It was glamours and funfair on Sunday 8th May 2022 at the Harbour Point Event Centre, Victoria Island in Lagos as Obas from across Yorubaland, politicians, captains of industries, and media executives gathered together to celebrate the 52nd year birthday of the Generalissimo of Yorubaland, Iba Aare Gani Abiodun Ige Adams.
The Generalissimo who could not hold back his joy thanked everyone who found time to grace his birthday.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank every living soul in this hall for deeming it fit to grace this occasion,” he said.
Aare explained that the birthday was postponed 2 years ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic that broke out across the world in late 2019.
“This birthday could have held 2 years ago in this hall but because of COVID-19 we could not hold the 50th birthday anniversary,” he explained.
“A year later, when I clock 51, the Ogun State has a soft landing of organising the event. We manage to organise the 51st birthday in Ogun State in Ojodu Berger. This year again, two weeks into this programme, we lost a great monarch in Yorubaland, Kabiyesi Iku Babayeye, we decided to shift this birthday. We then called the management of this hall, they said if we shift this programme for one day, we’ll lose every money we have committed in terms of the hall. Apart from the issue of the hall, we have committed more than N10 million to the programme. If not for this commitment, we’ll not hold this birthday today”.
Aare led the guests at the occasions in observing a minutes silence in the honour of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III who joined his ancestors a few weeks ago.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we thank you on behalf of my family and on behalf of the organizations that I have the opportunity to lead. We thank you for coming to this program, especially on Sunday, this is a day for Nigerians to relax after working for 5 or 6 days. We always classify Sundays as rest days”.
“I use this opportunity to thank all the Royal Majesty, especially the Eleko of Eko who is our landlord in Lagos. Alake of Egbaland, and Kabiyesi, Ooni of Ife”.
“I want to thank the Almighty God for giving me an opportunity to be part of human souls that are still existing in life based on what I have passed through at the beginning of my life, especially from the age of 28 to the age of 47th in the struggle of liberating of our people from the shackles of oppression. In the struggle of fighting to attain our democracy after the annulment of June 12, 1993-1999”.
“After attaining civil rule, which I will not call democracy, what I passed through from the civilian government that makes some of the thoughts, maybe because of my strength or my followers, they were not convenient, they were looking for all ways to destroy what God has given to me. And some of the internal enemies and external enemies. And we have to thank God for giving me the opportunity and the seal to champion the cause of promoting our culture and tradition on the basis of cultural evangelism. We have to thank God for giving us the strength to look beyond the shore of Nigeria and move to the diaspora and founded other organizations different from OPC, Olokun Festival Foundation in Nigeria, Gani Adams Foundation, and having another organization in the diaspora called the Odua Progressive Union (OPU) in 98 countries as I speak to you. And at the same time, we have to thank God for giving us the wisdom to found another organization called Yoruba Worldwide, a coalition of about 13 different organizations in diaspora on basis of the socio-cultural organization”.
“It is not easy for a person who is not a multimillionaire to achieve what I have analyzed for you on the basis of achievement. It is not easy for anyone who did not have a political opportunity. Who has never been a local government councilor let alone a chairman of a local government to achieve what I have just analyzed for you in the space of 52 years. Most importantly, I was given the position of the Generalisimo of the Yoruba race at the age of 48 years. In history, the founder of Aare Onakaknfo was founded in 1530 almost 500 years ago. And I am lucky to be one of the 15 people that have attained this position. This is a position that any living Yoruba we not doubt when Alaafin of Oyo gives me this position. This is a position that is not ceremonial, it’s a highly traditional position. The defense of the interest of Yoruba people and champion its cause, the culture and tradition are highly paramount to this position”.
“I want to thank everyone for those who supported me in cash and kind to get to this stage of my life”.
When asked about the promotion of culture and tradition at 52, the Generalissimo said, he said in the 90s, when you talked about culture and traditions, some religion fanatics thought you were promoting an idol, to the glory of God, we have been able to change the face from religion and culture. There is a difference between religion and culture. And we used the platform called Olokun Festival Foundation to promote and protect our identity. And to encourage traditional rulers to promote cultural heritage in their kingdoms. I can tell you today that Yoruba people now know the difference between culture, tradition, and religion. We have the representative of Pa Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God here today because they know that we are not doing anything related to idols in our organizations. And we tried to bridge the gap between culture, tradition, and religion and the Yoruba people have understood that our culture is very essential. Our language, attires, and food are very essential. That was how Asian tigers were able to bring technology, and innovations and bring their economy to the world front. We have to emulate what is happening in Asian countries.”
The Generalissimo also presented N200, 000 each to 4 students from four different universities.
Among those are the event are the representatives of Oyo state Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde; Chief Lekan Alabi, the Ekefa of Olubadan; His Royal Majesty, Oba Waheed Ajibola Sadiku, Erinbakin of Igbetu Ijesha; Oba Dr. Solomon, the Oba Aro of Kabba; Chief Alao Adedayo Agbedegbeyo, Publisher of Alaroye Magazine; the Aare in Council, His Royal Majesty, Oba Oyebanji S. Oloyede; the Omidoba of Idoba Araromi, Kwara State, Oba Shina Alagbado; Oba Adeogun Ogunbona, the Onigbore of the Igboore Kingdom and his Olori; Kabiyesi Olofin of Isheri Kingdom; Oba Joseph Oludele Apero; His Royal Majesty, Olayinka Olawepo, Oloke of Oke-Oye in Kwara State; Arigbamu of Agbamuland, Kabiyesi; His Royal Majesty, Oba Mutiu Bolarinwa Shittu, Alagbole of Agbole; Olojojo of Ojojo Kingdom, Kabiyesi Alakute of Akuteland, Jimi Agbaje, Amb. Wale Ojo-Lanre represents Ekiti State Governor and many others.
Lagos Post Online.
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