Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has told the body of kingmakers in Oyo town, known as Oyomesi, not to waste time in appointing a new Alaafin of Oyo, following the demise of the 45th Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, that joined his ancestors in the evening of last Friday at the age of 83 and after spending 52 years on the throne.
He made the call on Sunday when he led a delegation of the state on a condolence visit to Oyo town on Sunday to commiserate with the immediate family of the departed monarch.
A retired Archbishop of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Rev’d Ayo Ladigbolu and the eldest son of the late king, Prince Babatunde Adeyemi, were among prominent members of the royal family that welcomed the governor and his team to the palace.
According to him, “I want to appeal to all the Oyomesi because you are the kingmakers. We don’t want vacuum to be for a long time. When you do all the rites you are supposed to do, and all of that, we (the government) are here to ensure that the wishes of Baba (Oba Adeyemi III), which he shared some of them with me, come to reality. We won’t spare anything to give Kabiyesi a befitting burial rite.”
The two other paramount traditional rulers that joined their ancestors with the past five months are 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, who breathed his last on January 2, 2022, and Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, who also bade the world farewell on December 12, 2021. While the vacant stool of Olubadan has been filled with Oba Lekan Balogun, Ali Okumade II, on Friday March 11, 2022, the vacant stool of Soun has not been filled, though the kingmakers have set the ball rolling towards have a new Soun as soon as possible.
The demise of Oba Adeyemi came 15 weeks after the demise of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I, who has joined his ancestors on January 2, 2022. It also occurred barely five months after the transition of Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, who also bade the world farewell on December 12, 2021.
Makinde, who said he had read a media report that gained traction on the social media, that he has been the one responsible for the demise of first-class paramount rulers in the state within the past five months. He described the report as a blatant lie because he was not responsible for their their deaths. He added that God has appointed time for everyone. God, he stated, called the monarchs to Himself because their time had come.
The governor, however, recalled the truth that the late king told him when he contested to become governor of Oyo State in 2015 on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP), saying Alaafin told him a bitter truth that he (Makinde) would not win the poll.
Makinde, who noted that the late monarch and himself had the meeting around 1am on that day, said Alaafin said he could not win the governorship poll because he did not have structure to win such election at the time. He added that he appreciated the truth because it was at a time that many people did not tell him the truth.
The governor said, he took to the advice given to him by Alaafin, and he built structure, which he described as trusted allies, across the 33 local government areas of the state ahead of the 2019 general elections. He added that he also joined a party – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that already had structure in the state. He said the advice given to him by Alaafin in 2015 helped him to become governor in 2019, apart from the fact that whatever God says, nobody can change it.
His words: “We are mourning. We are sad because Kabiyesi left us. No matter how old our elderly are, you will still don’t want the to die. But we are happy also because he lived a fulfilled and impactful life.
“As Kabiyesi, he was inaugurated as a king when. I was like two and half years old. So, he reigned from that time till now. He did not feihn for fun. He made impact. I have received calls from all over the country; from the presidency, my colleague governors, Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano and so on. All of these point to one fac mt that he had impact beyond Oyo Kingdom and Oyo State.”