Alaafin of Oyo: Govt officially announces monarchs’ death, imposes curfew; as Basorun of Oyo, Chief Akinade Ayoola, becomes regent

The Oyo State Government has officially announced the passing of the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi III.


The government made the announcement through a press statement signed by Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde.


After the announcement, the palace’s town crier went around the town to inform the people about the imposition of a curfew in Oyo town from 7:00 p.m.


The town crier, who spoke in Yoruba said” Ti oba leti, ma kuro ni ile re lati ago meje oni di owuro ola,” meaning, If you have ears please stay in your house from 7:00 p.m. tonight till tomorrow morning.


In accordance with the rites, earlier, the Chief Imam of Oyo, Mas’ud Adebayo, led Muslims to perform Janazah (funeral prayers before interment) on the body of the Alaafin inside the palace.


The governor, according to the statement by Mr Adisa, described the monarch’s death as a personal loss to him.

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He also said the Alaafin’s words of advice and guidance were always golden and helpful to him.


“Oba Adeyemi was our last man standing in the rank of most eminent royal fathers with long years of leadership.”


“He became a golden king, an institution and an authority rolled into one by virtue of his immense experience, wisdom, and understanding of Yoruba history, royalty, and politics.

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“Oba Adeyemi not only elevated the Alaafin throne with his knowledge and wisdom, but he also became a worthy exemplar for royal leadership in Africa and brought glory to Oyo State and Nigeria.


“Kabiyesi never spared anything in his strive to make Oyo State greater and to bring about the Nigeria of everyone’s collective dream.


“It is my prayer that God accepts Kabiyesi’s soul into Aljanah Firdaus and upholds everyone and everything he left behind.


“Good night, Iku Baba Yeye!”


Earlier, after Islamic prayers were performed on his remains, Sango devotees took custody of the body of the Alaafin for the continuation of traditional rites.

Alaafin of Oyo burial rite

The Sango devotees carried the remains from Ode Aro part of the palace into the Oba Adeyemi III Hall, where they initially covered the “sleeping” monarch with a mat before forming a circle around the remains.


But they later asked mourners and journalists, to leave the hall.


As the remains were carried, the devotees chanted dirges and eulogies of Sango, whom an Alaafin embodies, according to Yoruba mythology.


The Alaafin passed late Friday night in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, where he sought treatment for a yet undisclosed ailment.


His remains were brought to Oyo town in the early hours of Saturday with traditional burial rites commencing immediately before the remains were handed over to Muslims for prayers.


At the time of his death, the Alaafin was 83 years old and had been on the throne for over 50 years — he was the longest-reigning Alaafin.


Adeyemi succeeded Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II in 1970 and was crowned on January 14, 1971.


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had, in his condolence message, said the Alaafin had great faith in a united Nigeria and was a promoter of peace.


Meanwhile, High Chief Yusuf Akinade Ayoola, head of the Oyomesi and Bashorun of Oyo, will take over the throne pending the installation of a new Alaafin.


Basorun, historically, has the final say on the nomination of a new Alaafin and his power rivalling the king himself.


According to history, the Oyo empire was a monarchical system which was headed by Alaafin, as the king.


However, an administrative council and governing body made up of chiefs, Oyomesi, serves to maintain a balance in power.


Members of Oyomesi were headed by prime minister called Basorun which could request the king’s suicide by sending him a calabash of parrot’s eggs.


Basorun has the power to organise religious festivals in addition to becoming Commander in Chief of the Oyo Army which gave him tremendous independent religious authority.

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