Premium Times newspaper is reporting that a prominent Yoruba monarch, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has passed on.
According to the report, Alaafin Adeyemi, the third from the Alowodu Ruling House, died in the late hours of Friday, April 22 at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
The remains of the top Yoruba traditional ruler were brought to Oyo in the early hours of Saturday and traditional rites began, palace sources quoted in the report said.
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 before a new Alaafin is installed.
The monarch had been sick and a plan had been made to fly him abroad before he passed on.
A source familiar with the medical travel plan said his tickets and those of a few wives were already procured
His death came after the two other senior Oyo state monarchs – the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi – died in less than five months.
A new Olubadan has been installed but the Soun throne remains vacant.
Alaafin Adeyemi was born Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi on October 15, 1938, into the Alowolodu Royal House of the famous Oyo empire.
He was crowned on November 18, 1970, succeeding Oba Gbadegesin Ladigbolu I. He was known popularly as Iku Baba Yeye.
While he reigned, he was the permanent chairperson of the Oyo state Council of Obas and Chiefs.
With the demise of Alaafin Adeyemi, it is now the turn of the Agunloye Ruling House to produce the next Oyo monarch. Adeyemi’s predecessor, Bello Ladigbolu, was from the Agunloye House.