare Ona Kakanfo heads the Alaafin’s special military force and the entire army of the Yoruba nation. Holding this premium title is arduous, onerous, laborious and demanding. You must think well, before taking such a task. It is no child’s play. Therefore, the Aare Ona Kakanfo is the exclusive preserve of the greatest Yoruba tactician.
Otunba Gani Adam is one of the besiegers who intermittently throng the palace of the Alaafin for the title of Aare Ona Kakanfo. I have seen him in the palace on many occasions. Gani Adams may not be liked by all, but give it to him, he is definitely paying his dues. Without mincing words, Otunba is a force to reckon with in Yorubaland. Take it or leave it, this young man has made indelible imprints. As a human being, he is not perfect. He has his shortcomings, deficiencies and inadequacies. Nevertheless, he is eminently qualified and up to the task. He is educated and well-known. His name is not strange to anyone. Mention him anywhere, he is known. Gani Adam is a household name. His OPC and OPU are the strongest forces the Yoruba nation can parade anywhere. He has close relationship and good rapport with all the southwest governors. He is an icon in his own right.
His Imperial Majesty, the Alaafin of Oyo, after extensive and exhaustive consultations, has revealed his choice. He has picked Otunba Gani Adam as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, The Field Marshal of all sons and daughters of Oduduwa. This is a carefully made choice. The same Alaafin that installed Chief MKO Abiola is the same the Alaafin that has opted for Gani Adam_ a difference of almost thirty years!
In spite of the wide acceptance that greeted the choice of Abiola, it was still contested by the Late Amuda Olorunosebi, the Ashipa of Oyo, in the Oyo State High Court by his legal Counsel, Chief M.L. Lagunju. Everybody cannot accept a decision uniformly. We are not the same. It was the brilliant defence of the legal luminary, Chief Afe Babalola, in the presence of Justice Aderemi of the Oyo State High on behalf of the defendant, The Alaafin of Oyo, that later earned him the prestigious title of the ‘Aare Bamofin of Oyo Kingdom’. The suit was struck out for lack of substance. Alaafin was vindicated in the verdict of Justice Aderemi. Chief MKO Abiola was installed as the 14th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland on Saturday, 14th of January, 1988.