The Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has declared his support and that of Lagos State for the emergence of Otunba Gani Adams as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland.
Ambode declared his position on Tuesday when Adams, who is the National Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) and Founder of the Oodua Progressive Union (OPU), paid him a courtesy call.
Ambode said he was delighted when the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, announced Adams as the Aare Ona Kakanfo.
He said: “Let me say that you have our support for your installation and beyond. We will work with you for the unity of Yorubaland and Nigeria in general.”
Speaking earlier, Adams told Ambode he was at the Lagos House to formally introduce himself as the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate and invite him to his installation, which will take place on Saturday at Durbar Stadium in Oyo town, Oyo State.
He alluded to the fact that Governor Ambode since assumption of office has taken the growth of the South West region to heart.
“I want to thank you for your role in the South West integration. I believe that Lagos is South West even though it’s the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, in your own tenure, I have realised that you are more interested in the integration of the South West and we are Yorubas no matter where we come from, thank you so much for that,” Adams said.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo Designate also lauded Governor Ambode, noting that it was in his tenure that Lagos joined the Oodua Investment Group, an initiative tailored towards expanding the economic integration of the South West Region.
“I have realised that in your own tenure, you clearly came out to support Oòduà Investment. So, it’s important for any governor of Lagos State to support the group, because about 50 to 60 percent of Oòduà investment is in Lagos and as the number one citizen and Chief Security Officer, it’s a good direction and God will bless you for that.”
Commending the developmental strides in Lagos, Adams said the governor in the last two and half years had succeeded in giving the state a major facelift, adding that appreciable level of progress has been recorded across the state.
“I am so particular about the Light up Lagos. If I am driving from the Island anytime from 8pm, I always ask my Chief of Staff or driver if we are in Europe or we are still in Nigeria or the same Lagos that we are living before?
“I think that anyone that gives light, gives life, by giving light to Lagos State, you are giving life to Lagos State and the more you keep on lighting up Lagos, God will continue to develop Lagos State,” he said.
He said his visit to Lagos House was also to establish a relationship with the state government going forward.
“Chief Obafemi Awolowo said that there is no permanent enemy or permanent friend in politics. No matter anything that has happened I want to build a relationship with you, personally, with the Lagos State government and with the people of Lagos,” the Aare Ona Kakanfo Designate said.
He also told Ambode that the time had come for all Yoruba sons and daughters to jettison those issues that divided them in the past and unite for the progress of the race.
He said: “Whatever happened in the past, we should put behind us and move ahead as one. Without unity, we cannot progress. We need ourselves moving forward.”
Otunba Adams equally praised Ambode for the developmental projects he had embarked upon since his assumption of office over two years ago.
Among them are the lighting up of Lagos and the befitting statute for late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, which he said is not only historical, but a way of encouraging youths to imbibe the virtues of the former leader of the Western Region.
He also emphasised the need for the promotion of the culture of the South West, saying this was why he championed the Olokun Festival, adding that this will promote tourism and drive the economy of the region.
Adams said Lagos retains its pride of place in the South West and as such must continue to play leadership roles in the several challenges facing the region.
In a related development, the Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi, has acknowledged the passion of the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate, Otunba Adams, in the protection of the interests of all Yoruba people.
Adeyemi, who is from Kogi State, stated this in a congratulatory letter he sent to Otunba Adams.
The letter, which was a response to Adeyemi’s invitation to the installation of Adams on Saturday in Oyo town, Oyo State by the Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, was dated January 8, 2018.
It reads: “I write to acknowledge receipt of your letter inviting me to your installation as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, scheduled to hold on Saturday, January 13, 2018.
“I commend and congratulate you on your laudable achievement in recognition of your passion to protect the interests of all Yoruba people. However, I will be unable to attend as I am out of the country on a ministerial assignment.
“I pray that God will give you unusual wisdom and sound health to serve with excellence in your new position in Jesus name. Amen.”