Alaafin of Oyo interred amid rain of tributes
• Govs Makinde, Fayemi, Oyetola, Sanwo-Olu, Others Eulogise Monarch
• Say Yoruba Race Has Lost Rare Gem
• Atiku, Olubadan, Oluwo, Afenifere, Adams Praise Alaafin
Torrents of tributes, yesterday, poured unendingly for the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, following his passing on at the age of 83. Oba Adeyemi, who reigned as king for 52 years and permanently chaired the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, died late Friday at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
Well-meaning Nigerians, including state governors, traditional rulers across that country and captains of industry eulogised the amiable monarch and praised his virtues as a rallying point for the advancement of the Yoruba race and unity of the nation.
In a short message to the press, yesterday, Media and Publicity Director to the late monarch, Mr Bode Durojaiye, confirmed his demise, saying, “It is true. Alaafin has joined his ancestors. I saw his remains laid down in the palace. The palace is mourning now, I can confirm that to you…”
In a statement by Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, the Oyo State government later announced the monarch’s passing.
After the announcement, the palace’s town crier went round the town to inform the people about the imposition of a curfew in Oyo town from 9:00 p.m.
Earlier, in accordance with the rites, the Chief Imam of Oyo, Mas’ud Adebayo, led Muslims to perform Janazah (funeral prayers) before the late monarch’s interment.
Governor Makinde, in his tribute to Oba Adeyemi, said his death was a huge loss to the state, Nigeria and the Yoruba race. While describing Oba Adeyemi’s death as a personal loss to him, he noted that he was an ever-supportive royal father and a worthy leader, who spared nothing in trying to make Oyo State and Nigeria greater. The governor said Kabiyesi’s words of advice and guidance were always golden and helpful.
Makinde also expressed his condolences to the Oyo State Traditional Council, the Oyomesi, Oba Adeyemi’s immediate family, the people of Oyo Kingdom and the entire Yoruba race, praying to God to grant repose to the soul of the departed.
The governor added that apart from Oyo State losing its last man standing in the rank of experienced monarchs with long years of royal leadership, it has also lost a royal institution and an authority, which Alaafin Olayiwola Adeyemi III had become by virtue of his high-octane understanding of Yoruba history, politics and national development.
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, described the passing of the Oba Adeyemi III, as shocking, saying it signified the end of an era. He commiserated with his Oyo State counterpart, Governor Makinde, and the entire Yoruba race over the monarch’s demise.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, the governor said the late monarch was a strong believer in progressive ideals, and that he remained true to his convictions over the years until he breathed his last.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also mourned the Alaafin, describing his death as a great loss to the people of Oyo town, the traditional institution in Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole.
He said the late monarch’s service to the people of the ancient town, Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole, especially in the area of promotion of Yoruba culture and tradition will remain his enduring legacy.
He urged the family, friends and associates of the deceased as well as the entire people of Oyo Kingdom, whose interests the late Iku Baba Yeye represented and worked tirelessly for during his lifetime, to work towards immortalising him and ensuring that the legacies he left were sustained.
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, on his part, said the late Oba Adeyemi was a worthy ambassador of Yoruba culture and royal elegance. The former Vice President recalled that his last encounter with Oba Adeyemi was in Ibadan during the coronation of Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Lekan Balogun.
“I admired the royal splendour of Oba Adeyemi and the fact that he remains the longest-serving Alaafin means that Oyo and indeed Nigerians will not forget his reign,” the Waziri of Adamawa said.
IN another condolence, Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Lekan Balogun, a former Senator, described Alaafin’s death as the end of a remarkable and glorious era.
Oba Balogun recalled that the last time the two met was at his (Balogun) coronation/installation last month in Ibadan. He described the late Alaafin as a royal father per excellence, who projected Yoruba culture and civilisation with awe and dignity, noting that with his exit, Yoruba has lost a rare gem.
THE Oluwo of Iwo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Dr Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, in a condolence message, narrated how he visited Alaafin last week when his mind went to the late monarch.
He explained how he had private jolly talks with Alaafin, saying, “We were both happy and joyous as I drank from his wealth of history. At our meeting, we scheduled an event for early next month (May) here in Osun State. As God would have it, I got the news of his demise this morning. But who dares question God?”
Oluwo said the death of Alaafin was a monumental loss to the traditional institution. “His vacuum is most likely irreplaceable. His death is no doubt the end of an era. He was a force and a true, responsible father to the Yoruba nation.”
Also mourning the departure of the monarch, Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams described his death as a national tragedy. He said the foremost Yoruba monarch lived a worthy life all through his reign.
Iba Adams, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media Kehinde Aderemi, expressed shock, stating that Nigeria, Yoruba and the ancient town of Oyo had lost a great monarch, whose life was a true reflection of the complete Yoruba monarch.
