SPEECH BY OTUNBA (DR.) GANI ADAMS AT HIS INSTALLATION AS THE 15TH AARE ONA KAKANFO OF YORUBALAND BY THE ALAAFIN OF OYO, IKU BABA YEYE, HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, OBA LAMIDI OLAYIWOLA ADEYEMI III.
Date: Saturday January 13, 2018
Venue: Durbar Stadium, Oyo
Mo juba awon Aare Ona Kakanfo to siwaju mi:
1. Kokoro Gangan of Iwoye
2. Oyapote of Iwoye
3. Oyabi of Ajase
4. Adeta of Jabata
5. Oku of Jabata
6. Afonja of Ilorin
7. Toyeje of Ogbomoso
8. Edun of Gbogun
9. Amepo of Abemo
10. Kurumi of Ijaiye
11. Ojo Aburumaku of Ogbomoso (son of Toyeje of Ogbomosho)
12. Latoosa of Ibadan
13. Ladoke Akintola of Ogbomoso
14. M.K.O. Abiola of Abeokuta
There cannot be a more humbling occasion for me as the one we are in today.
Against the backdrop of the size of the office the Iku Baba Yeye, His Imperial Majesty, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, has bestowed on me and the larger than life image of my predecessors, my installation as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo is a challenge that has made all past challenges seem like a child’s play.
Though I am just stepping into the office, past occupants of the seat, especially the 13th and 14th occupants – Aare Samuel Ladoke Akintola and Aare Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola – brought so much power and glamour to the office that it is obvious I have a lot of work to do. As astute businessmen and politicians of note, they raised the profile of the office.
There is no doubt from the reactions that followed my pronouncement by the Alaafin of Oyo as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo that the power and prestige of the office has not waned since it was created centuries ago by Alaafin Ajagbo.
In fact, the epoch-making event of today is symbolic as 2018 marks the 558th anniversary of the installation of the first Aare Ona Kakanfo – Kokoro Gangan of Iwoye.
It is of interest to note that the military, political, traditional and cultural symbolism of the title to the Yoruba Empire, about 600 years ago, is still of strategic importance in the 21st Century.
This attribute reveals the uniqueness of the Yoruba race and shows that so much is still expected of the occupant of the post, despite the fact that physical and armed wars are no longer the order of the day.
In fact, despite the fact that I am an holder of 52 traditional titles, none has drawn as much comments and commendation by way of letters and visits.
The import of the Office still stands: protection of the interests of Yoruba race, both within the country and everywhere else people of the race exist.
While it is estimated that there are 60 million Yoruba within Nigeria and about 200 million others scattered all over the world, as a starting point, the preservation of the culture of the race will occupy my attention.
Pitiably, as a race, we are gradually losing our culture. In fact, from my travels around the world, it has become obvious that people of other races are taking more interest in our culture than we the owners of the culture, with Americans, Europeans and Asians now earning Degrees in the study of our culture, beliefs and what they have come to term Doctrine. We need to preserve our culture to fully realize the potential of the Yoruba.
Though with an activist background, it is now clear that I have to do more as a bridge builder with this new responsibility.
In as much as the focus of my struggle has changed over the years from the heady days of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) to the spread of our culture through the formation of the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU), which is now in 79 countries, the Olokun Festival Foundation, Gani Adams Foundation and many others, this new responsibility, despite my age, has unwittingly forced the stature of a statesman on me.
I promise to live up to that calling.
In this regard, I will work with our traditional rulers, grassroots leaders and have good rapport with all stakeholders, no matter the differences of the past, for the unity, progress and advancement of Yorubaland and Nigeria.
The office of the Aare Ona Kakanfo will project the Yoruba culture and tradition by promoting and sustaining our identity globally.
The office will equally ensure unity of all Yoruba sons and daughters all over the world.
Also of strategic importance to me is research and documentary to sustain the ideals of our founding fathers.
To ensure the continuation of the leadership role the Yoruba is known for educationally, I will give scholarships to our sons and daughters because education is light and power.
