Ibadan stands still as 41st Olubadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji, is buried

•Buhari, Makinde, Atiku, Tinubu, govs, obas, emirs, others mourn •Markets to be shut today

IBADAN literally stood still on Sunday as eminent personalities, including the deputy governor of Oyo State, Mr Rauf Olaniyan; former governors, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala; Senator Abdulfatai Buhari representing Oyo North; popular Fuji artist, King Wasiu Ayinde; bid goodbye to the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, as he was laid to rest on Sunday evening. 

Markets around the Popoyemoja palace of the late monarch closed on Sunday as sympathisers thronged the palace, while crowds besieged Mapo Hall, where prayers were offered for the repose of the soul of the late Olubadan. 

Oba Adetunji breathed his last at about 1.15 a.m. on Sunday at the Intensive Care Unit of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, at the age of 93. Adetunji had been referred to the UCH from a private hospital in Ibadan at about 9.30 p.m. on Saturday, after battling with ill health for some days. 

Media aide to the late Olubadan, Mr Adeola Oloko, dispelled the rumours that the late Oba Adetunji was infected with COVID-19, saying the monarch passed on at about 1.00 a.m. on Sunday at the UCH after a brief illness. 

Adetunji’s final home journey began with lying-in-state and Salat-al-Janazah held at Mapo Hall in the presence of Mogajis, Baales, political office holders, traditional rulers, Islamic clerics, among others, who paid their last respect. 

His remains were subsequently conveyed to the Popoyemoja palace and interred around 4.25 p.m. according to Muslim and traditional rites. 

In his sermon before the burial, the Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyu Agbotomokekere, urged the people to live exemplary life and leave good legacies after their sojourn on earth. 

Buhari mourns, wants successor selected through wisdom 

President Muhammadu Buhari described the late monarch as a visionary and compassionate leader, who used the spheres of his influence as a respected traditional ruler and a lover of the creative industry to advance the progress of his people, encouraging and motivating them to give their best in their vocation and to the nation. 

The president, in a statement by Femi Adesina (Special Adviser on Media and Publicity), urged Nigerians to honour the memory of the deceased by imbibing the virtues he cherished so much: generosity, peace, tolerance and devotion to unity. 

While praying for repose of Adetunji’s soul, the president expressed his trust that the process of selecting his successor would be guided by wisdom, understanding and good judgment that exemplified the life he lived. 

He provided good leadership —Gbajabiamila 

In his message, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, pointed to the good leadership the late Olubadan provided while he reigned. In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the speaker said the monarch was an exemplary leader with uncommon love for his people. 

His fatherly posture brought admiration to traditional institutions —Abubakar 

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, in a press release by his media office, described the late Olubadan as “a wise man of age whose counsels and fatherly posturing brought a lot of admiration to traditional institutions.” 

Decrying the loss of two highly rated traditional rulers in quick succession, Abubakar urged the immediate family of the Olubadan to take solace in the remarkable life that the monarch lived, praying that God grants the late Olubadan a peaceful repose. 

Olubadan decent, constant symbol of unruffled dignity —Tinubu 

In his condolence message, national leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, recalled his personal relationship with the late Olubadan whom he described as “humble, humane, mature, calm and decent, always a symbol of unruffled dignity.” 

Tinubu, through his spokesperson, Mr Tunde Rahman, added that with the Olubadan’s demise, Nigerians had been robbed of his wisdom and wise counselling. 

He added that Oba Adetunji, especially, never withheld his deep insights and rich perspectives from those who sought his guidance. 

He was a great exemplar in royalty —Makinde 

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State described the late Olubadan as an exemplar in royalty, a royal icon and a great leader of his people whose wisdom and wealth of experience would be sorely missed. 

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that Kabiyesi gave his all to see that Ibadanland is developed and took its pride of place as one of the major cities in Africa. 

Speaking after signing the condolence message at the palace, the deputy governor, Rauf Olaniyan, said, “we thank God for the life of the Olubadan. He finished the race on a very good note. He had seen it all. Kabiyesi had made a lot of people. Everybody in Ibadan knows that his reign was peaceful and it witnessed a lot of giant strides in development. 

“We would miss him. Before he became the Olubadan, many people have been benefitting from his wealth of experience, his philanthropic gesture for more than 60 years. You can never see him getting angry. He was a man of peace. He was always happy and ready to transfer that happiness to others.” 

Fayemi, Oyetola, Bello, mourn 

Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, described the late Olubadan as an exemplary leader who did not allow old age to hamper his passion for the development of Ibadan and Oyo State as a whole. 

The governor described the death of Oba Adetunji as the exit of a great and true leader of the people, adding that the late monarch’s contributions to the promotion of Yoruba cultural heritage and peaceful co-existence among different groups in Ibadan land and the country cannot be overstated. 

Osun State governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, described the late Olubadan as a respected royal father, an exemplary and compassionate leader who showed concern and commitment to the welfare of his subjects and the development of Ibadan. 

In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, he said the late Olubadan will be remembered for his fatherly roles and wise counsel. 

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Muhammed Onogwu, described Adetunji’s death as a national loss, noting that Nigeria had lost another of its important traditional father. 

Bello noted that the late Olubadan’s role as an advocate of peace and unity would be sorely missed in the state, the region and the country at large. 

His reign will forever be remembered —Ooni 

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, speaking through his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Moses Olafare, described the late Oba Adetunji as a great monarch whose reign would forever be remembered for the tremendous development brought to Ibadanland, in particular, and Nigeria at large. 

He noted that the late Olubadan did not let the features of old age hold him back during his lifetime as he was active to projects, programmes, plans and other activities towards making life better for his subjects. 

