First class Yoruba monarch, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Alaafin of Oyo, has joined his ancestors.
Alaafin Adeyemi, the third from the Alowolodu Ruling House, died on Friday night at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The remains of the traditional ruler were brought to Oyo town, 62 kilometres from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in the early hours of Saturday and the traditional burial rites began.
He was 83 years old and the longest reigning Alaafin ever, having ruled for 52 years.
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.
Reports had it that the monarch had been sick and plans had been made to fly him abroad before he passed on yesterday.
His death comes months after the two other senior Oyo State monarchs – the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi – died.
Alaafin Adeyemi was born Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi on October 15, 1938 into 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.
He had 13 wives and was the first Alaafin of Oyo ever to have married outside Yoruba land.
His late father, Oba Adeyemi II Adeniran, was deposed and exiled in 1954 for sympathizing with the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC).
Before ascending the throne, the late Alaafin was a boxer. He succeeded Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II after the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970, during the governorship of Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo.
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.