Also, I will collaborate with security agencies and stakeholders to ensure that Yorubaland is effectively secured through our various organizations.
I want to assure this August gathering that given the fact that the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), which I am also the Convener, is now established in 79 countries, I will use this Union and other pan-Yoruba groups abroad to invite our sons and daughters with exceptional abilities, who have distinguished themselves in various fields, to come home and help in our quest to ensuring that our country takes its rightful place in the comity of nations.
At this juncture, let me express my profound gratitude to all our revered traditional rulers who have been working tirelessly to unite our race. It is a long list that it will not be possible to mention all.
But let me use the following to pay tribute to our traditional rulers: the Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III who has deemed it fit to honour me with this prestigious title, the Ooni of Ife, Oonirisa Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II; Chairmen of Council of Obas and Chiefs and all traditional rulers in Yorubaland, and not forgetting my root, the Zaki of Arigidi-Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, and all traditional rulers in Akokoland; all the Obas who bestowed me with 52 titles, which invariably laid the foundation for my emergence as the Aare Ona Kakanfo.
CALL FOR UNITY
The journey has started from here. And my first appeal goes to Yoruba sons and daughters who are outside the shores of the country not to forget that there is no place like home. This was what informed the formation of the Oodua Progressives Union (OPU), Gani Adams Foundation and Olokun Festival Foundation. Please, see Yorubaland as the place to be. Don’t give the race a bad name. Come home to invest.
As the 15th Aare Ona Kakanafo, I consider myself lucky that there is no war at hand confronting the Yoruba race now. In other words, we are living in peace time. However, I am not pleased with the level of Yoruba unity today and I am very concerned. Therefore, my greatest priority is the unity of the Yoruba race at home and in the Diaspora.
I will, therefore, spare no effort in ensuring the unity of Yoruba race within the contemporary Nigeria body polity.
To take the journey further, I will, after this installation, launch the Aare Ona Kakanfo Foundation. This will further promote the culture of the people and document the history of the Aare Ona Kakanfo title.
Since we are now in the era of Information Technology, we will be unveiling historical documents obtained from the Iku Baba Yeye on the Aare Ona Kakanfo title to a website.
2018 makes it the 30th year that the last holder of the title, Aare M.K.O. Abiola, stood before you for his installation. He died on July 7, 1998 and the post was vacant for almost 20 years.
Same happened when the 13th holder of the title, Aare S.L. Akintola, died on January 15, 1966. It took more than 22 years before his successor took over. Why? There is the myth that holders of the title will always die a violent death. But, this is not so because many holders of the title lived to be more than 100 years.
So, apart from setting aside the myth and projecting the image of the office, documenting the Aare Ona Kakanfo title will also let people know that a child born of humble beginning like me can make it.
From the extreme North of Yorubaland, Arigidi-Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government the rural area of Ondo State, here I am emerging as the Aare Ona Kakanfo.
My second appeal as the Aare Ona Kakanfo goes to the Federal Government to attend to some of the major roads in Yorubaland that are critical to its citizens. These include Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo-Ilorin, Lagos-Badagry, Sagamu-Benin, Badagry-Lusada-Sokoto, Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo, Osogbo-Ilesa, Ilesa-Akure-Owo-Lokoja and Lagos-Abeokuta.
It will also be a major plus if the government, as promised by President Muhammadu Buhari in his January 1, 2018 speech, attends to rail transportation as fast as possible.
The issue of power is also critical. This will empower artisans more.
Security is equally important. All these would aid the development of the tourism potential of the country.
Several countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Britain, Turkey, Singapore, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Israel have diversified their economy to tourism.
I want to assure you that I will work with various stakeholders to turn our land into a viable tourist destination.
To our esteemed Governors in the South-West, I call for cooperation, no matter the party line. The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission should be empowered. And I want you all to see me as a partner in progress.
I offer myself for service once it is for the advancement of the Yoruba race. The various groups in the South-West should also resolve their crises.
I will also persuade seven of our elders, who are not partisan, to work with me in uniting all Yoruba and resolve differences wherever they may arise.
