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Traditional worshippers decry open display of Alaafin’s dead body

By Seye Olumide, Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan) and John Akubo (Abuja)
25 April 2022   |   4:31 am
Traditional worshippers have decried the open display of the body of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, during the Muslim prayer session, which they said, was against the tenets of traditional respect for a deceased king.

Eldest wife of Alaafin of Oyo, Olori Abibat Adeyemi (left) and Governor Seyi Makinde, during a condolence visit to the palace over the death of the monarch… yesterday. PHOTO: OYO STATE GOVERNMENT

• Makinde promises to give monarch befitting burial
• Lawan, youths, Ajayi Crowther varsity, others mourn

Traditional worshippers have decried the open display of the body of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, during the Muslim prayer session, which they said, was against the tenets of traditional respect for a deceased king.

They also urged Yoruba monarchs to promote traditional religion, which is the basis of their crowns. The traditionalists said the late Oba Adeyemi never minced words in condemning open display of any Yoruba Oba’s remains for any purpose while he was alive and even went against attempt by the Ogun State House of Assembly to alter the state’s burial rites procedure to weaken the power of traditional religion and practitioners in taking the needed roles at the burial rites of any deceased king.

In a statement, yesterday, made available to journalists in Ibadan, Chairman, Traditional Religion Worshippers’ Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Branch, Adefabi Dasola Fadiran and Secretary, Dr. Fakayode Fayemi Fatunde, also appreciated the Sango devotees in Oyo town for tolerating the Muslim and Christian worshippers for the initial prayers before the traditional rites.

MEANWHILE, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde yesterday vowed that the state would not spare anything to give the late Alaafin of Oyo a befitting burial.

This is as he appealed to the Oyo Mesi, the Council of Chiefs and all those that will be involved in the selection of a new Alaafin not to delay in the process.

The governor jokingly said he was not responsible for the frequent deaths of traditional rulers in Oyo State, following insinuation on social media that monarchs have been dying in the state one after the other since December 2021 to present time.

Makinde, who arrived at the palace at about 2:25 p.m., was received by the Bashorun of Oyo, who doubles as the Chairman of Council of Chiefs, High Chief Yusuf Ayoola, eldest son of the late monarch, Babatunde Adeyemo and others.

Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare and Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, were also among dignitaries that visited the palace to mourn the late monarch. Dare said the death of Oba Adeyemi was a big loss to the country and Oyo State.

HOWEVER, Yoruba Youth Socio-cultural Association (YYSA) Worldwide described the royal father as an enigma. In a statement by its National Secretary, Olawale Ajao, the youths said Alaafin’s influence was felt socially, politically, economically and culturally. It said the vacuum left by the monarch would be difficult to fill.

RELATEDLY, the Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, has expressed deep sense of loss over the passage of Alaafin. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Timothy Abiodun Adebayo, who spoke on behalf of the university yesterday, described the departed monarch and the chief host of the university as a cerebral, culture-minded and socially-conscious traditional ruler, who earned global accolades as a repository of Oyo tradition and the custodian of Yoruba history during his 52 years reign.

ALSO, Post-master General of the Federation, Dr. Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, yesterday said the Alaafin came ahead of his time.
Adewusi said: “Baba spoke with the same clarity in his ideas as we had known him for decades. As a man of many parts, you could expect those reliable words of guidance to issues and you would do well to take to his counseling. It, therefore, came as a rude shock to learn of his death.”

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, expressed deep grief over the passing of the Alaafin. His Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, in a statement yesterday, described the demise of the monarch as a great loss to the Yoruba people at home and in the Diaspora, and Nigeria as a nation.

He, therefore, condoled with the government and people of Oyo State and the entire Yoruba race over the loss of a great African traditional ruler.