I can never dump Gani Adams —Father Lanky •Commends Alaafin over choice •Reminds Ajimobi on promise on Atiba FM

Chief Ayoade Adewuyi (Father Lanky)
Chief Ayoade Adewuyi, popularly called 'Father Lanky', is a community leader in Oyo and renowned politician, right from the days of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo as well as the late Chief Bola Ige.  Papa is also a right hand man of Iku Baba Yeye, the Alaafin of Oyo. In this interview with Heritage Echo crew in his residence in Oyo, he talked about his close relationship with Chief Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land designate. Enjoin the chat.

JUST as you know Sir, we are from Heritage Echo Newspaper. Our mission is to chat with you especially on the preparation for the 47th coronation anniversary of Iku Baba Yeye and the installation of Chief Gani Adams as the 15th Generalismo of Yoruba land. But before then, can we know some little things about you?

Thank you and I warmly welcome you into my residence.

I'm Chief Ayoade Adewuyi, just as you know people also call me Father Lanky in Oyo Alaafin. I want to thank God Almighty for giving us this day.  I was former Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) Youth Leader for Oyo and Osun States in 1979.  I was nominated as a Councillor in Oyo in 1981 to 1983 and I served under the late Chief Bola Ige.  In fact, I was among those who always be infront, using Chief Awolowo's car to shout Awo...UPN in front of his campaign team then.  So that was my relationship with the great leaders then.

Sir, what a re the real reasons for the stability and progress of APC in Oyo State for some time now?

Thank you for  this observation. You see, we have a very reliable, trust-worthy and committed leader piloting the affairs of the government of the day.

Although there are numbers of challenges the government is facing in Oyo State such as paucity of funds; making it difficult to pay salaries as at when due and to execute planned projects; especially payment of tertiary institutions workers. But despite this, the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi is doing a lot of things to achieve success, on road construction, infrastructures in schools, renovating hundreds of schools. You see that is a lot of achievements for the state government.  Perhaps these are some of the reasons why there is all round peace in the state which enables APC to stabilise.

Really, you relate with politicians, sir what advice to you have for those playing politics of bitterness?

It is not my habit; because I move with some opposition members.  I don't have enemies in politics; I can go to any opposition's house, I can eat at their houses.  I don't hate anybody because of the fact that we are not in the same party.

Any opposition can come to my house too, so I believe that politics without bitterness is best for us in Nigeria and this is what I have been preaching all along.

You know Otunba Gani Adams sir. How did you meet him and where?

By the grace of God, I met Otunba Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo designate in Iseyin, precisely about 15 years ago at Holy Land Hotel in the town. Really life was so tough for the young man then because they were witch-hunting him here and there then. They did not allow him to breathe.

They wanted to arrest him. He usually come to me here in Oyo. Also about 14 years ago, God used me to formally introduce him to His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo.  Gani Adams had been urging me to link him with Iku Baba Yeye before then because of my closeness to Alaafin.  So the opportunity came and I led him to Alaafin, precisely on 21st December, 2002. That was how he knew Baba.

In one word sir, do you wholeheartedly support Iku Baba Yeye's choice of Chief Gani Adams as the new Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland designate?

Why not! I wholeheartedly support the choice! I know Chief Adams very well.  He is a very important personality in Nigeria today. Mind you, I'm not exaggerating! He is a notable person. So the choice is a wise one. He is the best person for that position.  I mean, he is the best option. The title is not meant for politicians or just for an ordinary person. You know he is a worrior and will be very useful for Yoruba land and Nigeria as a whole.  So I congratulate Iku Baba Yeye and my friend, Chief Gani Adams on this occasion. Alaafin, as you know made a very good choice as an intelligent person.  So far, nobody has opposed the choice of Gani Adams.

Come rain or shine, I will be there to witness the installation ceremony on January 13, this year.  We have been together for the past 15 years now. Others may have been crossing my path, but Chief Adams is a steadfast person who knows the right from the wrong. I know of some people who are loyal or looking for material gains from him.  Gani Adams knows I'm not looking for material gains from him, but he has been doing a lot of good things for me and I can never dump him.  I have been supporting him all along and I will continue to do so.

Really, I have been supporting with my prayers all along even with everything I have.  Gani Adams has a good vision for Yorubaland.  I know he is very good for that office.  So I cannot back out, I will continue to support him.

What one thing Oyo land lacks and you want government to do for the ancient town sir?

Good.  It has been the wish of Iku Baba Yeye to get New Oyo State with Oyo town as the capital.  This is our dream here for some time now. Alaafin has been doing a lot to achieve this laudable aim for Oyo land and like every other indigene, it's my wish too. We have a number of people and groups working towards this end.  We have the Atunluto and Atunluse Groups led by our amiable Archbishop (Prince) Ayo Ladigbolu and some lieutenants.  They have been trying on this mission.  Also we have New Oyo State Forum (NOSFOM) working on it too and we are praying God will help us on it.  That is our expectation from the Federal Government.

Sir, what is the latest thing on the Atiba FM Radio Station?

Concerning Atiba FM, our dear Governor Abiola Ajimobi promised that the Radio will commence operation by June 2016, but up till now we are still waiting. I just plead with the state government to live up to our expectation on this!


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