At coronation, Alaafin warns royal fathers against abuse of crowns
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, was in his element last Tuesday when he told the newly-crowned Onilala of Lanlate, Oba Abdul Lateef Olagoke, not to join the league of traditional rulers who are daily seen in the public, especially social functions adorning their crowns.
Appearing in a simple white lace fabric complemented by his cap, Oba Adeyemi sounded like an activist. He broke his silence, cautioning the new traditional ruler from turning the crown to an ordinary cap, declaring that such practice negates the spiritual significance of the crown in Yoruba traditional belief.
Specifically using himself as reference, Oba Adeyemi stated that he wears his crowns sparingly to preserve its sacredness among other paraphernalia of the royal stool.
“It is as disheartening as it is also disgusting seeing traditional rulers in their crowns to every place. In the supermarkets, parties and other public functions, they are there doing as if they don’t know that their crowns are not an ordinary ornament. Crowns go with spiritual statement which has long been embedded in our tradition.
“I have tried as much as possible to maintain silence over this matter in order to avoid being misinterpreted but I have realised that if I continue to keep silent, the young generation of traditional rulers would turn round and accuse me of being quiet given the status of Oyo as the image of Yoruba tradition and culture.
“Therefore, I am using this opportunity to tell you, the Onilala, that your crown is not your ordinary cap to be worn to wedding and other occasions. Your crown is sacred and it should be sparingly worn at special events like traditional festivals in your town,” he noted.
The arrival of the Alaafin at Lanlate was greeted with drum, songs and ovation by the sons and daughters of the sleepy, agrarian Ibarapa community of Oyo State, Nigeria.
A detachment of the law-enforcement agencies, which included Oba Adeyemi’s security details, had a busy moment controlling the crowd of enthusiastic people who were gathered to witness the installation of their new traditional ruler by the Alaafin himself.
While being ushered to his seat, Oba Adeyemi was acknowledging the cheering crowd with intermittent smile till he eventually made it to his seat.
Invited traditional rulers and chiefs would thereafter be taking turns to pay homage to Oba Adeyemi one after the other in compliance with the tradition which empowers the Alaafin as the prescribed authority over the traditional rulers in that corner of Yorubaland. The atmosphere reflected the mood of the entire town which was having its first beaded crown king for the first time in its history.
Despite the fact that the coronation ceremony fell within the month which Muslims world over observe fasting, it was a social gathering with all features of such occasion, especially with the engagement of a fuji music star, Saidi Osupa, who treated the audience to a variety of his popular tracks.
In accordance to the constitution, there also was in attendance the representative of Oyo State government, Mr Zacheus Jayeola, a director in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters who formally presented staff of office and certificate of appointment to the new royal father.
Mr Jayeola also delivered goodwill message of the state government with assurance that the government would always ensure that traditional rulers are accorded their rightful place according to the constitution, calling on the traditional rulers to also always work for the progress of their respective towns and communities with a view to improving the lives of their subjects.
Oba Olagoke expressed his gratitude to the state government and specifically applauded the Alaafin for standing by the people of Lanlate during the events which eventually led into the coronation, asking for more support from Oba Adeyemi in his mission to change the face of Lanlate for better during his reign.