Buhari leads as Nigerians pay glowing tribute to late Alaafin of Oyo

Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi,

News Agency

President Muhammadu Buhari leads as Nigerians from all walks of life continue to pay tribute to Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi III who died late Friday at the Aare Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital on Friday at age 83.

Oba Adeyemi, the longest reigning Alaafin ever was crowned on Nov.18, 1970, succeeding Oba Gbadegesin Ladigbolu I.

The late Alaafin Adeyemi was born Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi on Oct.15, 1938 into the Alowolodu Royal House of the famous Oyo town.

Renowned for his deep knowledge of Yoruba and Nigeria’s history, Oyo town witnessed vast development during his 52 years reign as acknowledged in the tributes to him by personalities across the country.

In his condolence message, to the Government and people of Oyo State by his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina,President Buhari noted that Oba Adeyemi’s reign witnessed transformations in his domain.

He affirmed that the Alaafin of Oyo’s 52 years 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.

He particularly lauded the late traditional ruler for promoting values of peace and stability.

President Buhari equally noted the late traditional ruler participated in numerous national meetings and conferences to shape the future of the country, including living words of wisdom he shared at every opportunity on unity and people-focused governance.

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

He prayed that the Almighty God would receive his soul.

Also, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun described the passing of the Alaafin of Oyo as shocking and the end of an era.

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Ismail Omipidan on Saturday in Osogbo, said the death of the first class traditional ruler was a personal loss to him.

According to him, the late Oba Adeyemi was a good friend of Osun who was always ready to identify with our government and celebrate our humble accomplishments and achievements.

Oyetola commiserated with his Oyo state counterpart, Gov. Seyi Makinde, and the entire Yoruba race over the demise of the late traditional ruler.

The governor also condoled with the late royal father’s family, the government and people of Oyo state over the unfortunate incident.

Oyetola said the late traditional ruler was a strong believer in progressive ideals, and that he remained true to his convictions over the years until his demise .

The governor further described “Iku Baba Yeye”, as he was fondly called as a humble and an amiable traditional ruler, despite his revered position.

He said that the Yoruba race had lost a quintessential intellectual, whose knowledge and commitment to the cause of Yoruba race were unrivaled.

The governor said: “I received with sadness news of the transition of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III.
“This is a huge loss to the entire Yoruba race and the country as a whole.

“On behalf of the government and the good people of Osun, I commiserate with Gov. Seyi Makinde, the royal family, subjects, friends and associates of the late traditional ruler.

“Oba Adeyemi was a visionary and an exemplary leader whose 52-year reign brought tremendous attention, peace, stability and unprecedented development to the ancient Oyo town and its people.

“Baba was a strong believer in progressive ideals, and he remained true to his convictions over the years until he breathed his last.

“He will be long remembered for his impacts, achievements, outstanding legacies and remarkable service as a custodian of the rich Yoruba cultural heritage and traditions.

“I pray Allah to overlook his shortcomings and admit him to Al Jannah Firdaus.

“May He also grant his immediate family, Governor Makinde and the entire people of Oyo State the fortitude to bear his loss.”

Gov Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo also said the death of the Alaafin as the fall of a great Iroko.

Akeredolu who is the chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum said the Oba’s death was a rude shock in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Richard Olatunde on Saturday in Akure.

Akeredolu described the transition of the highly revered Oba to the world beyond as a big blow to the Oyo Kingdom, Yoruba race and the country at large.

“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.

“With over five decades on the throne of his fathers, Oba Lamidi III was the longest-reigning Alaafin whose reign has been the most remarkable for the entire Oyo Kingdom. He was a symbol of Yoruba Unity.

“His commitment toward ensuring the unity of the Yoruba can not be forgotten in a hurry. He lived a life invariably imbued with candour and resplendence. He was royal to the end.” the governor said.

He added that the efforts of the late Alafin toward the unity and progress of the Yoruba would not be forgotten in a hurry.

The governor expressed his condolences to Oba Adeyemi’s immediate family, the Oyo State Traditional Council, the Oyomesi, the people of Oyo Kingdom and the entire Yoruba race.

He prayed that the Almighty Allah would accept Baba’s soul and give him eternal rest in his blossom.(NAN)

In his own tribute, the Chief Whip of the Senate, Sen. Orji Kalu described the death of Alaafin as a huge loss to Nigeria.

Kalu, in a condolence message on Saturday in Abuja, acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Adeyemi to nation building.

He said the deceased would be remembered as a selfless statesman and nationalist with passion for a united and indivisible Nigeria.

While commiserating with the government and people of Oyo state, especially the royal household in Oyo kingdom, Kalu prayed to Allah to forgive the shortcomings of the late Oba Adeyemi and grant him al-Jannah Firdaus.

He urged the family of the late Oba to sustain the remarkable deeds of their late patriarch, adding that the 52 year reign of the late traditional ruler was historic, remarkable and successful.