In closing, let me express my profound appreciation to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, for their support.
I want to thank our host Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, for his immense contribution towards the success of today’s event.
I also thank other governors for their support and contributions, financially and morally.
Let me thank all those who contributed to the success of this installation ceremony, especially members of the Planning Committee, the media and many others too numerous to mention.
I also want to thank my wife, Erelu Mojisola. She is a Pillar of Support and a Role Model for Women.
I want to assure all that as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo, I will use my position, God willing, to protect the interest of our land and our dear country Nigeria.
Mo ki gbogbo yin o
A dele bare o
Igba mi a tu ile Yoruba lara lágbara Olodumare, Amin.
Aare Ona Kakanfo Gani Adams
January 13, 2018.
Emir of Kano, Sanusi betrays emotion, narrates how sick child died in mother’s arms over $5
The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Thursday betrayed his emotions as he expressed displeasure over the alarming rate of inequalities in the country.
Sanusi, who shed tears noted that the inequalities in society have caused so much hardship with the poor paying the ultimate sacrifice.
The custodian of culture made the submission as he gave an emotional address at a United Nations (UN) meeting to reach Sustainable Development Goals in Lagos.
The traditional ruler narrated an unfortunate situation where a mother could not save her sick child, despite being close to getting help.
Sanusi stressed at the event that on that fateful day, the woman had walked to the palace from a children’s hospital located just about 200 metres.
According to him, he heard a very loud scream and asked someone to check what happened while the person who came back with tears in his eyes.
The emir said the baby died in the mother’s arms while she was waiting for her turn to ask for money to buy the drug to save her child.
“And how much was this? It was less than five dollars,” an emotional Sanusi answered.
“This is what happens every day in this country. Children die because their parents cannot afford five dollars, that a mother will watch her child die because she does not have five dollars”, the Emir added.
Bold vision promises new dawn for Nigeria’s ailing petrochemical industry
Estimated to hold 37 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Nigeria is the second biggest oil-rich country in Africa, after Libya. The exploitation of these resources has been in the hands of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that was established in 1977 as a merger of the Nigerian National Oil Corporation and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel. NNPC by law manages the joint venture between the Nigerian Government and international oil companies such as Shell, Agip, ExxonMobil, Total and Chevron.
Despite its rich resources, at present Nigeria’s state-dominated oil industry is declining, afflicted by systemic corruption, starved for international investment, and hit hard by weak oil prices. Despite that malaise, oil remains the country’s chief source of income.
A choice of paths
What many considered a watershed moment for the industry occurred earlier this year in the country’s election with two conflicting strategies for the development of the industry put forward by the two candidates.
The incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari’s planned to retain a nationalized oil industry under the NNPC banner while the vision of his opponent, Atiku Abubakar, was to sell off aging refineries to private buyers to liberalise the economy. In the end Buhari won a tight contest.
The importance of the oil and gas sector for the state cannot be underestimated with more than half of its revenue along with 85 per cent of its export revenue coming from the sector. Despite the 40 billion barrels of oil under its control, Nigeria’s ageing infrastructure can only produce around 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day.
Adding to this malady is the state of its mid-stream and downstream infrastructure that many believe is in even worse condition than its upstream assets. The refineries dotted around the Niger Delta region are at present producing less than half of the 500,000 barrel per day capacity, with this figure dropping to almost ten per cent late last year.
New beginnings for NNPC
The man charged with implementing the president’s policy is Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, who took on the role of group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) early this year. He quickly vowed to reverse the trend of petroleum imports into Nigeria by improving the existing refineries and encouraging private sector investment in the refineries.
“We must end the trend of fuel importation as an oil producing country,” he said at a press conference shortly after taking on the role. “We will deliver on the rehabilitation of the four refineries within the life of this administration and support the private sector to build refineries. We will support the Dangote refinery to come on stream on schedule and we will transform Nigeria into a net exporter of petroleum products by 2023”.
