Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the late Lamidi Adeyemi, Alaafin of Oyo, had great faith in a united Nigeria.
The longest-reigning monarch who had been on the throne for 52 years, died late Friday night at Afe Babalola Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
In a condolence letter addressed to Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State, and the people of the state, the former president said the monarch’s passing is like a dream to him.
Obasanjo said the monarch died at a critical period in Nigeria’s history his wisdom and expertise were much needed.
“I note, with delight, Oba Adeyemi’s immense contributions to peace, community development and growth and national development, especially since his ascension to the revered throne of Alaafin of Oyo, nearly 52 years ago,” the letter reads.
“As a patriotic and highly respected traditional ruler who had immeasurable love for his people and great faith in a united Nigeria, he stood out as a voice of forthrightness in national affairs and he was as well a fervent promoter of mutual tolerance and understanding not only among the diverse people who live in his domain but also across the country.
“It is well acknowledged that it was during his reign that Oyo Town got transformed into the modern city that it has become today and not surprisingly, his contribution to nation-building was also acknowledged in the conferment of the esteemed national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR, on him and other honorary degrees that he received from some Nigerian and outside educational institutions.
“Like most great leaders, Alaafin was all things to all people. To his family, he was a tower of strength and a committed provider; to his community of Oyo land, he was an early model in national leadership; to his Yoruba kinsmen, he was a worthy Ambassador; and to the rest of Nigeria, he was a symbol of a nation’s epic struggle in self-discovery and self-actualisation.
“Although Oba Adeyemi’s passage is like a dream, especially as he left us at a crucial state in our nation’s history when his wise counsel and rich experience are greatly needed, I would urge you and all the members of his immediate and extended family to take solace in the worthy legacy and his mark on the history of this country he left behind. In fact, we ought to give gratitude to God for his worthy life.”