According to Kalu, the passing of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III is a big loss to the country.

“The late Oba was an accomplished and outstanding personality, who was passionate about the progress of Oyo state and Nigeria in general.

“He played selfless and patriotic roles in the social, economic and political development of Nigeria.

“The late Oba was a strong advocate of a united and prosperous Nigeria.

“His counsel on national issues will be greatly missed.

“Nigeria has lost a rare gem,” he said.

Kalu prayed to Allah to give the family of deceased the fortitude to bear the loss.

Sen. Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo Central) and Sen. Kola Balogun (PDP-Oyo South) also joined other Nigerians in mourning the demise of the Alaafin.

They spoke in their separate condolence messages made available to newsmen on Saturday in Ibadan.

Folarin, in his message, said his relationship with the late Permanent Chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, was that of a father and favourite son spanning 19 years.

He extolled the late Alaafin’s leadership dexterity, intelligence and remarkable characters, saying Adeyemi was the most articulate traditional ruler he had ever seen.

Folarin, also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content and the Ayingun Olubadan of Ibadanland, said that the late Alaafin was a great asset to the black race.

According to him, Nigeria has lost a crusader for peace, stability and unity. Iku Baba Yeye’s demise is shocking and indeed a personal loss to me.

“By the death of Alaafin, Nigeria has lost a great father, patriot and nationalist whose contributions to the stability of Oyo State, Yorubaland and Nigeria, was enormous,’’ Folarin said.

He said the country owed the late Alaafin a measure of gratitude for his contributions to the socio-political and economic development of Nigeria, adding that he would be missed by all, in many respects.

“Baba departed when his wise counsel would have been needed to navigate through the nation’s trying times.

“He was a peacemaker and legendary king that reigned in two different centuries.

“Having served in many exalted capacities for 52 years, as Alaafin of Oyo, Nigeria owes him a measure of gratitude for his contributions to the socio-political and economic development.

“The iconic king was an undisputed symbol of Yoruba culture and unity.

“Baba will be remembered as an epitome of courage, patriotism, humane and true elder statesman with great contributions,’’ he said.

Folarin commiserated with Alaafin Royal families, the Oyo Mesi, Yoruba race, traditional rulers, the people of Oyo State, as well as sons and daughters of the ancient town of Oyo.

“The late Alaafin lived an exemplary life and left his prints in the sands of times, through his unwavering stance in the promotion of peace, unity and progress of Nigeria,’’ he said.

Also, Balogun described the demise of the late Alaafin as the passage of a key traditional icon in Yorubaland, saying the news of his passage was shocking and devastating.

The lawmaker, in a message, said with the demise of Alaafin, the Yoruba nation has lost a personae in its rich culture and tradition.

“The news of the passage of our referred traditional ruler, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, was as shocking as it was devastating.

“It was shocking and devastating, because with his passage, we have lost five traditional rulers in the state within the last five months,’’ he said.

Balogun said the state had lost five traditional rulers, starting with late Soun of Ogbomoso, Olubadan of Ibadanland, Asigangan of Igangan, Onikoyi of Ikoyi and Alaafin of Oyo.

“The passage of kabiyesi, signalled the gradual, but steady erosion of Yoruba culture and tradition.

“He was an iconic traditional ruler, who promoted our rich cultural heritage to the last.

“The late Oba Adeyemi III was an epitome of our tradition. He was a beacon of hope in an era when we are almost losing our values.

“Indeed, he was a bridge to our rich past. His passage is, indeed, one of the greatest royal losses in recent history of Oyo State,’’ the senator said.

Balogun commiserated with the state government, traditional institution, good people of Oyo State and the late Alaafin family over the irreparable loss.

“On behalf of myself, my wife, Mrs Gbonjubola Kola-Balogun and the entire people of Oyo South Senatorial District, I want to commiserate with the Alaafin family over the irreparable loss.

“I also commiserate with the traditional institution, people of Oyo Kingdom, the government and people of Oyo State. May God grant our kabiyesi peaceful rest,” he said. )

Also, Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams said the demise of the Alaafin of Oy was as a national tragedy as well as a personal and colossal loss.

The Aare Onakakanfo, in a statement on Saturday by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Kehinde Aderemi, said that the news of Alaafin’s death sounded like thunderstorm.

Adams, who expressed shock at the news of the death of the top monarch, noted that the foremost Yoruba monarch lived a worthy life all through his reign.

“It is a national tragedy because of what the foremost Yoruba monarch symbolised to Nigeria, to Yoruba land and to Nigerians.

“The news of Alaafin’s death sounded like a thunderstorm. It reverberated as if there was an eclipse in the entire Yoruba land. That shows how important the Alaafin’s stool is to our race.

“Baba’s 52-year reign was full of outstanding moments, but it is sad we lost that encyclopaedia of Yoruba, African history and global histories at this critical time in the history of our nation.

