The palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, on Saturday confirmed his transition.
This was after the spokesperson for the palace, Bode Durojaiye, had debunked news of the monarch’s death and blamed it on unnamed “disgruntled bloggers.”
Durojaiye confirmed the monarch’s death to a medium thus: “Alaafin is dead. Details in due course.”
Palace sources said his monarch’s remains would be taken to Baara, the final resting place of all the Alaafin of Oyo who joined their ancestors.
The source also confirmed that works have started immediately at Baara in preparation for the final burial of the late monarch.
“It is true Baara is being prepared for the final burial of the late iku baba yeye because that’s the final resting place of all his predecessors.
“Mind you, Baara is not just the final resting place of all the Alaafins, it is also a place where the Alaafin goes to whenever there is need to commune with his ancestors to seek for guidance and or directions,” the source said.
This newspaper also gathered that dignitaries have started arriving Oyo town to commiserate with the palace and the Governor of Oyo state, Seyi Makinde, who is the chief mourner.
Confusion reigned on Saturday over reports that the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, had died at 83.
Alaafin Adeyemi, the third from the Alowolodu Ruling House, died in the late hours of Friday at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State in South-West Nigeria.
The remains of the top Yoruba traditional ruler were brought to Oyo town, 62 kilometres from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in the early hours of Saturday and traditional rites began, palace sources said.
He was 83 years old and the longest reigning Alaafin ever, having ruled for 52 years.
The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, is expected to make an official announcement upon receiving the report of the monarch’s passing from the Bashorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinade, the head of the ‘Oyo Mesi’, who will now lead Oyo town before a new Alaafin is installed.
The monarch had been sick and a plan had been made to fly him abroad before he passed on late Friday night.
A source familiar with the medical travel plan said his tickets and those of a few wives were already procured.
His death came months after the two other senior Oyo State monarchs – the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi – died.
All happened in less than five months. Premium Times.
However, the Director of Media and Publicity to the Alaafin, Mr. Bode Durojaiye, said in a statement that the revered monarch was still alive.
Titled: ‘Alaafin Oyo RUMOURED DEATH UNFOUNDED,’ it reads: “It has come to the notice of the Office of the Director of Media and Publicity to the Alaafin of Oyo about a fake report making the wave in the social media, by a disgruntled group of bloggers, about the imaginary death of His Imperial Majesty, IKu Baba Yeye, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, the Alaafin of Oyo.
Members of the public are hereby urged to disregard the unfounded report , as the Paramount Ruler is hale and hearty .
Precisely on Monday and Tuesday this week, Oba Adeyemi, accompanied by some of his wives (Ayabas), children, aides and well wishers was at the Durbar Stadium ,Oyo, for physical fitness exercises as usual.
He has neither fallen sick nor rushed to the hospital for any serious ailment, hence he and his family remain agile and active .
The general public should not entertain any fear at all, as IKu Baba Yeye is healthy, physically fit and mentally stable.”