Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, says the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, passed on at the crucial moment when Nigeria needs his wise counsel and rich experience as a royal father of note.
Obasanjo stated this while paying glowing tributes to the Oyo monarch, who died on Friday night aged 83.
The former president in a letter of condolence sent to Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, said Oba Adeyemi died “at a crucial state in our nation’s history when his wise counsel and rich experience are greatly needed.”
Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, made copies of the letter available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Saturday.
Obasanjo described the late monarch as a symbol of a nation’s epic struggle in self-discovery and self-actualisation.
He added that the late Alaafin was a patriotic and highly respected royal father, who had immeasurable love for his people and great faith in a united Nigeria.
Obasanjo’s letter stated, “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.
“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.”
Obasanjo further said that although the Alaafin’s passage was like a dream, his family should be consoled by his worthy legacies and his mark on the history of the country he left behind.
The former president noted that God should be given the gratitude for Monarch’s worthy life.
He prayed that God would grant the family, the people of Oyo and the entire Oyo State the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss occasioned by the Alaafin’s demise.