“In his 52-year of reign, Alaafin brought enormous respect to the Yoruba traditional institution,” the Aare said.

According to him, Nigeria, Yoruba nation and the ancient town of Oyo has loss a great monarch whose life was a true reflection of complete Yoruba monarch.

“I am not only bereaved personally, I am also bereft of words to actually describe the extent of this huge loss.

“I think Kabiesi’s death has created a big lacuna for the Yoruba traditional institution.

“Kabiesi’s death is surely a national tragedy. It is a personal loss to me and it ended a chapter in the annals of this country,” he added.

He said that the Yoruba had loss a true and revered monarch and a repository of history and knowledge.

Adams said: “A sudden cloud has overwhelmed the entire Yoruba land and we can hardly forget the roles of Alaafin as the top Yoruba monarch in a hurry. There is no way I can figure out this collosal loss.

“Alaafin has been a strong pillar in the service of our race. He was an Iroko among all trees and a strong voice for the Yoruba race. Alaafin was,till date,the longest reigning monarch in Oyo history.

“No monarch had reigned for 35 years in Oyo, but Alaafin outlived that, spending 52 years on the throne.”

He said that the late Alaafin occupied the sacred stool with much understanding of his pivotal roles and with much honour, reverence and candour that gave him the required confidence, wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Adams said that Alaafin showed great capacity, tenacity, and several qualities that made him a strong force to be reckoned with.

The Aare said that he was at the palace of Alaafin in March when Kabiyesi led the chief to Bishop Ladigbolu’s function in Oyo, saying “Alaafin was hail and hearty”.

Adams said that the late Alaafin brought development to Oyo town in all sectors, including social, political, economic,even in the area of education, sports and a cultural development.

The Aare, who noted that the late Alaafin was the only monarch that installed two Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land in his life, described him as a symbol of true Yoruba distinct values and heritage,

“We will sorely miss his wise counsel.We will miss his voice and resoluteness.We will miss his wisdom and knowledge of history.

We will miss his comportment, and compassion. We will miss his character and strength.We will miss his articulate discourse, especially, on pertinent national issues.

“We will miss his strong conviction to the Yoruba cause.We will miss his ideas and ideologies. And in all,we will miss his whole being,” he added.

The Aare commiserated with Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, the Oyo Mesi, the family of Alaafin and the people of the state.

Also, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun (APC-Ogun Central); Alhaji Sharafadeen Alli, former Secretary to Oyo State Government and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Niyi Akintola, in their separate tributes extolled the virtues of the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo.

In his remarks, Amosun described late Oba Adeyemi as “a human library with remarkable knowledge of the history of Yorubaland and Nigeria”.

The former Governor of Ogun said Oba Adeyemi’s death was a personal loss to him, adding that he was his counsellor and adviser.

According to him, I have lost a counsellor and adviser whose wisdom and courage are not in surplus supply in this clime.

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 traditions of the Yoruba traditional institution as well as a source of inspiration for the entire Yorubaland.

“Kabiyesi was a cherished leader and respected Elderstatesman, who demonstrated exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment toward unity, cohesion, harmony and continued development of Oyo, Yorubaland and Nigeria.

“It is on record that Oba Adeyemi’s 52 years reign as the Alaafin of Oyo brought about all-around development to the Oyo, Oyo State and Nigeria.’’

Amosun, also described the late paramount traditional ruler as a detribalised oba, who epitomised and championed peaceful co-existence, as well as unity of the people.

The senator commiserated with Gov. Seyi Makinde and the good people of Oyo State on the passage of Kabiyesi, saying that Oba Adeyemi left a huge shoe that would be difficult to fill.

“It is my prayer that Almighty Allah (SWT) grant our Kabiyesi Aljannah Firdaus. May He grant his family, the people, as well as Yorubaland, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Also, Alli described the late Oba Adeyemi as “Yoruba history encyclopaedia and custodian of Yoruba cultural heritage.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the state, said he received the death of the traditional ruler with rude shock

Alli, who is also the Maye Balogun of Ibadanland, said that the death of Alaafin came at a time the state needed his wealth of experience to reshape the political and economic activities in the state.

He condoled with the family of Alaafin, the entire people of Oyo town as well as Yoruba descendants in Nigeria and abroad.

In his condolence, Akintola, another APC governorship aspirant, said that the late Oba Adeyemi was a father to him, describing his death as a loss to him, Oyo State and Nigeria.

He described the late Alaafin as “an enigma and traditional ruler of immense value and a great man.

“If you want to know much of Yorubaland, just engage him for few minutes and you will be fulfilled with what you get.

“The late Alaafin brought tremendous development to Oyo Town.

“Under him, Oyo has three universities and the town expanded beyond what he met on ascension of the throne,’’ he said.(NAN)