By Ajibola Abayomi,
January 3, 2018.
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council has stated why the body considers it apt to launch books in honour of Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yourbaland.
The Union on January 9, 2019 will be launching two books titled Iba Gani Adams: Aare Onakakanfo of Yoruba and Voice of media, voice of people.
Speaking at a press conference held at the secretariat of the union in Alausa-Ikeja on Thursday, the chairman of the Union, Dr Qasim Akinreti said the revered High Chief was an icon to behold.
While delivering his speech, the Lagos NUJ boss said: “We are of the view that one of the most important ways of instilling patriotism and inculcating the belief of the possibilities in our youths is through immortalizing our past heroes and those still living.”
Below is the full text of the speech delivered by Dr Akinreti at the event.
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY DR. QASIM AKINRETI, CHAIRMAN, NIGERIA UNION OF JOURNALISTS (NUJ), LAGOS COUNCIL, AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF AARE GANI ABIODUN IGE ADAMS HELD ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018 ,AT LADI LAWAL PRESS CENTER, IYALLA STREET, ALAUSA, IKEJA.
Gentlemen of the press,
It is with great delight that I welcome you all to this media parley specially organized to intimate you about the role of our great council in the fast approaching one year anniversary in commemoration of the installation of Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams as the 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland.
You will recall that on 13th January 13, 2018, Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, officially installed Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams 15th Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland at the ancient town of Oyo.
The greater significance of that historical installation lies in the fact that the entire pomp, protocol and pageantry were symbolized in the personality of a man who is passionately inclined towards the preservation of Yoruba culture and tradition.
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 Ige Adams’ first year in office has concentrated chiefly on the promotion of Yoruba culture and tradition as well as protecting Yorubaland from external aggressors.
Gentlemen of the press, the involvement of our great union in the installation anniversary of Aare Gani Abiodun Ige Adams is particularly aimed at promoting cultural renaissance in the country.
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.
Regrettably, in our country today, owing largely to the infiltration of foreign culture and ignorance, the rich culture and tradition of the various ethnic nationalities are being eroded. 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.
It is our firm conviction that for our beloved nation to move forward, we must go back to the path of holding our culture in high esteem and with great reverence. For the avoidance of doubt, our 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.
However, the core values remain an unwritten laid down rules and regulations to guide our ways of life and living as it had been from time immemorial.
The core values of our culture mostly include abhorrence of indolence and laziness (everyone is to be usefully and positively engaged), tolerance and hospitality, support for communal living, peaceful co-existence, transparency, accountability, respect for parents, elders and those in authority, care for others, especially the less privileged, respect for parents, elders and those in authorities, strict adherence to unwritten moral code, abhorrence of violence, promotion of dialogue and openness to religious plurality among others.
Ironically, developed nations such as China, Japan, Germany, Portugal, USA and a few others use their culture as veritable tool for developing morality and social justice in the society to attain enviable heights. They respect their language and other cultural values so much so that they can do anything to preserve them.
Therefore, our major goal in identifying with the installation anniversary of Aare Gani Abiodun Ige 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.
Gentlemen of the press, as part of this process of promoting our cultural and traditional values, the union will be unveiling two books in honour of Aare Gani Abiodun Adams. The first one titled: 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.
Expectedly, the book mirrors the transformation of Aare Abiodun Adams from a freedom fighter to a cultural icon. 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. He has been able to achieve this feat through a dint of hard work, 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.
Hannah Arendt, a German-born US philosopher and historian, once said that “the connection between history and nature is by no means an opposition. History receives into its remembrance those mortals who through deeds and words have proved themselves worthy of nature, and their everlasting fame means that they…may remain in the company of the things that last forever”.
We are of the view that one of the most important ways of instilling patriotism and inculcating the belief of the possibilities in our youths is through immortalizing our past heroes and those still living. It is important we regularly cull from the life of such heroes lessons of living effective life at this time when cross-over syndrome has turned many that are hitherto regarded as conscience of the masses into lackeys of clueless and autocratic leaders.
Gentlemen of the press, the second book titled: Voice of the Media, voice of the People, is a compilation of media stories, interviews, editorials and other such vital items as published by various media platforms on Aare Gani Abiodun in the last one year. It offers a unique opportunity for readers to view the 15th Aare Onakakanfo via the media lens.
As captured in the book, the caliber of individuals, institutions and groups that issued out statements, speeches and placed advertisements to celebrate the Aare during his official coronation amply testifies to his widespread acceptability. As it is often said, records don’t lie. This is what forms the bedrock of this publication.
Gentlemen of the press, as previously stated, these two historical publications will be publicly unveiled on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at Sheraton Hotels and Towers by 10:00am.
We solicit your support to give the event a wider coverage and publicity. We believe we can count on you to make the event a most memorable one.
Together, we can rebuild the collapsed wall of our cultural and traditional heritage.
Together, we can trigger a cultural renaissance in our land.