Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi
By Tunde Sanni
The Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, at the weekend gave an indication that the Federal Government would help in rebuilding the burnt part of the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi.
Akinruntan who said he led an advanced presidential team on a sympathy visit to the Alaafin whose palace was burnt, said President Goodluck Jonathan was deeply saddened and shocked by the palace inferno.
The Ugbo monarch said he was at the palace in three capacities, as the fore-runner of the emissary by the President, as the Chairman, Yoruba Conflict Resolution Committee and as the chairman of Ilaje Local Government Traditional Council and disclosed that the President specifically asked him to deliver his message to the Alaafin, with a promise that he (President) would still send a powerful delegation to deliver his letter of sympathy as well as the necessary assistance towards the reconstruction of the burnt area of the palace.
Akinruntan, who was later conducted round the razed apartments by the Alaafin, described the incident as a disaster not only to the Alaafin and the people of Oyo, but to the entire Yoruba people and urged for concerted efforts by every well-meaning sons and daughters of Yorubaland to rise to the challenge of making the palace the pride of place for all.
In his response, the Alaafin was full of praises for Oba Akinruntan, whose ancestors he traced to the first original settlers of the ancient Ife town, recalling that the Olugbo’s ancestors were the Ugbos that gave the Ifes nightmare before they left for their present site in the riverine area of Ondo State.
Oba Adeyemi also commended the Olugbo for his untiring efforts to ensure that Yoruba Obas live in unity and oneness through the conflict resolution committee being chaired by him, stressing that he was ready to attend any meeting of the prominent Obas towards living in peace amongst themselves.
Alaafin however maintained that there had never been a time in the history of Yoruba that Oyo was under any other town in Yorubaland and this had also informed his position, which to some people made him controversial.
“I can give 100 empirical evidences, spanning over five centuries to defend my position without looking into any book. It is only a person that is having something to hide that will not want to hold a meeting. I’m ready, for the sake of our people, because where two elements fight, it is the grass there that suffers,” Alaafin said.