The revered thrown of the Alaafin of Oyo has been vacant for over a year now, and over 85 princess has indicated interest to occupied the exalted stool of one of the most powerful monarchs in the history of Yoruba Race.
It’s one thing to vy for a position, and the. It’s another thing to have what it’s takes and the blessings of the gods, when the late Alaafin Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III assume the throne at 32, many wonder if he will has any impact on the throne, history has it that he’s the longest ever serving monarch in Oyo Kingdom.
Alaafin Adeyemi III for 51 Years fought many battles, most times conquering. He was intentionally tough and brutal, apparently due to his experience, which shaped his insecurities and determination to prevent the injustice and difficulties his father suffered from befalling him.
The 44th Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi Alowolodu III, who lived an extraordinary life dedicated to battles, joined his ancestors on Friday, April 22, 2022. He was 83 and had ruled for nearly 52 years, the
longest of any Alaafin in modern history. He thrived against adversities that marked his way from childhood, survived storms, and championed the culture and tradition of the Yoruba.
Many people in Oyo trembled at the thought, mention, or sight of the monarch. In most parts of Oyo, no event started without “E see Kabiesi fun Alaafin (Hail the Alaafin, whom nobody dares question) and most social and occupational associations had his photograph on their souvenirs. Alaafin Adeyemi was. Oyo was Alaafin Adeyemi.
Holder of the national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic and Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri until his transition, the Alaafin was an extraordinary man, a god-like figure with several myths surrounding his persona.
Oyo kids born to Alaafin-awestruck parents were told he was a spiritual being, who would turn himself to pieces before he slept at night. Others, including adults, believed he had supernatural powers to listen when people spoke ill of him even in their bedrooms far away from the palace.
So, it was common to hear Oyo people say “Nje pe ori Alaafin ni aida o (I am not wishing Alaafin bad)” and his panegyrists would sing “ti a ba bu leyin yii o si gbo o, abe ti lu kaara… (if you dare speak ill of him in
his absence, he would hear, he has his ears connected everywhere…).”
So, the news of his transition was incredible. More so, a vast number of people in Oyo had never witnessed the transition of an Alaafin. Before last Friday, the last time such happened was 54 years ago, 1968, when Alaafin
Adeyemi’s predecessor, Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II, passed away.
But it did happen – Alaafin Adeyemi reluctantly went to Baara as a stanza in his panegyrics goes:
Kìnìún òkè Àkẹ̀sán (The lion of Akesan hill)
Abi orí ẹṣin báábá lọ́nà kọ̀mu (Like the wanton horse’s head along Komu)
Abi ìrìn ẹṣin tìkọ̀-tìkọ̀ lọ́nà bààrà (Like the horse walks sluggishly along Baara)
Alaafin Adeyemi III was born in Oyo on October 15, 1938, in the twilight of the reign of Alaafin Siyanbola Ladigbolu I (1911-1944), who lit the first torch of modernity in Oyo.
His mother was Olori Ibironke and his father, Alaafin Adeniran Alabi Adeyemi II (1945-1955), the son of Aremo Adelakun and grandson of Alaafin Adeyemi Alowolodu I (1876-1905), the last ruler of Independent Oyo, who ruled during the Kiriji War and signed the July 1888 Treaty with the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland as “King and Head of Yorubaland”.
Alaafin Adeyemi I’s father and Alaafin Adeyemi III’s great-great-grandfather was Alaafin Abiodun Atiba, who founded the present Oyo in 1837 following the collapse of the old Oyo Empire.
Atiba, according to Oyo royal historians, actively worked against the rebuilding of Oyo Ile because he had had divination that it was fated to collapse. He focused on creating a new kingdom in the present Oyo where there were then existing settlements, including Ago Oja. To consolidate, he offered the title of Ashipa to the Oja family (at present-day Isale Oyo) by whose side the Alaafin palace sits to date. That was the genesis of an enduring history of tensions and confrontations, which became the main battle Alaafin Adeyemi III fought for most of his reign.
But his life battles started in his early years. Although born into royalty, he barely experienced the sublimity attached to such birth as a child, and perhaps forever! He was in Iseyin for Quranic education and later sent to live with the Alake of Egbaland, Adedapo Ademola. It is said that his father was enriching him with the required ingredients of tough adulthood, which he perhaps had foreseen. The young Lamidi was in Abeokuta until 1948 when his godfather, Alake Ademola, abdicated the throne following a series of protests over taxes by Egba women, most notably led by Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the mother of Afrobeat legend, Fela.
That event truncated his education in Abeokuta.
But instead of returning home, he was sent to live with Kofo Abayomi, a popular nationalist and medical practitioner, in Lagos where he attended St. Gregory’s College on Lagos Island. It was in Lagos that he became a boxer, which he said helped shape his character.
He did not attend a university. Though he said he was supposed to go study for a law degree in London, the demise of his father hurt his academic plan. Yet his erudition was profound. He was encyclopedic in his
knowledge of history, and he displayed that much in his various interventions, especially on chieftaincy and historical matters across Yorubaland.
All this aforementioned draw this writer to attention to the life of the most sorted out prince in the kingdom (Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu) a man who many said was born for the throne, research tells us that he’s the only aspirant with the required understanding, upbringing and a Prepared blue blood whose aura might be favoured by the gods.
Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu time and story relatively looks like that of the late Alaafin of Oyo, he has a rich sense of history, well articulate and a man of many paths. Even among princes he will be single out, little wonder why the son’s and daughters of Oyo clamor for him as their next Alaafin.
A Well connected personality that has the capacity to turn around the fortune of the kingdom, A man who has spent years of his life in the real estate world, definitely has a taste for good things, if chosen as the next Alaafin he will develop Oyo Kingdom to an enviable city.
Oyo Kingdom need a young king, has the developmental plan that will span years of continuous growth, while promoting and protecting the rich socio-cultural heritage of one of the most talked about kingdom in yoruba race and Nigeria, that man is no other than Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu.
We employ the government of Engr Seyi Makinde to deliver on his promises of not compromising the selection process and the will of the people, because their lives as a kingdom hangs in the final decision of his government, we urge him to ensure that justice is done base on popular demand, having it in mind that, this singular decision might make or mar the great Alaafin kingdom. Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu is our hope for a new Oyo Alaafin of our dreams.