Traditional religion adherents, on the platform of the Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council (ARSADIC), say there are great lessons to learn from the life and times of the late Lamidi Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo.
Mourning the passing of Alaafin Adeyemi, who joined his ancestors last Friday at 83, at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti, they said he deserved to be celebrated.
In a statement by its President, Fagbenusola Atanda, and the Secretary, Fatah Toromade, described the 44th Alaafin as an extraordinary traditional ruler.
Messrs Atanda and Toromade said the late traditional ruler lived for the preservation and sustenance of the indigenous Yoruba tradition and culture.
They said the late Alaafin would be missed for his unequalled efforts in championing good causes that had proved the Yoruba people’s invaluable contributions to a peaceful and united Nigeria.
“Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s leadership style transcended a parochial interest in a particular religion.
“He lived up to the name and traditional status of his stool by embracing all religious faiths of his people.
“As traditional religion worshippers, we equally enjoyed a robust relationship that was devoid of deceit with him.
“He was a strong pillar, who provided support for the promotion and advancement of Orisa principles and practices.
“We are very proud for having him as one of our respected grand patrons.
“His presence across Nigeria and beyond the shores of our great nation truly commanded respect and royalty.
“As testimony to his fame and being a true ambassador of the Yoruba race, Oba Adeyemi, among his numerous awards, was a holder of the National Honour of Commander of the Federal Republic and Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri during his 52 years of glorious reign.
“Baba lived for justice and never shied away from speaking truth to the power. He was bold, courageous, visionary, and energetic even till his last days.
“He expanded and increased the fortune of Oyo Town, his immediate domain, and made it conform with modern civilisation without losing its true identity as an ancient kingdom.
“In this trying period, we stand with the Oyo Mesi and the people of Oyo to mourn the loss of our revered Oba and at the same time celebrate his good deeds and legacies.
“Also in our grief, we pray to the Olodumare to make the late Alaafin, our great father, find peace with his ancestors.”