The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has described the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Atanda Adeyemi III as a moving encyclopaedia of Yoruba history, culture and values. He said the departed monarch could reel out events and dates in Yoruba history, ancient and modern, including significant milestones, without leaving anything out. “He probably knew everything about Yoruba history”.
Aregbesola in a statement made available to Eighteen-Eleven Media in Lagos said Oba Adeyemi was a father and mentor to him. “He had a special liking for me until he passed on. In 2013 when I was governor in Osun, we organised Oodua Children’s Day on the 27th of May to commemorate that year’s Children’s Day during which we brought participants from all Yoruba native and speaking parts of the world. Oba Adeyemi graced the occasion with Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Oonirisa. They both acknowledged it was the first time they would be together in a public outing”, the Minister said.
The Minister in the statement titled: “Oba Adeyemi, The Inimitable Monarch Lives On” further described Oba Adeyemi as an elegant and colourful monarch and a bridge between the ancient and the modern. “He encapsulated the totality of recorded Yoruba history dating back to the 11th Century. He was also urbane and cosmopolitan, moving seamlessly between the two worlds.
“He would speak and act as the patron of Yoruba traditional institutions in one breath and another, he would be seen in trendy sportswear, practising the most advanced aerobic exercise. Of course, he was a boxer”, he stated.
In his recent tiff with the self-styled National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Ogbeni Aregbesola said the late monarch was a major player in the effort to settle the rift and that he was still working on it till he passed on.
“My last moment with him was on 7 March, in Ibadan, earlier this year, at the birthday ceremony of Dr Yunus Akintunde. As usual, he was colourful and mirthful. His warmth, effervescence and royal aura permeated the environment.
“He was physically active and agile, never giving the impression of any impairment of old age. We, therefore, had no inkling that he would join his ancestors any time soon.
“My deepest condolences to his immediate family, the government and people of Oyo, Yoruba people worldwide and his admirers across the globe.
“I pray for the repose of his soul and unending comfort for him at his next station.”