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TRIBUTE to Alaafin of Oyo, By Oloye Lekan Alabi: Move Close, Maintain Your Distance As Kings Consume The Haughty

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L-R : The Military Governor of the old Western State of Nigeria,the late Major-General Adeyinka Adebayo and Alaafin Adeyemi 111,shortly after Kabiyesi's installation in January,1971 in Oyo.

Move Close To Kabiyesi, Keep A Safe Distance From Kabiyesi, As Kings Consume The Haughty – 50th Coronation Anniversary Tribute to Alaafin Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111.

The foregoing is a Yoruba cautionary saying that subjects may embrace Kings, and at the same time, keep a safe distance from their Imperial Majesties. The catchword in the above saying is that closeness to power or authority should not lead to or breed familiarity.

Every Yorubaman or woman of royal or aristocratic backgrounds knows and keeps strictly to the above double-edge advice. Kabiyesi Alayeluwa Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, today formally begins the 4-day long “downplayed” celebrations of his 50 years on the revered throne of his forefathers.

The celebrations will, according to Kabiyesi’s Protocol Officer, climax on Thursday,14th January, this year. Long live the Alaafin. I humbly cherish the honour of the royal father and son relationship that Kabiyesi Alaafin has graciously allowed, over the years, to grow between his Imperial Majesty and my humble self.

In 1962, my late uncle, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Kolapo Alabi, hoisted our family flag on the soil of Oyo Alaafin, as the founding Dealer of the former TEXACO (now MRS) Petrol Filling Station, Akesan Market, Oyo. In the early ’60s, the station was the third landmark, after the Alaafin Palace and the Atiba Hall, in the Akesan Quarters of Oyo. And what a privilege it was, and still is, to be tagged to the name Alabi Elepo Texaco.

The Alabis have since grown from the Akesan Market Texaco petrol station fame to Durbar and Kosobo GRA, Oyo Residents Landlords Association, more so the Ibadan Descendants Union arm. As stated above, Kabiyesi Iku Baba Yeye, on getting to the exalted throne of the Alaafin in January 1971, has been kind and gracious to the Alabis, my humble self as our torchbearer from my years as the Press Secretary to four(1 civilian and 3) former Governors of old Oyo State between 1983 and 1989.

I shall let sleeping dogs lie, by keeping silent on the long-drawn battles, over the permanent Chairmanship position of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, between the Alaafin and two of the four Governors whose Press Secretary I was. It is a war better left out of Kabiyesi’s golden coronation celebrations.

Moreover, the matter is still in court. We celebrate with Kabiyesi Alaafin on this landmark celebration. Ki ade pe lori, ki bata pe lese. Ase.

PHOTOGRAPHS

L-R: Former Military Governor of old Oyo State, then Lieutenant-Colonel Adetunji Olurin, and government officials with Alaafin Adeyemi 111 on an official tour of Oyo in 1985.I was then serving Governor Olurin as Press Secretary. I am on the far right in the foreground.
L-R: My humble self, representing the late Olubadan Ogundipe Arapasowu 1, at the 65th birthday ceremony of Alaafin Adeyemi 111, on 15th October 2005.
Alaafin Adeyemi 111, on his arrival at my 70th birthday celebration at the new International Conference Centre of The University of Ibadan, on Sunday,6th December 2020.
L-R: King Sunny Ade and I on a sympathy visit to Alaafin Adeyemi 111, in 2013 when part of his Palace was gutted
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