The Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has postponed the celebration off is fifty years of being installed and coronated as a traditional ruler.
Mr Adeyemi, who is the permanent chairperson of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, in a press release signed by him on Friday, cited the need to adhere to the restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason behind the postponement.
The statement reads: “With due gratitude to God first and foremost, and my illustrious and great ancestors, I will be fifty years on the throne of the most exalted Yoruba throne this January. My gratitude is further deepened by the fact that I ascended the throne at the age of Thirty-One.
“As it is expected, I have made adequate and abundant arrangements for the elaborate thanksgiving ceremony to celebrate the well-deserved occasion.
“As usual, all those who know the importance of the Alaafin Stool to the Yoruba nationhood both at home and in the diaspora had indicated their intention to be physically present on the occasion.
“Accordingly, a lot of resources had been committed by well meaning people apart from my personal purse; to which we thank God for His blessings. But against the backdrop of the current global pandemic of COVID-19, I have got to make a rethink on the timing of the celebration.
“With very strong personal pain, but with respect for the sanctity of human life, I have been able to convince my traditional cabinet in the name of Oyomesi, of the need to postpone the formal programme till after the pandemic might have gone in no distant future.
“Suffice to say that part of the factors that informed the painful decision is the logistics of effecting the social distance rule and the need of harbouring visitors from abroad, the mandatory two weeks isolation which might not be verified.
“Consequently, between personal interest and national interest is concerned, especially when it comes to the sanctity of human lives, the choice is clear for any patriot.
The monarch said while he regretted any inconveniences the postponement might have caused, the sanctity of human life is more important to him than any social engagement.
Mr Adeyemi was installed the Alaafin in 1971 at the age of 31 years.