Traditionalists reposses Alaafin’s remains after Muslim prayers
Sango devotees have taken custody of the remains of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, for apparent continuation of traditional rites after Islamic prayers were performed on the body.
The Chief Imam of Oyo, Mas’ud Adebayo, had earlier this afternoon led Muslims to perform Janazah (funeral prayers before internment) on the body of the Alaafin inside the palace.
But Sango devotees were later seen carrying the remains from Ode Aro part of the palace into the Oba Adeyemi III Hall, where they initially covered the “sleeping” monarch with a mat before forming a circle around the remains.
But they later asked mourners and journalists, to leave the hall.
As the remains were carried, the devotees chanted dirges and eulogies of Sango, whom an Alaafin embodies, according to Yoruba mythology.
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III was the longest-reigning ruler of the kingdom since his great-grandfather, Oba Atiba Atobatele founded New Oyo in the 1830s.
A direct descendant of Oranyan (founder of the Old Oyo Empire), Adeyemi III was also a boxer before ascending the throne of his fathers after the Nigerian Civil War.
Crowned on November 18, 1970, while succeeding Oba Gbadegesin Ladigbolu I, Iku Baba Yeye, as he was known popularly, would rule for 51 years and 5 months. The longest reign since Alaafin Oluaso in the 1400s.
Adeyemi III joined his ancestors on Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State in South-West Nigeria. He was 83.