'His hands and feet were swelling': Alaafin’s aide reveals final days

Alaafin of Oyo

Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III

An indigene of Oyo town, who is a confidant of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the late Alaafin of Oyo, said the monarch had swollen hands and feet but refused a medical trip abroad.

The aide also told TheCable that Alaafin behaved strangely in the final days of his death.

He said: “When he became ill, he was told to seek medical attention in the US or the United Kingdom. The suggestion was made because his hands and feet were swelling.

“He was becoming weaker by the day also. But he rejected the suggestion. He said there are qualified doctors in Nigeria who can treat him. We then arrived at taking him to Afe Babalola Teaching Hospital in Ado-Ekiti. Afe Babalola, the owner is Alaafin’s friend so we called him and he said that we should bring him immediately.”

The aide said Alaafin had earlier told him that there were things he would have liked to complete if he had more time to live.

“During one of my time with him, he told me that there were things he would have loved to complete but that time would not permit him,” the aide said.

“I told him that he could send me or any of us to do it for him but he said that I would not understand.”

The aide also said because of the frailty of the monarch, the journey to Ado-Ekiti took a longer time.

“On Sunday last week, we arranged for an ambulance and police escort to take him to Ado-Ekiti. The ambulance was necessary so that he would not be in a sitting position while the journey lasted. We wanted him to be comfortable.

“When he came out of the palace, he was aided by relatives because he was weak. But when he was to enter the ambulance, he shrugged off those who were assisting him to walk and said he could climb the ambulance door steps unaided but he could not despite making a spirited effort to climb it. He had to be helped to climb it.

“He looked back at the palace for the last time.

“The journey lasted over five hours because the vehicles had to travel slowly so as not to upset the king. Two days after arriving at the hospital, the swollen hands and legs became normal. His health improved but sometimes, he would look into space as if he was looking at something.

“On Friday morning, he called the two wives that went with him and said that they had to prepare and go home since the doctor had discharged him. A check on that claim revealed that it was not true. He made effort to prove that he was okay but it was obvious he needed more treatment.

“But in the evening, his voice became inaudible. Much as he tried to speak, he was not heard. Then he raised his hands from his sleeping position, dropped them, and left us.”

Alaafin’s aides pay final tribute

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Meanwhile, some aides and associates of the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi described the traditional ruler as a great mentor, who would be sorely missed.

Mr Bode Durojaiye, the Alaafin’s Media Aide, expressed shock over the demise of the highly revered traditional ruler.

Durojaiye described Oba Adeyemi as a great traditional ruler, who had contributed immensely to the development of Oyo Town, Oyo State, and Nigeria.

He said that the traditional ruler was a custodian of Yoruba culture and history, and “he is loved by his people”.

Durojaiye said that before the late Oba Adeyemi ascended the throne, Oyo Town was “not as developed as it is today”

According to him, Alaafin is a great traditional ruler who all other traditional rulers are very proud of.

“He was a great custodian of Yoruba culture and history.

“He was a philanthropist. He has transformed Oyo Town and the palace from what he met on ascending the throne. We have lost a great promoter of Yoruba culture,” Durojaiye said.

Also, Paula Gomez, the Alaafin’s Cultural Ambassador, described the late traditional ruler as “a great man and mentor”, adding he was a father to everybody.

“I don’t know what happened. I spoke to Baba last week and he was fine. Maybe his death is natural.

“I worked with Alaafin on the preservation of heritage and culture. He was a father to everybody. He was a great man and mentor,” she said.

Some palace workers in separate interviews also said that the traditional ruler already had a premonition of his death a few weeks back.

“Two weeks ago, he called and told us that his late father was calling him to come. We were afraid and asked if truly he saw his father.

“We are happy to have him as the Alaafin. He ascended the throne at a young age, preserved the stool, promoted the Yoruba culture, and was an epitome of royalty,” they told NAN.

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