Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has been buried in accordance with the Islamic injunction within the premises of the palace in the ancient town of Oyo state.
A report by the Channel Television said that his remains were laid to rest on Saturday, barely a day after he was certified dead in a hospital in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
Alaafin, popularly known as ‘Iku Baba Yeye, was 83 years as of the time his death was announced.
Following the announcement of his demise, Islamic rites were conducted on the body of late Alaafin, signaling the beginning of his final journey home.
Islamic clerics led by the Chief Imam of Oyo town were joined by members of the family of the late traditional ruler and some of his chiefs to offer prayers for the repose of his soul.
After the prayers, his body was taken back to the palace where the final burial was held.
An Oyo prince and a close relative of the Alaafin, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, confirmed the burial of the monarch.
Longest-reigning Alaafin of Oyo
The longest-reigning Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has passed on at the age of 83.
Alaafin Adeyemi, the third from the Alowolodu Ruling House, died in the late hours of Friday at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State.
The remains of the top Yoruba traditional ruler were brought to Oyo town, in the early hours of Saturday and traditional rites began.
Having ruled for 52 years, the monarch will be buried in the afternoon according to the Islamic rights.
The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, is expected to make an official announcement upon receiving the report of the monarch’s passing from the Bashorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinade, the head of the ‘Oyo Mesi’, who will now lead Oyo town before a new Alaafin is installed.
The monarch had been sick and a plan had been made to fly him abroad before he passed on late Friday night.
A source familiar with the medical travel plan said his tickets and those of a few wives were already procured.
His death came months after the two other senior Oyo State monarchs – the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi – died. All happened in less than five months.
A new Olubadan has been installed but the Soun throne remains vacant.
Alaafin Adeyemi was born Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi on October 15, 1938, in the Alowolodu Royal House of the famous Oyo town.
He was crowned on November 18, 1970, succeeding Oba Gbadegesin Ladigbolu I. He was known popularly as Iku Baba Yeye.
While he reigned, he was the permanent chairperson of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs.
With the demise of Alaafin Adeyemi, it is now the turn of the Agunloye Ruling House to produce the next Oyo monarch.
Mr Adeyemi’s predecessor, Alaafin Ladigbolu, was from the Agunloye House.
Reactions trail death of Alaafin of Oyo
Reactions have continued to trail the death of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi who just joined his ancestors.
The death of Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III has been described as the end of a remarkable and glorious era by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Sen. Lekan Balogun, Alli Okunmade II.
This was contained in a statement personally signed by the monarch on Saturday following the announcement of the death of the great monarch in the early hours of Friday.
Oba Balogun, who expressed shock at the news of the death of the Oyo monarch recalled that the last time the two met was at his (Balogun) coronation/installation last month in Ibadan.
Olubadan described the late Alaafin as a royal father per excellence, who projected Yoruba culture and civilization with awe and dignity, noting that with his exit, Yoruba has lost a rare gem.
“A highly scholarly, pragmatic and dynamic monarch with undiluted love for his race and people, Alaafin would be sorely missed by humanity for his contributions which would continue to speak for him eternally.
“Together with the late Alaafin, we have been friends for a very long time. So, his death is a personal loss to me and very painful too that he won’t be around now that I have become Olubadan to share from his rich experience.
“Death is an inevitable end of mankind and it will come at Allah’s appointed time for every individual. We take solace in the good works the Almighty Allah used the late Alaafin to do for humanity and the good name being left behind.
“I commiserate with the government and people of Oyo State, the Oyoland and the immediate and extended families of our highly reverred Alaafin with supplication to the Almighty Allah to accept him to His kingdom and grant all the fortitude to bear the loss”, Olubadan added.
Meanwhile, Monarchs in the Akoko area of Ondo state and notable personalities have reacted to the demise of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi
The Zaki of Arigidi Akoko Oba Dr Yisa Olanipekun whose kinsman, Otunba Gani Adams is the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland installed by the late monarch described him as an experienced traditional ruler and a custodian of Rich cultural heritage who was also accomodating and peace-loving.
The Akala of Ikaram Akoko and the chairman of Akoko northwest local government traditional council Oba Andrew Momodu said the foremost monarch left remarkable legacies.
A former speaker of the Ondo state house of assembly, Dr Bakita Bello said his long reign was an asset to the people of Oyo town and the entire Yorubaland.
They noted his reign was peaceful bringing developments to Oyo town and prayed that God gives Oyo government, Family and the people of Oyo town the fortitude to bear the loss.
An Oyo-born and Ibadan-based Legal Practitioner, Mr Kunle Abimbola described Late Adeyemi as an orator, an ambassador of the Yoruba language who had contributed immensely to the development of Yoruba culture and values.
Also reacting, an Ogun state-based cleric who hails from a ruling house in Oyo town, Prince Adegbite Teller, said the Late Alaafin was the first educated monarch in Oyo.
Prince Teller said the reign of Alaafin had not only facilitated the development of Oyo town but enabled the title holders and neighbouring villages in Oyo to know their legitimate rights and privileges.
Speaking on the next line of action, the director of Media to the Alaafin Palace, Mr Bode Durojaiye said the children of the late Monarch were being awaited for the next line of action.
Similarly, a former senator, representing Oyo central senatorial district, Ayo Adeseun who said news of the passage of Alaafin Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi .was shocking, described the transition of the first class monarch as a great loss to the Yoruba race.
Senator Adeseun said it would be challenging for Oyo state and Oyo town in particular to have another likeness of the late monarch.
“It is unfortunate that Kabiesi passed on.
Baba was a great man. This is the end of an era. The likes of Alaafin would not come around soon, he came, he saw and he conquered. He dominated his environment and brought progress to Oyo state and Oyo town. He was a very influential member of the council of Obas and Emirs nationwide, we will miss him solely, he added.
Reporting by Rotimi Famakin, Ibrahim Kilani and Adedayo Adelowo; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino