By Charles Akinbode
Traditional religion worshippers under the aegis of the Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council (ARSADIC) have mourned the death of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III.
Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who was the 44th Alaafin, joined his ancestors on Friday after passing away at the age of 83 years at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, where he was receiving a medical treatment.
According to a statement by the ARSADIC President, Chief Fagbenusola Atanda, who is the Asiwaju Awo Agbaye; and the Secretary, Fatah Toromade; the late Alaafin deserved to be celebrated for leading a worthy life.
Describing him as an extra-ordinary monarch, they said he lived for preservation and suatainance of the indigenous Yoruba tradition and culture.
The traditionalists said there are great lessons to take away from the life and times of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, who they said would be missed for his uneuqalled efforts in championing good causes that have proved the Yoruba people’s invaluable contributions to a peaceful and united Nigeria.
“Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s leadership style transcended a parochial interest in a particular religion, he lived upto the name and traditional status of his stool by embracing all religious faiths of his people.
“As tradional religion worshippers, we equally enjoyed a robbust relationship that was devoid of deceit with him. He was a strong pillar, who provided support for the promotion and advancement of Orisa principles and practices.
“We are very proud for having him as one of our respected grand patrons. His presence across Nigeria and beyond the shores of our great nation truly commanded respect and royalty. As testimony to his fame and being a true ambassador of the Yoruba race, Oba Adeyemi, among his numerous awards, was a holder of the national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic and Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri during his 52 years of glorious reign.
“Baba lived for justice and never shied away from speaking truth to the power. He was bold, courageous, visionary and energetic even till his last days. He expanded and increased the fortune of Oyo town, his immediate domain, and made it conform with modern civilization without losing its true identity as an ancient kingdom.
“In this trying period, we stand with the OYO MESI and the people of Oyo to mourn the loss of our reverred monarch and at the same time celebrate his good deeds and legacies. Also in our grief, we pray to the Olodumare to make the late Alaafin, our great father, find peace with his ancestors. Erinwo, Ajanaku sun bi Oke, Kinniun Oloola ju ti fo’wo okun le’le. Akoni loo. Omo iku waja, Omo Ofo sun re o!!!,” the statement read in part.