He added that the government’s target of raising crude oil production and reserves to three million barrels per day and 40 billion barrels respectively was possible and that he would galvanise the corporation to achieve it by 2023.
When it comes to rooting out the corruption that has plagued the industry in Nigeria he pointed out how much NNPC had changed over the past three years from the old image of a corruption-laden organisation, stressing that he would continue to entrench the culture of accountability in the affairs of the corporation.
“We are going to work to remove every element of discretion from our processes, because discretion is one of the greatest enablers of corruption”, he said. “NNPC will not be opaque, we’ll be transparent to all so that at the end of the day everyone will be in a position to assess us and say what we have done right or wrong”.
Support from OPEC
The Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, has commended the NNPC for its ongoing reforms aimed at changing the fortunes of the corporation for the better.
“I am glad that you continue to march on with your projects despite the downturn in the Industry, he said. “We have seen the Industry globally suffer in terms of contraction in investment which affected capacity. You have not only been able to stay on course, but you also continue with these projects which are critical for the development of the corporation and the industry in Nigeria.”
“To lead such a sensitive and capital-intensive industry like oil and gas, you must have transparency and accountability as one of your core principles in order to drive change. I am glad I have known Mele Kyari for a very long time. He is a very capable and straightforward individual with a high level of integrity even as a very junior officer. So, he has a track record. I remain confident that together with his team, and with the support of government, he will accomplish the task”.
Building a Nigerian giant
Key to this strategy of reducing imports is the Dangote refinery that is under construction near Lagos. The 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project will be Africa’s biggest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility upon completion in 2020. The facility will be able to process a variety of light and medium grades of crude to produce Euro-V quality clean fuels including gasoline and diesel as well as jet fuel and polypropylene.
Nigeria in focus at Africa Oil Week
Relations between South Africa and Nigeria have been strained in recent months after several days of riots in South Africa in September that mainly targeted foreign-owned, including Nigerian, businesses.
But following a visit to South Africa by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari tensions have eased. A further sign of the improving relationship is the visit of Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, to Africa Oil Week (Africa-OilWeek.com), the minister proclaiming himself being excited to be travelling to South Africa.
As the largest upstream event on the continent, Africa Oil Week has enjoyed attendance from the industry’s highest-level decision makers for over 25 years. This year is no different, with Nigeria’s brand new NPCC GMD making his international debut at the 2019 conference in Cape Town this November (4-8).
Mallam Melee Kyari will be setting out the future vision of the NNPC under his leadership and participating in a session titled ‘Atlantic Transform Margin (Liberia to Nigeria)’, where he will provide a deep insight into the current operating landscape in some of the most highly sought-after regions.
Nigeria: Restructuring is the only way forward, Clark declares
Nigerian nationalist, Edwin Clark, has reiterated that restructuring is the only way forward if there will be development in Nigeria.
The elder statesman emphasized that restructuring the country will help address its challenges.
Reacting to the Independence Day speech by President Muhammadu Buhari, Clark said, “Without restructuring, no meaningful progress will be achieved in this country”.
He faulted the President’s address to the nation, maintaining that there was nothing in the speech that he had not said before.
He noted that while it was worth commending that Nigerians have continued to live together in the last 59 years, a lot of issues needed to be addressed.
Top among the issues highlighted by Clark are restructuring for a better nation and the security of the lives and properties of citizens.
Contrary to the government’s position on the war against Boko Haram insurgency, he insisted that the insurgents have not been decimated.
According to him, there are security problems in the northern and southern parts of the country, including the activities of armed herdsmen.
“Not a single herdsman has been captured. They are moving around everywhere – both in the North and South and with the problem of insecurity in the North-West, things are not okay,” he said.
The elder statesman added, “We must put politics aside, as for the security of this country; the Federal Government cannot do it alone.
“That is why many of us are suggesting that we should have a security round-table talk. The problem in Nigeria today is not in the North alone, it’s a national problem which requires everybody to talk about it.”
He further called on the government to tackle poverty and unemployment, as well as reduce the number of out of school children in the country.
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