Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi
By Tunde Sanni in Ibadan
The fire incident which razed parts of the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi may have reconciled the monarch and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade and other leading monarchs in the South West region.
THISDAY checks in the palace showed that the January 8, 2013 fire outbreak in the Alaafin’s palace has broken some age-long barriers that have existed between the monarch and some of his contenders in the South West.
Shunning the age long rivalry between them and the Alaafin’s stool, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, and the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Samuel Odulana last weekend sent emissaries to the Oyo palace to commiserate with Oba Adeyemi.
Alaafin and the Ooni of Ife had about three months ago engaged each other in an altercation over the celebration of “Oranyan Festival” by the Alaafin, which the Ooni claimed exclusive preserve and right to celebrate. But like similar face-offs in the past, the Alaafin denigrated the status of the Ooni and his insubordination among the children of Oduduwa.
The relationship between the Alaafin and the Olubadan has also been frosty with the latter contesting the permanent chairmanship of the Oyo state Council of Obas and Chiefs with the former, leading to the comatose state of the council till date.
In spite of the scathing and vitriolic media attacks against each other, the Ooni of Ife sent a powerful delegation of his council members to the Alaafin to express his sympathy for the irreparable loss incurred through the conflagration.
The Ooni’s message was delivered by the Onisare of Ife, Oba J.A. Awe, who led two of his counterparts on the sympathy visit to the palace.
The Olubadan and the Olubadan-in-Council through the Osi Olubadan, High Chief Lekan Balogun ,yesterday, also visited the palace to sympathise with the Alaafin on the fire incident, which he said took them by surprise.
The Samu of Oyo who received the Olubadan delegation on behalf of the Alaafin, however expressed the monarch’s displeasure at the late coming of the Olubadan’s representatives, saying, “we had expected the Olubadan to have sent delegates to Oyo to oversee things for himself before now. Afterall, all Ibadans are Oyos. Many of you people migrated from here to Ibadan”.
The leader of the Olubadan delegation, attributed the late-coming to his non-availability, which according to him, the Olubadan-in-Council felt uncomfortable about.
He nevertheless thanked God on behalf of the Alaafin that no life was lost in the inferno, which took fire fighters about three hours to put out.