Oba Ogunwusi further held that history will forever be kind to the likes of the Olubadan, the late Soun of Ogbomoso as monarchs who added values to the larger house of Oduduwa. 

Yoruba race lost a great asset —Deji of Akure 

Chairman of Council of Obas in Ondo State and the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, in a statement issued and signed by the press secretary, Mr. Micheal Adeyeye, said he received the news of the Olubadan’s death with shock. 

He noted that the late Olubadan was known for his forthrightness, strive for excellence and was cerebral, even in his old age. According to the monarch, Olubadan was a great asset to Yoruba race, a respected monarch whose reign was peaceful and eventful with a lot of positive changes in Ibadanland. 

His death great loss to Oyo traditional council —Olugbon 

The Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao, described the death of Oba Adetunji as a great loss to the Oyo State traditional council, Ibadan indigenes and the state at large. 

Expressing shock at the demise, Oba Alao, who is vice chairman, Oyo Council of Obas and Chiefs, prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss. 

Yoruba land robbed of mature, peaceful monarch —Iba Adams 

The Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams, described the death of the Olubadan as a huge loss, adding that Yorubaland had been robbed of a mature and peaceful monarch. 

In a statement by his special assistant on media, Mr Kehinde Aderemi, Iba Adams said Oba Adetunji died as a hero, having had the most peaceful reign in Ibadan in recent time. 

He added that Yorubaland had lost a symbol of humility and a pillar of hope for the race, whose maturity and wealth of experience is next to none. 

His reign was blessing to Ibadanland, Oyo —Alao-Akala 

Former Oyo State governor, Chief Adebayo AlaoAkala, bemoaned the loss of another traditional ruler, 22 days after the loss of the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi. 

Alao-Akala said the late Olubadan exemplified courage and resilience to stand by what he believes in, damning all consequences. 

He described the Olubadan’s reign as a blessing to Ibadanland and Oyo State in general which will be sorely missed. 

He was a priceless asset to Yorubaland —Dare Minister of Youth and Sports Development 

Chief Sunday Dare, in his condolence message, described the death of Oba Adetunji as shocking and a great loss to Ibadan, Oyo State and Nigeria as a whole stating that the Olubadan had been a priceless asset to Yorubaland. 

Sunday Dare said he has fond recollections of the late Olubadan as a very warm, sociable, peaceful and progress loving father who was always interested in the growth and progress of people without minding where they come from. 

His death devastating, he nurtured me for 50 years —Wasiu Ayinde 

Popular Fuji artist, Wasiu Ayinde, who was also at the palace described Oba Adetunji’s death as devastating, recalling that he played a critical role in his (Ayinde) rise to stardom in the music industry. 

Speaking during a chat with journalists after paying a condolence visit to the monarch’s family at the palace, he said “Olubadan meant so much to me. He nurtured me since I was 15 years old. I am 65 years now. You can imagine he nurtured me for 50 years. I will miss everything about him. 

“There is no way I will not miss somebody that nurtured me for 50 years. The most important legacy in life is when you live a fulfilled life without compromising. Oba Saliu Adetunji was a disciplined man to the core. A man that was truthful and honest in all his dealings. He would never tell you what he would not do.” 

He lived a fulfilled life —Akande 

Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Adeolu Akande, in a condolence message in Ibadan, described the death of the Olubadan as a colossal loss to Oyo State. 

Akande described Oba Adetunji’s life as a source of inspiration to the younger generation, having achieved greatness as a businessman, entrepreneur and socialite through dint of hard work. He decried the loss of two first class monarchs within a month, saying their elderly wisdom and wise counsel will be sorely missed. 

His reign will be remembered for good —Wale Oke 

President of The Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, described Oba Adetunji as a peace-loving monarch whose reign would always be remembered for good. 

In a release issued by his media office, Oke, while commiserating with the people of Ibadan, Oyo State government and the nation, said the traditional ruler would be missed for his quality contributions to humanity. 

Oke remarked that his era ushered in progress, stability and peace to Ibadanland, its environs, Oyo State and the country. 

Ibadanland witnessed progress under him –NIPOST boss 

The Postmaster-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), Dr Ismail Adebayo Adewusi, said the reign of the monarch witnessed tremendous progress for Ibadanland and Oyo State in general. 

Describing Oba Adetunji as a successful entrepreneur, Adewusi said his landmark achievements in the area of commerce and entertainment are worthy of emulation. 

He said the late Adetunji pioneered businesses and nurtured them to great success. 

He was principled, morally upright –Ajimobi 

In his condolence message, son of the former Oyo State governor, Idris Abiola-Ajimobi, described the late Oba Adetunji as a principled and morally upright traditional ruler whose fatherly advice will be missed. 

He, especially, expressed shock and disbelief that the state lost three highly revered obas to death within the space of a month. 

Olubadan was a bridge builder –Ayorinde 

Special counsel to the Oyo State governor, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, described the death of the Olubadan as a huge loss to the people of Ibadan and Oyo State in general. 

Ayorinde said the late Olubadan was an indefatigable unifier and bridge builder who did his best to strengthen the bonds that bind all Nigerians together in the interest of national peace, harmony and progress.

Ayorinde in his condolence message said the monarch was a man of peace who showed no discrimination either ethnically or religiously. 

Babaloja-General directs closure of all markets in Ibadanland 

The Babaloja-General of Oyo State, Alhaji Yekini Abass, has directed that all market in Ibadanland be closed today in honour of Oba Adetunji. 

In a statement on Sunday, Abass said the decision was reached at an emergency meeting of market leaders’council of the state. 

While praying for the repose of the late monarch, Abass noted that markets in the state witnessed a lot of patronage during the reign of Oba Adetunji.

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