Soun, Olubadan and Alaafin: The Fall of Iroko Trees

( Busy Brain Writes from Offa, Kwara State )

On Friday, 22nd of April, 2022, the whole of Southwest was thrown into a somber and forlorn mood over the demise of a great king of Oyo kingdom, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi lll, the 46th Alaafin Oyo, Iku baba yeye. His death was made known to the public through social media early Saturday, at the initial stage, his death was assumed to be a rumor as a result of the controversial nature of social media and the persistent carriers of fake news. In the twinkle of an eye, the rumored death turned into reality, it was confirmed that Alaafin had gone to roost at Baara, an abode of his ancestors. It was shocking and unbelievable. An iroko tree fell till the day of resurrection.

Alaafin’s death at 83 still looks shocking like one at a tender age. After storming on a clip where he was doing boxing exercise, his agile looks and stamina are a replica of baba at 40. He punched the bag with vim and vigor, with a mixture of road walk exercise. His fitness corroborated his eulogy as omo iku tii iku o le pa ( son of death that can not be killed by death ) omo aarun ti run o le se (son of ailment that can never be captured by diseases). Amidst other eulogies, these two remain an emblem of strength, virility and agility.

History will never forget a king who turns his subject into a gold mine, Alaafin engraved his name on the pages of history where those who made change possible can never be forgotten. He accommodates all and sundry, the medievals and geriatrics, men and women and will never rush to make jabberwocky headlines in the media. His relentless efforts for peaceful coexistence among Yorubas, South west, and Nigeria are conspicuous, very visible to the blind, and audible to the deaf. He came, he saw, he conquered as long-serving Alaafin…the iku baba yeye of Oyo kingdom.

Oba Adeyemi’s vacuum in Yoruba land will not only be missed but be tedious to be refilled. As a top-notch and respected monarch, he knew the value of peace, harmony and handled controversial issues with the touch of diplomacy and pragmatism. He strived to unite the Yoruba race and settled discord capable of tearing Yorubas apart.

Throughout his reign, Oba Adeyemi never fan the ember of discord and disunity. He watched his public utterances on matters of national interest not as a coward but as a custodian of peace. He knew where to talk tough and where to administer calmness. He condescended by leaving his resplendent throne to attend events of other monarchs in their towns. The first time and last time I saw him was during Asiwaju of Offa installation at Olofa’s palace. He led by example. He loved his people, his subject, and the Yoruba race under his watch.

Southwest and particularly, Oyo State in less than six months had witnessed the unpalatable death of royal fathers of notable ancient towns. It is as if the monarchs in Yoruba land had a meeting to bid their subjects farewell intermittently. Very swift and the rhythm of death is unfriendly. It gong sounds painful and not sonorous to the ears. It is a pity.

In December 2021, the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade lll joined his ancestors at age of 95 years after reigning for 48 years and 22 days after which was January 2022, Oba Olubadan followed suit, and now, Alaafin joined. The rampage of death of top-notch monarchs in the southwest, Oyo State will create a great vacuum, their gourd of deep-rooted knowledge, wisdom, understanding of rich history, culture, the landmass of Yoruba kingdoms will be dearly missed.

Olubadan, Soun, and Alaafin have tried their best and left the rest for others; nevertheless, they should inform Awolowo, Akintola, and others that their children are still at loggerheads for the Presidential ticket… Their offsprings who once acted as father and son have been denying themselves on the verge of actualizing their interests. Tell Baba Awoo that Yorubas are still in caucus; not in unity.

May your souls continue to rest in peace…The iroko trees of Yoruba kingdoms. Adieu!

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