Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo, joined his ancestors on Friday night, bringing an end to his 52-year-old illustrious reign on the throne.
Aged 83, Oba Adeyemi, who died at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, was the longest serving Alafin of Oyo.
As the public await funeral arrangements for Iku baba yeye as he was fondly called, here are eight highlights of Adeyemi’s life and time.
Oba Adeyemi was born on October 15, 1938 into the Alowolodu Royal House and was a member of the House of Oranmiyan. Iku baba yeye, whose mother, Ibironke, died when he was young, was the son of late Raji Adeniran Adeyemi who became Alaafin in 1945.
King at 31
Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III ascended the throne of Alafin in 1970 at a young age of 31 shortly after the end of the civil war. He became the king when Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo was the military governor of Oyo State.
One notable attribute of the late king was his love for boxing, a ‘skill’ he had dramatically displayed in public. He was said to be a boxer before ascending the throne.
Performed Hajj in 1975
In 1975, the then head of state, General Murtala Muhammed included Oba Adeyemi in his entourage to hajj. In 1990, General Ibrahim Babangida appointed him Amir-ul-Hajj in recognition of his commitment to the consolidation of Islam in Nigeria.
The late king was the chancellor of Uthman dan Fodiyo University in Sokoto from 1980 to 1992.
Chairman Council of Obas
Alafin was the permanent Chairman of the Council of Obas and Chiefs in Oyo State until May 3, 2011 when former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala (now late) announced that the state government had passed a law that introduced rotation of the Office of Chairman between the Alaafin and two other kings in the state – the Olubadan of Ibadanland and the Soun of Ogbomoso.
Married to 13 wives
Adeyemi had 11 wives, the senior among them being Ayaba Abibat Adeyemi, and usually attended most events with her or with one of the 12 junior wives.
His other wives include Ayaba Rahmat Adedayo Adeyemi, Ayaba Mujidat Adeyemi, Ayaba Rukayat Adeyemi, Ayaba Folashade Adeyemi, Ayaba Badirat Ajoke Adeyemi, Ayaba Memunat Omowunmi Adeyemi, Ayaba Omobolanle Adeyemi, Ayaba Moji Adeyemi, Ayaba Anuoluwapo Adeyemi, And Ayaba Damilola Adeyemi.
Fathered over 20 children
Alafin is succeeded by more than 20 children and grand children.