Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yoruba Land, Iba Gani Adams, has given awards to the four best indigent Yoruba students in the Nigerian universities as he celebrates his 53rd birthday, saying that the gesture was to promote Yoruba language and culture.
The students, who were selected from various universities in the South West and beyond based on their academic performances, were presented with N200,000 cash each at the event attended by Yoruba monarchs, traditional chiefs, prominent people, and various groups, among others.
The awardees, who are currently studying Yoruba Language in their various universities included, Kadijat Oladipupo (University of Ibadan, UI); Akisanya Ganiyat Adedoyin, Lagos State University (LASU); Miss Victoria Adegbite, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State and Abidemi Abduhamid Samad, Kwara State University, Ilorin.
Speaking at the event, Iba Adams said that anyone who values culture must always promote culture, adding that no one was ready to promote another person’s culture.
According to the Yoruba generalissimo, the gesture is to mark his 53rd birthday celebration and also to promote culture in the country’s educational system across the Universities in the Southwest of Nigeria and beyond.
“Anyone who values culture must always promote culture. If you fail to promote culture, no one can promote it for you.
“I do these to mark my 53rd birthday celebration and also to promote culture in our educational system across the Universities in the Southwest of Nigeria and beyond,” Adams stated.
“I celebrate my birthday yearly. I bring people together and use it as a platform for them to connect. I started holding this kind of gathering when I was 30 years old. I thank the royal fathers who came to attend this event of my birthday celebration and everyone for coming to celebrate with my family despite the heavy downpour. I recognise my wife, the pillar of my family,” he said.
Also speaking, the Zaaki of Arigidi Kingdom, Akoko, Ondo State, Dr Isa Olaonipekun, who described Iba Gani as a kind and generous man, quickly recalled that he opposed his becoming the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, saying it an issue that dragged between them for two weeks.
According to the monarch, his position was based on the ground that “I wanted him to live long, saying that he prayed for Iba Adams when the agreement was finally reached “that there will be peace during his reign.”
“He is a gentleman and when he wanted to become the generalissimo, I kicked against it. We dragged it for about two weeks before coming to an agreement.
“I did so because I wanted him to live long. I told him that there will be peace during his reign. As you can see, he is not a violent person. He is generous and has been helping people with scholarships.
“He promotes Yoruba culture in Europe. For instance, when you get to Brazil and Sweden, you will find them teaching the Yoruba Language. It was Aare who made it possible. It will be nice if other Nigerians can emulate him because he isn’t after luxury, he is after growing humanity and culture,” the monarch said.