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Tributes as Alaafin is laid to rest in Oyo

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The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has been buried in the ancient town of Oyo.

His remains were laid to rest on Saturday within the premises of the palace, 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, signalling 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.

He was the third to ascend the throne from the Alowolodu Ruling House and ruled for 52 years – making him the longest-reigning traditional ruler in Oyo town.

Alaafin was born Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi on October 15, 1938, and succeeded Oba Gbadegesin Ladigbolu I, as the new Alaafin on November 18, 1970.

Following his demise, the Bashorun of Oyo and Head of the ‘Oyo Mesi’, Yusuf Akinade, is expected to lead Oyo town before a new Alaafin would be installed.

The monarch died months after the death of two other top traditional rulers in the state – the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi.

In a statement issued by his special adviser on media and publicity. Femi Adesina, on Saturday, President Buhari said Alaafin was significant for human development, adding that he encouraged learning as a culture and formal education and promoted values of peace and stability.

The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with the Government and people of Oyo State over the passing of Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, 83, whose reign covered major historic transitions in the country, and witnessed transformations in his domain.

“The President affirms that the Alaafin of Oyo’s 52 years of rule was remarkable in many ways, most significant was the emphasis he placed on human development, thereby encouraging learning as a culture and formal education as a necessity while promoting values of peace and stability.

“As a highly revered traditional ruler, President Buhari notes the late monarch’s numerous participations in national meetings and conferences to shape the future of the country, and the living words of wisdom he shared at every opportunity on unity and people-focused governance.

“The President shares the grief with the Oyo State Traditional Council, Oba Lamidi’s family, friends, and associates, particularly in sports where he left another footprint.”

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, in a condolence message, described the death of Oba Adeyemi III 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.

The governor also condoled with millions of Yoruba sons and daughters at home and in the diaspora as the Alaafin of Oyo joined his ancestors.

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 of the late Alaafin of Oyo are sustained.

“On behalf of the government and people of the state, I commiserate with my brother, the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, and the people of the Oyo State, especially sons and daughters of the ancient Oyo Kingdom over the death of one of the foremost and most respected traditional rulers in Nigeria, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, who joined his ancestors on Friday.

“The death of Oba Adeyemi is a great loss not only to the people of Oyo State but the entire Yoruba sons and daughters at home and in the diaspora because of the unique position the Alaafin of Oyo holds as a descendant of Oduduwa. He will be greatly missed.

“He was one of the great promoters of Yoruba culture and tradition. He contributed immensely to the growth and development of Oyo Kingdom and improved the livelihood of the people of the town. As a first-class monarch, he left a lasting legacy that the people of Oyo ancient town will continue to cherish.

“I pray that Almighty God finds a peaceful resting place for the soul of the late Oba Adeyemi and grant the royal family, Yoruba land and the people of Oyo town the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue in a condolence message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, described the late Oyo monarch as a courageous king who did everything possible to preserve the culture and tradition of his people.

Ortom noted that Oba Adeyemi’s reign witnessed peace and unity of the kingdom, which created the enabling environment for growth and development, not just in Oyo State but also in Nigeria.

The governor lamented that the late monarch departed at a time when his wisdom and wealth of experience was needed to navigate through the murky waters of politics and the national insecurity threatening the corporate existence of the country.

Ortom said, “Oba Adeyemi was a respected royal father who was conscious about the peace and unity of his kingdom and the nation. We shall miss his tutelage and wise counsel.”

He however admonished the people of Oyo State to take solace in the fact that the late monarch lived an eventful and accomplished life worthy of emulation.

The Governor asked his counterpart in Oyo state to immortalize the Oba in recognition of his sacrifices and contributions to the development of the society.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, also mourned the passing of Alaafin Adeyemi, “a great ruler, who displayed kindness and compassion to his people, espousing the virtues of hard work, diligence and love for humanity.”

In a statement on Saturday, Obaseki said, “It is with a heavy heart that I mourn the passing of a revered monarch and an illustrious leader of the Yoruba race, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.

“Brave and cheerful, Oba Adeyemi embodied the ideals of the Yoruba nation, promoting the rich culture and heritage of the Yorubas and providing wise counsel to those who sought guidance from the throne.”

According to him, “During his over 50-year spell on the throne, Oyo witnessed numerous transformations and transitions, but he remained true to his heritage and harped on the need for brotherly love and conscientious living.”

“He will be remembered for his kind nature, conviviality, wisdom and love for humanity and living.”

Obaseki commiserated with the Government and people of Oyo State, the Oyo Kingdom, family, friends, associates and well-wishers, and prayed that God will grant all the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

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