Following Governor Seyi Makinde’s advice to Oyo Messi, the Kingmakers, to accelerate action on the succession arrangement for the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who passed away on Friday, the race to succeed the late monarch began yesterday.
Prince Mukaila Afonja, the Baba Iyaji of Oyo, who is also the head of the city’s princes, revealed to reporters that he was sure succession moves would have started quietly between the interested parties.
He said that interested princes from the next ruling house would submit their requests, just as he revealed that no one has brought him any letters yet.
Iyaji added that he believed applicants interested in succeeding the late monarch would start bringing their letters after the eight days of fidau prayers.
He said: “The movements to succeed Oba Adeyemi would have started as we are talking now, but no one has applied to me.
“I am the head of the Omooba (princes) and as we speak, there would have been movements, but no one has made any requests to me.
“The process is this, all the princes of the next ruling house, who are interested in becoming Alaafin, will submit their applications to me.
“After selecting them, I will now invite the Oyo Mesi and, for example, if the applicants remain as two or a manageable number, Ifa Oracle will be consulted to know which of them should be chosen.”
He said that individual wealth or status alone would not be used as a criterion for choosing the next Alaafin because there would be negative consequences if the right person was not chosen.
He assured the townspeople that they would be guided by the fear of God and their love for the people of Oyo in selecting the best to ascend the throne.
MEANWHILE, the longest-serving staff in the late Alaafin’s palace, Mr. Morenikeji Lasisi, popularly called ‘Baba Keji’, Oba Adeyemi said, was the best among the last three monarchs.
Lasisi, who is said to have served the palace for nearly 77 years, said that Alaafin Lamidi Adeyemi brought unprecedented development to the palace beyond his expectations.
Speaking further, Lasisi said that she was very close to the Alaafin even though he was her servant in the palace.
He said; “I cut grass in the palace. The late king often sends me on errands. Every day, I usually go to the slaughterhouse to get meat for my late boss in the morning. I have served three kings now. I came to the palace during the time of Oba Adeyemi Adeniran, the father of the late Alaafin Lamidi Adeyemi.
“I also treated Bello Gbadegesin Oladigbolu and Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi, who passed away on Friday. I am always happy when I am with the Alaafin. He always has money and resources to serve people. There is always enjoyment in the palace during his reign.
“We were always having fun. I will miss all the joy. Since I am here now, if someone tries to take me abroad, after telling my people, I will go. But I will surely return to my base here in Oyo.”