Traditional rulers and chiefs, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, prominent Nigerians, ethnic and civil society groups, on Wednesday gathered in Lagos to celebrate the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, who turned 49 years old, pouring encomiums on him for his many struggles in the development of the country in area of cultural renaissance, among others.
The celebration, which took place in Ikeja area of the state, saw Iba Adams receiving the award of life patron of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club and several other awards for his numerous contributions to nation- building.
Nigerian Tribune reported that the Alaafin was represented by High Chief Ayoade Adewuyi, the Jagun of Oyo, while the Oba Akiolu was represented by Alhaji Tajudeen Balogun and High Chief Ibikunle Adio.
Other traditional rulers in attendance include: The Zaki of Arigidi, Oba Yisa Olanipekun; Oba Francis Olafarakanmi, Oba Waliu Sanni; the Olowa of Igbara Oke, Oba Francis Agbede; the Iyaloja of Oyo Kingdom, Chief Adepeju Bakare; representatives of Osun governor, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, while other prominent people who graced the occasion are: Prof. Derin Ologbenla, Prof. Tunde Babawale, Prof. Raheem Kolawole, Dr. Waheed Oladunni Oki, Dr. Joe Okei- Odumakin, among others.
The Olowa of Igbara Oke, Oba Francis Agbede, in his speech, commended the Aare for taking giant strides in protecting the cultural and traditional values of Yorubaland, saying the Aare deserved regard having done a lot to promote the unity of the Yoruba race and Nigeria in general.
Also speaking, the Zaki of Arigidi Kingdom, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, urged southwest governors to collaboration with the Aare in tackling the challenges facing the zone, cautioning that South- West leaders should not take the position of Aare for granted.
“It is wrong for the South- West governors not to be relating with the Aare Ona Kakanfo on the progress of the Yoruba race. South- West leaders should not take for granted the position of Aare Ona Kakanfo. Our six southwest governors should sit with Aare in moving Yoruba nation forward,” the monarch urged.
President Women Arise, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, described the Aare Ona Kakanfo, Iba Adams as committed, dogged, and indefatigable supporter of culture as well as a peace ambassador.
“Iba Gani Adams is committed, dogged, and indefatigable supporter of culture. He is a man I can go to the battle by closing my eyes. He is a peace ambassador. He is for peace; he is firm and a man of his words
“Today, as he marks the 49th birthday, he remains a great life wire for the survival of the Yoruba race. He is one of the greatest gifts to humanity. He is a very reliable and progressive activist,” she said.
Iba Adams, in his remark, recalled that Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) had been celebrating him since his hay days for his contributions to the Yoruba nation, saying the celebration started about 18years ago, even as he described the day’s gathering as epoch-making, “a day of merrymaking, and a day of meeting some of my friend and a day of celebration.”