Chief Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate of Yorubaland, on Saturday dismissed superstitious belief that taking the title might lead to his early death.
Adams, the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), told newsmen in Lagos that not all those who held the position in the past had died young as is being speculated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adams will become the 15th Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yorubaland when installed.
“Let me say that death belongs to God. Only God can decide and determine when anyone can die and until God decides, I will not die young as the defender of my people.
“Aare title is highly spiritual and I have handed over my destiny and tenure to God.
“The position in the past meant that you have to continually fight wars to protect your people, and may be killed in the process. But that was before Nigeria became a sovereign nation.
“The job in the modern era is limited in terms of physical defence because there are security apparatus to settle disputes.
“However, it has become a position to unify the Yoruba race, defend their interest and believe in their cause,” Adams said.
The 47-year-old leader of the OPC also put to rest speculations that he would dump the group following his new status, saying he would continue to oversee its activities.
“The OPC is my sweat. I will delegate some powers to some members to continue to run it while I oversee it.
“The OPC gave birth to the Oodua Progressive Union, which I have established in 78 countries to cater for the interest of Yoruba people in the Diaspora.
“I will continue to have a stake not only in the OPC, but in all groups in Yorubaland.
“I intend to use my position to unify and strengthen all factionalised pressure and cultural groups in Yorubaland,” he said.
Adams added that in spite of his elevation to a higher office, he would continue to render selfless service to all Nigerians based on fairness and justice.
The Aare Ona Kakanfo-designate said that the title was not too big a shoe for him to fit into.
“I have managed millions of people in Yorubaland.
“I began to fight for my people at a tender age of 29 years since 1999.
“I have never been in government. I have always fought for the Yorubas.
“I know the terrain of all Yoruba people and their culture. I only ask God for wisdom to unify my people more, and see that there is unity, justice and fairness for and among my people.
“This title is a reward from my people on the basis of honour and not salary,” he added.
On the issue of the true federalism, the OPC coordinator said that the difference between true federalism and restructuring was semantics.
“I totally support either restructuring or true federalism because it would ensure equity and fairness for all Nigerians.
“We will continue to agitate for a more prosperous Nigeria,” he added.