EIGHT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT LATE ALAAFIN OF OYO, OBA LAMIDI ADEYEMI III WHO BECAME KING AT 31
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III joined his ancestors on Friday Friday night, bringing an end to his 52-year illustratious reign on the ancient throne.
Aged 83, Oba Adeyemi, who died at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, was the longest serving Alaafin of Oyo.
As the public await funeral arrangements for Iku baba yeye as he was fondly called, here are ten highlights of Adeyemi’s life and time.
Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi was born on October 15, 1938 into the Alowolodu Royal House and was a member of the House of Oranmiyan. Iku baba yeye, whose mother, Ibironke, died when he was young, was the son of late Raji Adeniran Adeyemi who became Alaafin in 1945.
KING AT 31
Shortly after the end of the Nigerian civil war, Lamidi Adeyemi became the Alaafin of Oyo at the age of 31. He ascended the throne of Alaafin of Oyo on 18 November, 1970 when
Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo was the military governor of Oyo State. He succeeded Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II.
PERFORMED PILGRIMAGE IN 1975
In 1975, the then head of state, General Murtala Muhammed included Oba Adeyemi in his entourage to hajj. In 1990, General Ibrahim Babangida appointed him Amir-ul-Hajj in recognition of his commitment to the consolidation of Islam in Nigeria.
In 1980, he was appointed as the chancellor of Uthman dan Fodiyo University in Sokoto. He held the position till 1992. In 2015, he was also appointed the Chancellor of University of Maiduguri, Borno State.
CHAIRMAN COUNCIL OF OBAS
Alaafin was the permanent Chairman of the Council of Obas and Chiefs in Oyo State until May 3, 2011 when former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala (now late) announced that the state government had passed a law that introduced rotation of the Office of Chairman between the Alaafin and two other kings in the state – the Olubadan of Ibadanland and the Soun of Ogbomoso.
One notable attribute of the late king was his love for boxing, a ‘skill’ he had dramatically displayed in public. He was said to be a boxer before ascending the throne.
Alaafin was married to Ayaba Abibat Adeyemi, his senior wife. However, he had about twelve junior wives, whom he attended events with.
His junior wives included Ayaba Rahmat Adedayo Adeyemi, Ayaba Mujidat Adeyemi, Ayaba Rukayat Adeyemi, Ayaba Folashade Adeyemi, Ayaba Badirat Ajoke Adeyemi, Ayaba Memunat Omowunmi Adeyemi, Ayaba Omobolanle Adeyemi, Ayaba Moji Adeyemi, Ayaba Anuoluwapo Adeyemi, and Ayaba Damilola Adeyemi.
FATHERED OVER 20 CHILDREN
Alaafin Adeyemi III is succeeded by more than 20 children and grand children.