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Aare Gani Adams As I See Him By Adejare Ibrahim.

Aare Gani Adams.
In life, one thing you should always avoid is following the crowd or fighting other people's fight. When you fight, fight wisely. No matter what people say about an individual, always make your findings. I am a journalist. I have met a lot of people in my life; which I may not gleefully come online to discuss. What I always find out about them is that they are completely different from what the public perceive them to be. Many of these personalities possess charming and amazing character_ a sharp departure from the public perception. Part of what a journalist does is investigative journalism. Being an Investigative journalist means being a fact-finding journalist. It is all about being fair in reportage and summoning the rare courage to state it as it is; without fair, favour, pandering to the public emotion or playing to the gallery.

Yesterday, I honoured the invitation of Aare Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo-Designate of Yorubaland, in his Omole Phase II Estate residence in Lagos. It was in the presence of his Chief of Staff, Special Assistant on Strategy and Special Adviser on Media and Publicity. It was an extensive and interesting discourse. It took us more than 2 hours. We discussed array of issues; bordering on Yoruba history, bravery of the Alaafin of Oyo, past Aare Ona Kakanfo and politics in Yorubaland.

As we were discussing, I was paying conscientious attention to every detail about the new Aare Ona Kakanfo. I was scrupulous and meticulous while listening to him. I was looking straight into his eyes. Though, our conversation was in a relaxed mood; however, I never wanted to miss anything in my submission on the personality of Gani Adams. I wanted to make a comparison between what I have heard from the public and whom the man is really is. After all, forming a contrast between reality and hearsay won't be a bad idea. Therefore, I was reckful throughout our discussion.

The Gani Adams I met and spoke with is gentle and amiable. His temperance does not betray his moderation of passion, patience,  calmness and sedateness. He is a good listener. I spoke for more than thirty minutes; without being interrupted. As he was raptly listening to me, he was instructing his SA Media to take note of some of my points. Let me say this: Aare Gani Adams is respectful and level-headed. While his face beamed with contagious smile, he was calm and composed; even when I showed him the Tell publication of September 3, 2001 on his arrest during Obasanjo administration. He calmly explained the issue without any feeling of derision. I felt wowed. Here is a man that does not feel jeered in difficult or frustrating situations. He is self-possessed and full of candour. He is as cool as a cucumber.

Let me be frank. I am not an ethnic chauvinist or bigot. I believe in equality of all men before God. I believe the best before God are those who are the best in character. Also, I believe in the unity of Nigeria as an indivisible entity, and this is not negotiable. However, the choice of Aare Gani Adams is in order and perfect. The Alaafin of Oyo has made a good choice for the Yoruba nation. Aare Gani Adams is the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland. It is the dawn of a new era. This is the making of a new Yoruba nation. We are in for a better time.
Aare Gani Adams & Adejare Ibrahim.
My advice for the Aare is to intensify his efforts in making peace reign across the length and breadth of the nation; especially Yorubaland. Let him bring on board programmes and action plans that will help alleviate poverty among the teeming populace. Our youths must be positively engaged. Gangsterism, hooliganism, drug addiction, armed robbery and other vices must be relentlessly wrestled and fought to a standstill. I see in the new Aare Ona Kakanfo a man that is cleverly and passionately ready to bring all warring factions together in peace and harmony. The long-standing misunderstanding between Ife and Modakeke, Ijaw and Itsekiri etc should be nipped in the eternal bud. Let him harmonise the thoughts of all the sociocultural groups (Afenifere, YCE, OPC, OPU, ARG) in Yorubaland. Yorubas are civilised and intelligent ethnic group. Let him pursue a peace agenda among all these groups.

Aare Gani Adams should vigorously campaign for the rebirth of sound educational policies and modules among the stakeholders. There is an urgent need for a blueprint on sustainable economic development. The Development Agenda For Western Nigeria Commission (DAWN Commission) needs to be rallied round. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in Yorubaland. We have arable and fertile land that are lying fallow. The Aare should work assiduously towards bringing back this lost glory. We must take back our rightful position in the comity of buoyant agro-allied nations of the world. Our cocoa, cassava and yam cultivation must be brought back. Sport is another area we need to develop. This is a potent avenue for youths' development. Aare needs to collaborate with the sport ministries across the southwest geopolitical zone. It should go beyond football. Other sports should be developed. All these laudable programmes cannot be achieved in isolation. The Aare Ona Kakanfo needs to effectively engage all stakeholders: State Governments, Traditional Rulers, Politicians, Captains of Industry, NGOs, Yorubas in the diaspora, youths, markets men and women, artisans and students. Everyone must be brought on board.

The tasks ahead of Aare Gani Adams, the 15th Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland is enormous. By doing these, his name will inadvertently be inscribed in gold in the hearts of all sons and daughters of Yoruba origin. He will endear himself to the hearts of all. His name will be put side by side with great people like Aare MKO Abiola and Aare Samuel Ladoke Akintola.

God bless the Aare Ona Kakanfo. God bless the Alaafin of Oyo. God bless the entire Yorubaland. God bless Nigeria.

This story is published as was written by the author, without editing.

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