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Alaafin at 70: Through the Eye of His People

The Alaafin of Oyo

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

pix-005Previous Alaafins

  1. Oranmiyan
  2. Ajaka - was dethroned
  3. Sango - became deified as god of thunder and lightening
  4. Ajaja - re-installed
  5. Aganju
  6. Kori
  7. Oluaso
  8. Onigbogi - conducted evacuation of Oyo-Ile probably around 16th century “There were 36 other kings after Onigbogi.
  9. Ofiran - built the city of Shaki
  10. Egunoju - founder of Oyo Igboho
  11. Orompoto - speculated to be a woman
  12. Ajiboyede -
  13. Abipa - 1570-1580
  14. Obalokun - 1580-1600
    ---Oluodo – He was not buried in BARA (The Royal Burial ground, hence his name was suppressed)
  15. Ajagbo - 1600-1658
  16. Odaranwu - 1658-1660
  17. Kanran - 1660-1665
  18. Jayin - (Appointed the first Awuyale of Ijebu Ode) 1655-1670
  19. Ayibi - 1678-1690
  20. Osiyango - 1690-1698
  21. Ojigi - 1698-1732
  22. Gbaru - 1732-1738
  23. Amuniwaye - 1738-1742
  24. Onisile - 1742-1750
  25. Labisi - 1750
  26. Awonbioju - 1750
  27. Agboluaje - (Celebrated Bere Festival) 1750-1772
  28. Majeogbe - 1772-1775
  29. Abiodun - (Celebrated Bere Festival) 1755-1805
  30. Aole
  31. Adebo
  32. Maku - 1802-1830
  33. Majotu - (Ilorin sized by the Fulani)
  34. Amodo - 1830
  35. Oluewu - (Fall of Ancient Oyo) 1833-1834
  36. Abiodun Atiba - (Founder of present Oyo, celebrated Bere Festival) 1837-1859
  37. Adelu - 1858-1875
  38. Adeyemi I - 1875-1905
  39. Lawani Agogoija - 1905-1911
  40. Ladigbolu - Jan. 15, 1911-Dec. 19, 1944
  41. Adeniran Adeyemi II - Jan. 5, 1945-Sept. 20, 1955
  42. Bello Gbadegesin - (Ladigbolu II) July 20, 1956-1968
  43. 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

pix-001The 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.