‘The OPC Dependable’: Iba Gani Adams and burden of history 

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‘The OPC Dependable’: Aare Gani Adams and burden of history

Femi OGUNLANA

News tore through the air wave last week that the national coordinator of Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Chief Gani Adams, was launching a new security team for the defence of Yorubaland. The inauguration, being done on state basis, had that of Oyo state seen to on Tuesday, October 4, while that of Osun was held on Thursday, October 6. Lagos and Ogun states had theirs accomplished earlier on. And the plan is to launch the militia group, which a department within the OPC, in all Yoruba states including Kwara and Kogi.

According to Gani Adams, who is also the Aare Ona Kakanfo (Generalissimo or Commander-in Chief) of Yorubaland, the militia group has become inevitable in the face of existential threat to Yoruba territory of Nigeria.

Speaking at the unveiling of “The Depndables” at the Dayland Event Centre, Barracks, ljokodo, Ibadan, attended by over 20,000 members of OPC in the state, Aare Adams said, “The OPC Dependable Security Team is a child of necessity that was borne out of our desire to secure the south west region against intruders.

“The OPC Dependable Security Team is a combination of about 200 members each from each of the 68 local governments and LCDAs in Oyo state and it is just to show the strength of our dependable forces in the state.”

As he highlighted, the reservists, who will supplement the regular security agencies in combating the terrorists, bandits and jihadists believably pouring into the region to set their evil agenda as witnessed in most of the northern and middle belt parts of the country, are composed of 200 men in each of the local governments of the state making a total of 6, 600 in Oyo state.

Sources close to the leadership of OPC reveal to Ogbomoso Insight that the new force, drafted from the regular OPC, will act like a rapid response force in case of emergencies such as attacks or kidnap cases now becoming rampant.

“If there is any form of onslaught The Dependables will be the first to be drafted to meet the threat, they will be a swift counterforce,” the sources informed.

Iba Gani Adams is certainly being propelled by the burden of his office, which primary duty is preservation of Yorubaland against subjugation or turning it into a killing field. As the generalissimo, he is quite aware that the onus is on him to hoist the blanket of protection for the survival of the region and he is not resting on his oars. He bears the burden with all seriousness.

Wikipedia defines survival, or the act of surviving, as “the propensity of something to continue existing, particularly when this is done despite conditions that might kill or destroy it.”

It adds “The word, ‘survival’, derives from the Late Latin supervivere, literally meaning ‘to outlive’. Most commonly, ‘the term ‘survival’ means physical survival — that is, a struggle to avoid physical extermination’. For example, Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection incorporates the concept of the survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence. Darwin defines the biological concept of fitness as reproductive success, so in Darwinian terms the phrase is best understood as survival of the form that will leave the most copies of itself in successive generations.”

The survival of Yoruba people in their land in the face of marauding armed men who appear to have state backing in view of the half-hearted campaign of suppression against them is thus a task for the generalissimo, a former carpenter, who rose by conviction to the zenith of organizing the defence against extermination or subjugation of his people.

The invaders look so much as if reenacting the aborted 19th century jihad launched by their forefathers aimed at suppressing the whole of Yorubaland and patterning it after their image – in terms of kind of religion, worldview, culture, tradition and assuming its monarchy to be styled emir. With a President seemingly in sympathy with this ignoble inordinate ambition, the descendants of the old jihadists must have believed in its possibility now and so their ramping up of efforts for its realization or at least something close to it – disgusting scenarios such as farmers paying taxes to bandits before they farm their lands as being reported in parts of the north.

Aare Adams has for the umpteenth time cried that Yorubaland has been infiltrated by these implacable marauders; he has always claimed intelligence reports as source of his outcry.

And like a true generalissimo he is working round the clock to avert crisis by putting in place measures to combat the menace.

He says at the inauguration of ‘The Dependables’ in Ibadan, “We are using this to send strong message to the terrorists masquerading as kidnappers and killers and across the southwest region. We will resist any attempt to turn Yoruba land into hub of terrorism. The south west is no longer a home for terrorists.”

He made reference to the interception by ‘The Dependables’ in Ikorodu, Lagos state, of two buses loaded with large cache of live cartridges heading to the North.

So, he enthuses, “We are beginning to see the results with the Ikorodu experience. However, it is my belief that the new security arrangements will usher in a moment of peace in the South west. OPC will not relent in its efforts to rid the region of terrorists and their allies.”

Adams must have realized that securing the region is beyond government security forces alone, hence his relentless effort. And interestingly, he is wise and strategic about it. He had bitter and fierce brushes with security agencies in the past, that’s in the infant stage of OPC in the 1990s, which led him to being declared wanted and eventual arrest and imprisonment. He has learnt his lessons.

Were it to be in the 1990s, those behind the mentioned Ikorodu malfeasance would have been received (extrajudicial) judgment passed by the militia group but not now, he rather ordered the culprits be handed over to security agencies for proper investigation.

He has infused the organization with diplomacy and submissiveness to the authorities. He makes strenuous efforts to balance his task of warding off threats to Yoruba nation and aligning with conventional rules. He has succeeded so far with this orientation. Overzealousness and exuberant posture will only provoke regret and catastrophe, he seems to have realized. A kakanfo in the day of yore was ruthless and reckless, he was law unto himself but the present age brooks no such untamed warlord, the days are of different nature.               

The office of Kakanfo was instituted by a former Alaafin (the emperor of Oyo Empire) to lead the imperial army against external aggressions and to embark on conquests; there is no doubt that the fourteen past Kakanfos acquitted themselves well in this wise except few ones who were consumed by greed and personal whims and which led to the fate of ignominy that ultimately befell them. As the most powerful soldier and best tactician of the day they were agents of stability in the realm, potent bulwark against catalytic situations.

In this onerous task Aare Adams has not been found wanting. A modern Kakanfo who commands a large civilian army of loyal men that are deterrents to a band of treacherous, covetous people, Gani Adams who prefers the title of “Iba” as borne by Oluyole, has really borne the burden in admirable fashion. Though some may see him as merely full of rhetoric, his presence, actions and beneath-the-surface inputs portend enough disincentives, which careen the agents of darkness off their ingenuous, obnoxious track.

Long live the Kakanfo!

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