By Enyeribe Ejiogu, Juliana Taiwo- Obalonye (Abuja),
Paul Osuyi (Asaba), Layi Olanrewaju (Ilorin), Bamigbola Gbolagunte (Akure), Laide Raheem (Abeokuta), Chukwudi Nweje (Lagos), Rose Ejembi (Makurdi), Lateef Dada (Osogbo)
Eminent Nigerians have been paying glowing tributes to the memory of the 45th Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, who joined his ancestors on Friday night.
The reign of Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, 83, witnessed major historic transitions in the country, and brought about transformations in his domain.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who made this observation in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, affirmed that the late Alaafin’s rule was remarkable in many ways, the most significant be- ing 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 noted the late monarch’s numerous participations in national meetings and conferences helped to shape the future of the country. The living words of wisdom he shared at every opportunity strengthened the country’s unity and ensured people-focused governance.
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has described the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi as a symbol of the nation’s epic struggle in self-discovery and self-actualisation.
Obasanjo stated this in a letter of condolence to the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, over the demise of the monarch, copies of which were made available to newsmen by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, in Abeokuta, on yesterday.
Obasanjo, who is currently in Ethiopia condoled with the Oyo State governor, the family of Oba Adeyemi and the entire people of Oyo on the transition.
He stated that the highly revered monarch was a patriotic and respected traditional ruler who had immeasurable love for his people and great faith in a united Nigeria.
“He (Alaafin) stood out as a voice of forthrightness in national affairs and he was as well a fervent promoter of mutual tolerance and understanding not only among the diverse people who live in his domain but also across the country.
“It is well acknowledged that it was during his reign that Oyo town got transformed to the modern city that it has become today and not surprisingly, his contribution to nation-building was also acknowledged in the conferment of the esteemed national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR, on him and other honorary degrees that he received from some Nigerian and outside educational institutions,” Obasanjo said.
In the same vein, former governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu, has described the demise of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III as a huge loss to Nigeria.
Kalu, who acknowledged the invaluable contributions of the highly revered monarch to nation building, said: “The late monarch 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 monarch was a strong advocate of a united and prosperous Nigeria.
“His counsel on national is- sues will be greatly missed. Nigeria has lost a rare gem.”
The Chief Whip, while commiserating with the government and people of Oyo State, called on the family of the late monarch to sustain the remarkable deeds of their patriarch.
All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential aspirant and former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saddened by the transition of Oba Adeyemi III, said: “After ascending to the royal throne at the age of 31, Alaafin became one of the most influential, greatly respected traditional rulers in Yorubaland, Nigeria and indeed Africa and beyond. Alaafin fostered harmony and brought prosperity and development to the ancient Oyo Kingdom. He was loved by his people. With his transition, a big Iroko has fallen. His pass- ing was an auspicious era in the ancient Oyo Kingdom, but also for the Yoruba and the entirety of the black race.”
Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, yesterday described the death of the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, as a personal loss to him, noting that the late monarch was an ever supportive royal father and a worthy leader, who spared nothing in trying to make Oyo State and Nigeria greater.
Governor Makinde in statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, cknowledged that the monarch’s words of advice and guidance were always golden and helpful to him.
While commiserating with his Oyo State counterpart, Governor Seyi Makinde, the governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, said the monarch was a strong believer in progressive ideals, and that he remained true to his convictions over the years until he breathed his last.
Oyetola further described Iku Baba Yeye, as a humble and amiable monarch despite his revered position, saying that the Yoruba race had lost a quintessential intellectual whose knowledge of and commitment to the cause of Yoruba race were unrivalled.