Palace sources have confirmed the passing of the highly revered monarch the Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi.
Alaafin Adeyemi, the third member of the Alowodu Ruling House, reportedly died on Friday night at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital in Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State in South-West Nigeria.
According to the palace sources, the remains of the top Yoruba traditional ruler were brought to Oyo town, 62 kilometers from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in the early hours of Saturday, and traditional rites began.
He was 83 years old and has been the longest reigning Alaafin in history, ruling for 52 years.
Alaafin, or The Owner of the Palace in the Yoruba language, is the title of the emperor of the medieval Oyo empire and present-day Oyo town of West Africa. He ruled the old Oyo Empire which extended from the present day Benin republic to Nigeria originating from states in the South East and West to the North.
Alaafin Adeyemi III was born on October 15, 1938 into the Alowolodu Royal House, and as a member of the House of Oranmiyan to Raji Adeniran Adeyemi (born 1871), who later became Alaafin in 1945, and Ibironke of Epo-Gingin.
Kaabiesi Lamidi Adeyemi succeeded Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II in 1970, during the governorship of Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo, after the end of the Nigerian Civil War. In 1975, the head of state General Murtala Ramat Muhammed included Oba Adeyemi in his entourage to the hajj. He was chancellor of Uthman dan Fodiyo University in Sokoto from 1980 to 1992. In 1990, President Ibrahim Babangida appointed him Amir-ul-Hajj in recognition of his commitment to the consolidation of Islam in Nigeria.
Meanwhile,the head of the Oyomesi, Basorun of Oyo, High Chief Yusuf Akinade Ayoola, is expected to take over pending the appointment of a new Alaafin.
Governor Seyi Makinde is expected to be briefed officially this morning by the Basorun.
The departure of Oba Adeyemi makes it three, the numbers of prominent Oyo kings that have joined their ancestors in the last five months. Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi died December 12, 2021 while Olubadan Saliu Adetunji died January 2, 2022.