The emergence of next Alaafin of Oyo will be strictly based on the signed Alaafin Chieftaincy Declaration, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, has said.
Makinde made this known on Saturday at the State Burial ceremony organised by the state government for the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo Town.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adeyemi III, who reigned for 53 years, joined his ancestors on April 23 at the age of 83 years.
The governor explained that the process to select a new Alaafin would not go beyond the Alaafin of Oyo Chieftaincy Declaration, in spite of calls from some people to recognise other royal families.
“Let our people in Oyo Town know that some people came to me and said that the first Alaafin gave birth to about 13 children and that only two out of them were recognised and that this is an opportunity to bring in others.
“And, I asked them, if it is in the Alaafin Declaration, but they said it is inside a Declaration that was not signed.
“I told them a new Alaafin will be selected only through the Declaration that was signed,” Makinde declared.
Eulogising the late traditional ruler, the governor said that the late Oba lived an impactful life.
According to him, Oyo State has lost an irreplaceable king, “an encyclopaedia of Yoruba History and Culture.
“I can only say that we have lost a king that is irreplaceable, but we have to accept the fact that we cannot question God.
“God was merciful to Baba, because it is not easy to spend more than 50 years on the throne of your forefathers.
“So, it is celebration of life for us today,” he said.
In her remarks, the Secretary to State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, said that the late Adeyemi was known for consistently blessing governments with quality advice on all issues.
According to Adeosun, the event was rightly dubbed a celebration of life in view of the eventful life led by the departed traditional ruler.
“Looking at the trajectory of this unique Oba, one would easily conclude that Oba Adeyemi was born to be a king.
“He had the vision to be the Alaafin from a young age and prepared himself for that great assignment.
“As we can all see, nature did the rest for him and he was chosen as the Alaafin on Nov. 18, 1970.
“While he had the weight of the Alaafin stool thrusted on his shoulders at a young age, he carried on with incredible poise and gait, stealing the shows in many of the public events he attended.
“It did not come as a surprise that he, in no time, emerged the repository of Yoruba traditional history,” Adeosun said.
She said further that Adeyemi was an avid reader who was always in ultimate search of knowledge.
“He was a king who never lost sight of the sense of history that birthed the stool he sat upon.
“His actions always depicted him as one who was ruling, not just Oyo Town, but Oyo Empire, as exemplified by his ancestors, whose realm of authority as administrators of the famous Oyo Empire extended beyond what is currently known as the Nigerian nation.
“He carried himself as one traditional ruler who was responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of the Yoruba people anywhere they may be found and the Yoruba nation.
“In that wise, Alaafin Adeyemi III never shied away from making public comments on issues he believed could discomfort his people at any point in time,” she said.
NAN reports that the event had in attendance the Deputy Governors of Oyo and Osun, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan and Mr Benedict Alabi, respectively.
Others were Osun State PDP gubernatorial candidate, Ademola Adeleke; former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola; the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AbdulRasheed Akanbi; the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams and other prominent traditional rulers from Oyo State.(NAN)