By AKINBOBOLA AKINLEHIN
All roads will today – Saturday, 13th January 2018- lead to the ancient Oyo kingdom in Oyo State as the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III instals Otunba Gani Adams as the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. Ahead of this grand ceremony which will hold at the Durbar Stadium in Oyo town, the first-class monarch has in an interview with PUNCH said holding the title of Aare Ona Kakanfo is not a death sentence.
When asked in the interview that previous Aare Ona Kakanfos died mysteriously and some are people are of the belief that there seems to be some bad luck attached to the title, the highly-revered Alaafin said, “God as the creator of human beings has a purpose for every human being. If you are a doctor, lawyer and even journalist; why did you join journalism? There were times in this country that journalists were thrown into prison and they died in the prison, but you are a journalist and you are moulding the opinions of people; doing your job. So also it is in different spheres.
“I was young when I was appointed as the Alaafin of Oyo and many people were sceptical whether I would be able to hold the office. But today, I have become an icon in the area of tradition. The essence of power must therefore be referenced to eternal truth; death is inevitable. An adage in Yoruba says a man who says he doesn’t want to die is not fit to ascend the throne of his forefathers. Death is the one that must end the other inventions of the Almighty.
“The greatest inventions made by the Almighty God are birth and death. Without death, there is no life and without life we would not have known anything called death. The divinity of the Alaafin is shrouded in the mystery of life and death. The Iku Baba Yeye means the Alaafin is death and cannot therefore live in the fear of death. Nothing frustrates human’s progress and good life than the fear of death.
“If you fear death, you would not go to Ibadan and you would not travel to your office, because of the fear that you might die on the way, then you would sit down in the house. If a house collapses, there are people who would survive it. So, it is not what they say. When you are going to war, you have two prognoses; you either go to war and be killed on behalf of your people or you come back alive. In war, the person you are lying next to in the trenches could be hit suddenly by a bullet. It is destined that the person would die that way. So, there is no fear.
“An adage says, a true warrior does not abscond in times of war. And two things await a guard; that he fights and wins or he fights and dies at the war front. A true guard does not die of gunshot injury on his back, rather, it’s better in front. We are sending this young man to go the ways of our forefathers to unite the Yoruba race. He must do it, he must digest it and follow it, and that is what the Yoruba want him to do. He has risen from the OPC to a larger calling in the Yoruba race in Nigeria and in Diaspora.”