The oldest traditional ruler and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, today celebrated the 50th anniversary of his accession to the royal throne.
The king was Selected on 14 January 1971.
Though he had earlier declared the postponement of the celebration as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the king announced the Golden Jubilee celebration of his social affairs.
In a statement last weekend, Oba Adeyemi, permanent chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, stated the need to comply with the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic as the justification for the postponement.
The statement reads: “With due gratitude to God first and foremost, and my illustrious and great ancestors, I will be 50 years on the throne of the most exalted Yoruba throne this month. My gratitude is further deepened by the fact that I ascended the throne at the age of 31.
“As it is expected, I have made adequate and abundant arrangements for the elaborate thanksgiving ceremony to celebrate the well-deserved occasion.
“As usual, those who know the importance of the Alaafin stool to the Yoruba nationhood at home and in the diaspora had indicated their intention to be present on the occasion.
“Accordingly, a lot of resources had been committed by well-meaning people apart from my personal purse; to which we thank God for His blessings. But against the backdrop of the current global pandemic of COVID-19, I have got to make a rethink on the timing of the celebration.
“With very strong personal pain, but with respect for the sanctity of human life, I have been able to convince my traditional cabinet in the name of Oyomesi, of the need to postpone the formal programme till after the pandemic may have gone in no distant future.
“Suffice to say that part of the factors that informed the painful decision is the logistics of effecting the social distance rule and the need of harbouring visitors from abroad, the mandatory two weeks isolation, which may not be verified.
“Consequently, between personal interest and national interest is concerned, especially when it comes to the sanctity of human lives, the choice is clear for any patriot.
“While regretting any inconvenience the postponement may have caused, the sanctity of human life is more important to me than any social engagement.”