Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III (Alaafin of Oyo) — Nigerian Pilot News
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Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III (Alaafin of Oyo)

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Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III

Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III is a traditional icon, and the current Alaafin of Oyo. He is also known by other titles like the Kabiyesi (the king who no one can question), Iku Baba Yeye (the One who can command death or pronounces same upon his father or mother or he who is parent to death), Alashe (he who wields authority), Ekeji Orisha (second-in-command to gods).

Oyo is the traditional empire of Yoruba land, and is situated in the current day Oyo State of Nigeria. The Old Oyo Empire has been said to have existed without interruption for a period of about 600 years. In the time past, the Alaafin was an absolute ruler.

Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III was born into the Royal family of Oba Adeyemi II on 15 October, 1938. His father was the Former Alafin of Oyo. He spent his early childhood at Iseyin where he learnt the basic rudiments of Islamic religion.

Shortly after the Nigerian Civil war, Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III along other prince contested for the throne.

Those who slugged it out with him include; prince Aremo Sanni Gbadegesin, Prince Olanite Ajagba, Prince Afonja Ilaka, Prince Lamidi Adeyemi, and Prince Sanda ‘Ladepo Oranlola

The contest for the throne of the Alafin was thrown open following the demise of the then Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II.

Fortunately, Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III emerged the winner of the contest, although he was not crowned immediately as the Alafin until 14 January, 1971.

Before his coronation as the Oba, Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III had worked as an insurance clerk.

Oba Adeyemi III was part of the entourage that accompanied the then head of state General Murtala Ramat Mohammed to hajj and he was the only Oba from Yoruba land on the entourage.

In 1979, the Federal Government honored this great achiever with the national honor of CFR at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, Nigeria.

Oba Adeyemi was also appointed the chancellor of Uthman dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto and he held the position for 12 years. During his tenure, it was noted that Oba Adeyemi III presented several academic and reasoned memoranda on the University education and on contemporary issues published both nationally and internationally.

The university, in turn appreciated his contributions and achievements, by bestowing on him an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (LL.D).

It was Oba Adeyemi who on 14January 1988 installed the late Chief MKO Abiola as the Aare Ona Kankanfo(Field Marshal or Generalissimo) of the Yorubaland in recognition of his contributions to the social, economic, cultural and political development of Yoruba land and Nigeria at large.

He also crowned the talented singer Queen Salawa Abeni as the Queen of Waka Music (the Golden Voice of Africa) in the country.

Two years later, the Federal Government under the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida, appointed the Alaafin as the Amiru Hajj operation to lead the Muslim faithful in the 21 states of the federation.

The report of that year’s Hajj operation remained the yardstick of measuring the success of Hajj.

Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III is a holder of the Nigerian national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).

Oba Olayiwola III is married to seven women with over twenty children. One notable thing about him is the fact that he attends most events with his seven wives.

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