THE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has said that one of the greatest tributes that Yorubaland and its leaders can pay to the memory of the departed icon and Afenifere leader, Chief Olaniwun Ajayi, is for them to be united.
He made this known in a statement he personally signed and entitled “Tribute to Sir Olaniwun Ajayi.”
According to the Alaafin, the death of Sir Ajayi was a sad loss to Yorubaland and the people of the country.
“The best way to celebrate the departed soul of the great man is for Yoruba leaders, irrespective of their political differences, to hold firmly the symbol of unity that binds them together as a people of common ancestry and heritage,” he said.
The Alaafin, who referred to the departure of the Yoruba leader as an “exit of one of the great political titans of our time,” said Sir Ajayi “lived a life full of selfless service to the people.”
Oba Adeyemi traced the Afenifere leader’s political odyssey, concluding that he benefitted humanity while alive.
“The late chief belonged to a political dynasty which bequeathed a legacy of social welfarism through transparency, honesty and political faithfulness to the people of Yorubaland, nay the old Western Region.
“It is no surprise that this legacy made the old Western Region the reference point for service delivery in public office, to the rest of the country,” he said.
Oba Adeyemi also traced what he called the travails that Sir Ajayi and his dynasty passed through before they became icons. “There is no doubt that the dynasty and its members, from inception, passed through many travails and political vicissitudes. Like many of his peers, he remained unwavering in his resistance to any kind of political intimidation,” he said.
Alaafin also said that Sir Ajayi’s doggedness in the cause he believed in made him unrelenting up to his last breath in the pursuit of a unity of purpose for the Yoruba nation in the political landscape of the country.
“He (Sir Ajayi) belonged to the political school of those who believed that for our federalism to be meaningful, our unity must be predicated on our recognition and appreciation of the diversity of our culture, hence his steadfastness in the call for our political restructuring,” he said.