The two most prominent traditional monarchs in Yoruba land, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi will grace the public presentation of two books to commemorate the installation of Iba Gani Abiodun Adams as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland.
Authored by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos Council, one of the books, entited, “Aare Gani Abiodun Adams: the 15th Aare Onakakanfo’, chronicles the evolvement of the Kakanfo chieftaincy title right from the time of Alaafin Ajagbo (1587 -1624), who invented the title till date.
Speaking at a news conference on the launching of the books slated for January 9 at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, the Chairman of NUJ, Dr. Qasim Akinreti said journalists got involved in the installation anniversary of Aare Gani Abiodun Adams and the anniversary so as to promote cultural renaissance in the country.
According to him, every society has its culture. It is the culture that gives man the ability to think and reflect about himself and his society. It is culture that makes a people unique. It is culture that gives a people their identity.
“The 15th Aare Onakakanfo has, no doubt, had an eventful one year in office. A title does not make its holder. On the contrary, it is the holder that makes the title tick. Aare Gani Abiodun Adams’ first year in office has concentrated chiefly on the promotion of Yoruba culture and tradition as well as protecting Yorubaland from external aggressors,” he said.
Akinreti lamented the infiltration of foreign culture and ignorance, which to a large extent had eroded the rich culture and tradition of the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
“Ignorantly, many of our young folks believe that foreign culture is superior to ours, hence their perception of indigenous culture as barbaric, uncivilized and primitive,” Dr. Akinreti posited.
According to him, Nigeria’s indigenous culture is laid on certain core values for the development of the people and their homeland. “Sadly, ‘civilization’ and technological advancement has encouraged new generation of compatriots to abandon these traits,” he noted.
He explained that the major goal in identifying with the installation anniversary of Aare Gani Abiodun Adams is to ensure that younger and coming generations of Nigerians take pride in their language, culture and tradition.
“This way, they can desist from perceiving foreign culture as superior theirs. This way, we can free our minds from the shackles of cultural slavery,” he said.
On the book, Akinreti says that it mirrors the transformation of Aare Abiodun Adams from a freedom fighter to a cultural icon, adding that the main motivation behind this is simply to tell the story of the humble beginning of a young man from the backwoods of Nigeria who rose to become a notable figure across the world.
As he put it, “Aare Gani Adams has been able to achieve this feat through a dint of hardwork, focus, perseverance and courage.One very vital lesson that can be drawn from this is the need to constantly and consistently celebrate the right kind of heroes in our society.”