Alaafin at 70: Through the Eye of His People
In the past weeks, the media had heralded the celebration of the 70th birthday of His Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, J.P, CFR, LL.D, the Alaafin of Oyo, the pioneering Chancellor of Uthman Danfodio University, Sokoto and the Permanaent Chairman, Oyo state council of Traditional Rulers. Sereba Agiobu-Kemmer recalls the Alaafin’s upbringing and house hold and what his people and family members say about him.
According to history, the Alaafin (Lord of the palace) is the overlord of all his people and from his abode – the palace – he runs the affairs of the state. He is at the once on earth near and accessible to his people and at the same time the palace organization makes him rmote and far removed, a supernatural being in close commune with the spirits of ancestors and the gods and one who wields their power and authority over the people.
Genealogy of His Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III
- Ajaka - was dethroned
- Sango - became deified as god of thunder and lightening
- Ajaja - re-installed
- Onigbogi - conducted evacuation of Oyo-Ile probably around 16th century “There were 36 other kings after Onigbogi.
- Ofiran - built the city of Shaki
- Egunoju - founder of Oyo Igboho
- Orompoto - speculated to be a woman
- Ajiboyede -
- Abipa - 1570-1580
- Obalokun - 1580-1600
---Oluodo – He was not buried in BARA (The Royal Burial ground, hence his name was suppressed)
- Ajagbo - 1600-1658
- Odaranwu - 1658-1660
- Kanran - 1660-1665
- Jayin - (Appointed the first Awuyale of Ijebu Ode) 1655-1670
- Ayibi - 1678-1690
- Osiyango - 1690-1698
- Ojigi - 1698-1732
- Gbaru - 1732-1738
- Amuniwaye - 1738-1742
- Onisile - 1742-1750
- Labisi - 1750
- Awonbioju - 1750
- Agboluaje - (Celebrated Bere Festival) 1750-1772
- Majeogbe - 1772-1775
- Abiodun - (Celebrated Bere Festival) 1755-1805
- Maku - 1802-1830
- Majotu - (Ilorin sized by the Fulani)
- Amodo - 1830
- Oluewu - (Fall of Ancient Oyo) 1833-1834
- Abiodun Atiba - (Founder of present Oyo, celebrated Bere Festival) 1837-1859
- Adelu - 1858-1875
- Adeyemi I - 1875-1905
- Lawani Agogoija - 1905-1911
- Ladigbolu - Jan. 15, 1911-Dec. 19, 1944
- Adeniran Adeyemi II - Jan. 5, 1945-Sept. 20, 1955
- Bello Gbadegesin - (Ladigbolu II) July 20, 1956-1968
- Adeyemi III - (Present Alaafin of Oyo and Head of Yoruba land) 14 Jan, 1971 to date
His Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, J.P, CFR, LL.D
The Alaafin of Oyo Empire, his imperial Majesty Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, is undoubtedly a monarch not with only wit but also with class. To say he is an enigma by every standard is an understatement, as many who had an interaction with him testify that “a moment with him is like an exploratory adventure through the school of history”.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi III, no doubt, one of Africa’s most powerful and most influential kings, has lived two decades and over half a century into decades of heeding the natural call of the gods and his people.
Here is an X-ray into the life of the great Traditional Icon, who has held the Oyo Empire together in response to the covenant he made with his people and the gods.
Like the saying goes, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.