Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the passage of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, is like a dream.
Obasanjo described the late monarch as a symbol of a nation’s epic struggle for self-discovery and self-actualisation.
Obasanjo’s letter of condolence to the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, was made available through his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi to newsmen in Abeokuta on Saturday.
Obasanjo, who is presently in Ethiopia, condoled with the governor, the family of Oba Adeyemi and the entire people of Oyo on the transition.
He stated that the late highly revered monarch was a patriotic and highly respected traditional ruler who had immeasurable love for his people and great faith in a united Nigeria, declaring “he stood out as a voice of forthrightness in national affairs and he was as well a fervent promoter of mutual tolerance and understanding not only among the diverse people who live in his domain but also across the country.”
Obasanjo added, “It is well acknowledged that it was during his reign that Oyo Town got transformed to the modern city that it has become today and not surprisingly, his contribution to nation-building was also acknowledged in the conferment of the esteemed national honour of Commander of the Federal Republic, CFR, on him and other honorary degrees that he received from some Nigerian and outside educational institutions.
“Like most great leaders, Alaafin was all things to all people. To his family, he was a tower of strength and a committed provider; to his community of Oyo land, he was an early model in national leadership; to his Yoruba kinsmen, he was a worthy Ambassador; and to the rest of Nigeria, he was a symbol of a nation’s epic struggle in self-discovery and self-actualisation.
“Although Oba Adeyemi’s passage is like a dream, especially as he left us at a crucial state in our nation’s history when his wise counsel and rich experience are greatly needed, I would urge you and all the members of his immediate and extended family to take solace in the worthy legacy and his mark on the history of this country he left behind. In fact, we ought to give gratitude to God for his worthy life.
“May God grant his family, the good people of Oyo land and the entire Oyo State the grace to bear the heavy loss of his death. May the soul of the dear departed rest in perfect peace.”
The top Yoruba monarch known to have many beautiful wives died in the late hours of Friday.
Adeyemi died at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti.
He was 83 years old.