The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, has revealed how his later father, Oba Adeniran Adeyemi II, was ”persecuted, intimidated, traumatised, and victimised to death, for no just cause, but sheer hatred, by the defunct Action Group government, led by the late Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.”
Oba Adeyemi explained that this was despite his father’s
active, thorough and staunch belief in social justice
He spoke when a son of Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia, Hisa Ibn Ali As-Suhaemy, visited him, in his Oyo Palace.
Alaafin recalled that his father, Adeniran was the first traditional ruler in Yorubaland to construct a mosque for the town — the Central Mosque, as well as for the palace.
According to him, “my father allowed all religions to flourish without hindrance as he was highly principled, committed, resilient, visionary, pro-active, thorough and staunch believer in social justice.”
He died a hero after spending 10 years on the throne.
This is just as the monarch urged religious and community leaders to promote ethno-religious tolerance and accommodate opposing views as part of mechanisms for deepening peaceful co-existence and harmony in the country.
He noted that in Nigeria, intolerance of opposing views by adherents of major religions has heated the polity and caused tension.
Hear him: “Instigation of hatred in the name of religious practice by religious organisations is a negative attitude. While it is true that Christianity and Islam profess the slogan Love your neighbour as yourself, this, however, is observed more in the breach. This is a bad wind that blows no one no good. It is high time religious leaders preached the genuine gospel of friendship and sincere love. This is the vehicle that will take mankind to the abode of peace and security.
“In addition, the Federal Government should take a step further by putting in place a legislation that will criminalise the incitement to hatred by religious organisations or individual(s) in the country,” he said.
He stated that the Yoruba were the first to accept Islam in the 15th century, about 6,000 years ago, adding that he was appointed in 1991 by the then Federal Government as the Amirrul Hajj who led Muslim pilgrims to Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
The paramount ruler observed that ignorance was one factor that has engendered abject poverty in the midst of abundant natural resources, coupled with the increasing high rate of youth unemployment.
He added that “the level of ignorance is deepening. Owing to incessant close down of schools in Nigeria, the educational system is in a state of comatose; thereby denying Nigerian students the opportunity of acquiring sound knowledge, moral rebirth and high levelof discipline especially on different methods of peaceful settlement of disputes or conflicts’’.
Oba Adeyemi therefore called on both government and the organised private sector to complement each other by improving the human capital development of Nigerians especially the youth and women. This, he said, is a sine qua non for the attainment of a progressive, just and peaceful society.
“Governments at all levels should rise above board, be non-partisanin its delivery of dividends of good governance and be seen as just intheir relationship with their people. They (Governments at all levels) should avoid discrimination and marginalisation of the people when dealing with developmental projects and religious matters in thecountry,” he added.
Earlier, As-Suhaemy accompanied by some Islamic clerics said he was elated to be in the palace and meet one-on-one with the Alaafin, whose father he had heard pof and read much about.
He said through an interpreter, “I am indeed glad and count myself very lucky to be with the monarch whose reign is not only uniquely divined, but his contemporary will be difficult to find after his demise. He is a shining sun, while all other rulers are stars around him (Alaafin). Moving closer to him is a gift of blessing and good fortunes. He is absolutely endowed by Allah.”
Expressing appreciation for the honour accorded him by the Alaafin, whom he referred to as ‘a very great monarch,’ he prayed for his good health and long life, as well as unity, peace and prosperity for the ancient town, the state and the country.