Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, the Alaafin of Oyo, clocked 79 on October 15.
Adeyemi was born on October 15, 1938 as the seventh son of Alaafin Adeniran Alowolodu Adeyemi II.
The first class traditional ruler has enjoyed the rare grace of long life and long, impactful reign.
In this clime where life expectancy is 42 years, clocking 79 years while still agile and kicking is worthy of celebration.
Since he mounted the throne of his forefathers in 1971, Oyo has witnessed tremendous growth.
In my view, the major contributions of Oba Adeyemi III to Oyo kingdom are not only in terms of the transformation of Oyo into the modern city it is today, but also in the preservation of the hegemony of Alaafin’s throne as well as the Oyo Yoruba heritage and dominance in Yorubaland and Nigeria as a whole.
At any fora, whether in Nigeria or abroad, Oba Adeyemi has always emphasised the imperative of preserving Yoruba language as a means of communication and impartation of knowledge.
Also, he has spearheaded the promotion of our traditional festivals like Sango veneration, as well as the institution of the Oranmiyan festival in honour of the pre-colonial African nation builder.
In addition, Oba Adeyemi, through his outfits, promotes Yoruba culture, of which he is the custodian.
The Alaafin is one of the two obas in Yorubaland that government looks up to for direction on any knotty issue about obaship in Yorubaland, including boundary matters among towns.
It should be noted that the creation of Oyo State was spearheaded by Oba Adeyemi as a means of preserving the separate identity of Oyo Yoruba.
In all his years as the Alaafin, Oba Adeyemi III has employed several means to preserve and sustain the prime position of the Oyo throne, particularly since the return to civil rule in 1999.
This is worthy of commendation.