Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has paid glowing tributes to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who died on Friday night at the age of 83.
In the letter of condolence sent to the Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, Obasanjo said Oba Adeyemi died “at a crucial state in our nation’s history when his wise counsel and rich experience are greatly needed.”
A copy of the letter was made available to journalists in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Saturday by Obasanjo’s Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi.
The former President described the monarch as a symbol of a nation’s epic struggle in self-discovery and self-actualisation.
He described the late Alaafin as a patriotic and highly respected traditional ruler who had immeasurable love for his people and great faith in a united Nigeria.
Obasanjo said, “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.
According to Obasanjo, although Oba Adeyemi’s passage is like a dream, his family can take solace in the worthy legacy and his mark on the history of the country he left behind.
He noted that gratitude ought to be given to God for the worthy life the monarch lived.
Obasanjo prayed that God would grant the family, the people of Oyo land and the entire Oyo State the grace to bear the heavy loss of the monarch’s death.