Following the controversy that trailed the burial of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, the head of Oyo Mesi (Alaafin-in-Counci), High Chief Yusuf Ayoola, on Monday, revealed why the monarch was not buried like other obas in Yoruba land.
Recall that the Traditional Worshippers Association of Nigeria in Oyo State had on Sunday expressed displeasure over the open display of the remains of the late Oba Adeyemi.
The group in a statement signed by its chairman and secretary, Afedabi Dasola and Fakayode Fatunde, said it was disappointing to see Alaafin’s corpse all over the internet.
“It is saddening and we want this to be on record that we as a body are protesting this act, we do not want our children and grandchildren to question us in the future that we did not act or talk,” the group said.
But Ayoola, who is the Basorun (Prime Ministry) of Oyo said that the monarch’s corpse was brought to the public to allow Islamic clerics to pray on it before interment because Oba Adeyemi was a Muslim.
He noted that the act did not contradict tradition, adding that the corpse was not buried in public.
“Kabiyesi was a Muslim. What was important is that Muslim clerics needed to pray on his corpse before it was taken to Ile Nla (kings’ burial site). Aftet that, the corpse was taken indoor to prepare for burial, according to tradition. People should not expect to witness Alaafin’s burial like those of other obas. Alaafin’s burial is different, so is that of Ooni. Oyo is a town ingrained in Yoruba culture. We do things according to Yoruba tradition; and that was exactly why the corpse was buried in accordance with tradition,” Ayoola said.
Speaking on when new Alaafin will emerge, the High Chief said that due process must be followed before another king can be enthroned, in spite of the fact that the compound that will produce the next Alaafin is already known.
“There is procedure for everything here. That is why it is often said that Aji se bi Oyo laa ri, Oyo kii se bi enikan’ (others only copy Oyo, we don’t copy others), meaning that we are uniquely different in the way we do our things, we must follow procedure and meet high standards. There are only two compounds that produce the Alaafin. Only the one favoured by God mounts the throne,” the Basorun added.
Oba Adeyemi, who hailed from Alowolodu compound, joined his ancestors on Friday evening after reigning for 52 years.
He would be remembered for his great knowledge of history, influence and promotion of Yoruba culture.