Apex Yoruba interest group, Igbimo Apapo Yoruba Lagbaye (Yoruba Council Worldwide), umbrella body to the Yoruba Council of Youths Worldwide (YCYW), Yoruba Council of Women Worldwide (YCWW), Yoruba Council of Students Worldwide (YCSW) and Omoluabi School Club (OSC) and all her affiliated organizations jointly commiserates with the entire Yoruba race and the good people of Oyo State on the unexpected departure of Oba Adeyemi.
“We cannot overemphasised the importance of His Majesty’s father figure roles in the fight against insecurity, kidnappings and pervasive corruption in Nigeria, particularly being the vanguard voice of the Yoruba people, which is most needed now, considering the present aggravated perilous times we are confronted with,” the group said.
In its condolence, pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere also described the late Alaafin of Oyo, as a colossus.
In a statement by the organisation’s national publicity secretary, Jare Ajayi, Afenifere stated that the late Alaafin was a personification of royalty and nobility in every sense of the word.
Ajayi said: “He was a colossus because he was at home in discussing virtually any subject – particularly those bordering on any aspect of Yoruba history, contemporary and ancient.
“Oba Lamidi Adeyemi was really prepared for the post without any outward display of this preparation going by the circumstance of his enthronement. In other words, it can be said that he was unconsciously preparing for the exalted office even when he was a Prince. And after being crowned as Alaafin, he dug deep into all that made the Yoruba tick. He was very much at home with the history of virtually every town in Yorubaland. Hardly could he be found wanting in any aspect of Yoruba tradition and norms going by the richness of his contributions to whatever subject he was to discuss.
The organization prayed for a peaceful repose of the Oba’s soul and for a successor whose reign will also be as rewarding to the Yoruba race, Nigeria and the black race as a whole.
WIFE of former Governor of Oyo State, Florence Ajimobi said the life and times of the Alaafin of Oyo, was a glorious era in the history of the ancient town of Oyo, Oyo State and Nigeria.
In a statement issued on her behalf by Bolaji Tunji, former Special Adviser, Communication and Strategy to Senator Abiola Ajimobi, Mrs Ajimobi said the passage of the monarch came as a shock.
The Chairman Senate Committee on local content and lawmaker representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Senator Teslim Folarin, said the monarch was like a father to him.
In a personal tribute, Folarin said his relationship with the late permanent chairman of the council of Obas and Chiefs, was of a father and his favourite son, spanning 19 years. According to him, Nigeria had lost a crusader for peace, stability and unity.
Former governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun also mourned Oba Adeyemi. In a statement, the Ogun Central lawmaker commiserated with the Oba Adeyemi royal dynasty, the Oyomesi, the government and good people of Oyo State, and the entire Yorubaland.
He said, “The exit of Oba Adeyemi III is a great loss to all of us in Yorubaland and indeed, the whole of Nigeria. Oba Adeyemi was a symbol and custodian of the rich culture and tradition of the Yoruba traditional institution as well as a source of inspiration for the entire Yorubaland.
A Southwest socio-political group, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, in a statement, said Adeyemi was fearless and spoke truth to power.
Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), in a statement issued to journalists in Akure, described the transition of the highly revered monarch to the world beyond as a big blow to the Oyo Kingdom, Yoruba race and the country at large.
According to him, “We have lost a quintessential traditional ruler and custodian of the Yoruba culture. His contributions to the development and advancement of the country and Yoruba Land, in particular, are unquantifiable.
“He was a great pillar, a great giant who did not only represent our cultural values but also preserved and promoted the Yoruba culture. He was a repository of knowledge.”
He prayed that the Almighty Allah would accept the late monarch’s soul and give him eternal rest in his blossom.
The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari also described the demise of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III as an irreparable loss to the traditional institution in Nigeria.
Sulu-Gambari, in a statement yesterday in Ilorin by his spokesman, AbdulAzeez Arowona said the late monarch has etched for himself as a peace-loving Oba and a bridge-builder among existing ethnic nationalities across the country.
He commiserated with the people of Oyo town, Oyo state and the entire Yoruba race over the development, urging them to console themselves with the fact that the 52-year reign of Oba Adeyemi III witnessed a cerebral display of royalty and monumental developments.
With the demise of Alaafin Adeyemi, it is now the turn of the Agunloye Ruling House to produce the next Oyo monarch. Oba Adeyemi’s predecessor, Alaafin Ladigbolu, was from the Agunloye House.
Alaafin was married to Ayaba Abibat Adeyemi, his senior wife. However, he had about twelve junior wives, whom he attended events with.
His junior wives included Ayaba Rahmat Adedayo Adeyemi, Ayaba Mujidat Adeyemi, Ayaba Rukayat Adeyemi, Ayaba Folashade Adeyemi, Ayaba Badirat Ajoke Adeyemi, Ayaba Memunat Omowunmi Adeyemi, Ayaba Omobolanle Adeyemi, Ayaba Moji Adeyemi, Ayaba Anuoluwapo Adeyemi, and Ayaba Damilola Adeyemi.