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All Eyes On AGUNLOYE Royal Family To Produce Next Alaafin

Since Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111 joined his ancestors some weeks ago, people have been anxiously looking forward to who emerges as the next Alaafin of Oyo.

Alaafin Adeyemi, who reign over the Oyo Kingdom for 52 years, passed on late Friday night, the 22nd of April, 2022, after being admitted to the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, at age 83.

Attention, however, is presently on the Agunloye family, as the royal family to produce the next Alaafin, according to the existing arrangement, custom and the government’s declaration guiding the selection of Alaafin. Let’s quickly tell you about the two main royal families in the Oyo kingdom. In Oyo, there are two ruling houses that are entitled to the throne; the Alowolodu and Agunloye royal families. There are branches in the two families. Under Alowolodu is the Adeyemis, while we have Oladigbolu, Gbadegesin and Siyanbola families all under Agunloye royal family. The immediate past Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi was from the Alowolodu royal family. He was crowned in 1970 at the passing of Oba Bello Gbadegesin Ladigbolu 11. So it is now the turn of Agunloye ruling house to produce the next Alaafin again.

How the next Alaafin will emerge? According to a prominent son of Oyo who wouldn’t want his name mentioned in the print since he was not authorized to speak on royal matters, there is no controversy whatsoever in the ascendance of a new Alaafin. As there are laid down rules and traditions to be followed.

The process for a new Oba to emerge commences immediately after the burial rites of the immediate past Alaafin and all the sacrifices must have been completed. “After all these, it is now left for the family head of the concerned royal family to nominate a suitable candidate or candidates for the position and screening and verification will commence from there,” he said.

Other protocols to be followed in selecting a new Alaafin, according to the source, also include consulting the oracle (Ifa) for clear divination of whoever is being chosen by the kingmakers. This, he said becomes necessary for clarity, economic and human development and a peaceful reign of a new Alaafin.

Some of the above facts were corroborated by another prominent prince of the kingdom from the Agunloye royal family and a retired Archbishop Emeritus of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Ayo Ladigbolu in a recent interview.

According to Baba Ladigbolu, the nominated candidates from the family will be presented to Baba Iyaji, a titled prince of Oyo, who will subsequently submit the names to the Basorun, head of the Oyomesi. The Basorun will then summon a meeting of the kingmakers and present the list to them. Chief Ladigbolu said though seven kingmakers were once recognized, the number has reduced with the nullification of one of them. “There are seven kingmakers according to the declaration. They are Basorun, Asipa, Agabaakin, Alapinni, Lagunna, Shamu and Akiniku,” Ladigbolu said.

“But Asipa is no longer existing so there are only six kingmakers remaining.” Explaining further, Ladigbolu said the candidate acceptable to the majority of the kingmakers will be thereafter proclaimed the next Alaafin.

Bishop Ladigbolu also explained that the kingmakers may have to interview the individuals presented to them before making a decision.

He added that in selecting the next Alaafin, the law does not specify age, educational background, knowledge of the tradition and culture of Oyo or personal wealth as criteria. “All males of the Agunloye are qualified to come forward and signify their intention to become the next Alaafin,” he said.

Of course, the above-mentioned points are never bounding as criteria for the next Alaafin to emerge. The belief out there is that whoever will emerge as the next Alaafin must possess certain qualities. The person, many believe, has to be young, vibrant, educated and well exposed. He must also be the one who understands Yoruba culture and tradition and be ready to protect, preserve and propagate the same as an occupier of a respected throne in Yorubaland.

The above-listed qualities, many argued, will not only bring about an accelerated development to the Oyo kingdom but also some level of respect to Yorubaland. As the immediate past Alaafin, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi had raised the standard of Alaafin's throne.


-Dare Adeniran

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