Many question come to mind when the name of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Lámídì Ọláyíwọlá Àtàndá Adéyẹmí is mentioned. Those born five decades ago would see nothing but a consummate King, whose wealth of experience made him a National asset, an encyclopedia of Yoruba cultural heritage. The ‘Ikú Bàbá Yèyé, Alase Ikeji Orisa’ was a courageous and a respected Monarch by all standard.
If history is to repeat itself, another name that comes to mind is the young and vibrant Prince Kolade Afeez Siyanbola Oladigbolu, the youngest among the reasonable and traceable contestants. He is educated, well traveled and exposed even beyond his age.
He is the founder of Royal Colony Homes Limited among other investments. He’s the youngest among the unarguably princes jostling to ascend the throne of their forefathers. The young Siyanbola was named after his grandfather, the most fearful and fearless Alaafin Siyanbola Oladigbolu (the Alaafin of Oyo 1911-1944)
Significance of Early Ascension To The Throne
History has been kind to kings who ascend the throne of their forefathers at their youthful age. They break traditional records, set standards. While reshaping the stool they represent an Iconic embodiment which further promotes traditional heritage.
If Prince Kolade Afeez Siyanbola Oladigbolu is ratified by the Oyo-mesi, Oyo Kingdom is likely to experience another long serving King, who will in turn, compliment the many achievements of the late Alaafin. The Young Prince Siyanbola has an intimidating profile. He’s vocal, culturally rich. He is well prepared to defend Oyo Kingdom and the Yoruba cultural heritage, whose focus is the development of his people.
Who Is Prince Kolade Afeez Siyanbola Oladigbolu?
Kolade Afeez Siyanbola Obasekore Oladigbolu; born on the 10th of August, 1985, is a member of the Oyo royal family, a mariner, businessman and a political commentator. He is the grandson of Alaafin (XL) Abubakar Siyanbola Oladigbolu, the 40th Alaafin of Oyo between 1911-1944 and Ayaba Nihimotalahi Omowe from the Akinmoorin area. He’s the son of Prince Azeez Akano Kolade Oladigbolu and Alhaja S Ejide.
In an excerpt from an interview with Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu, he was quoted to have said “As a young man I’ve plans for the future, 70-Years from now, those plans will be the historical paths of the growth of Oyo Kingdom, When you have good plans a working government will key in, and make life easier for it’s residents and indigenes.
“I want to believe that if there’re any few Uncles of mine who are doubting my capabilities if installed as the next Alaafin of Oyo, an enemy within, who doesn’t have the progress of our kingdom at heart but personal aggrandisement.
“I make bold to say that as young as I’m, I am biologically an uncle to 95% of the whole contenders on the list, no matter how old they are and that’s the fact. And they all know. It wasn’t my doings, but nature. It was the arrangement of no human, but GOD Almighty.
“The only contender who is in the same class with me (Siyanbola) are very few in numbers. No Gbadegesins have any brighter chances than I do because Aremo Sanni Egberongbe who is their father and I are in the same class of hierarchy throne. So, no grandchild claims his grandfather’s right when his uncle is alive and capable of claiming it.
“Every other person on the list is far from the throne, like a distance between Lagos to Calabar. Even within the main Oladigbolus. There is hierarchy, and it is as follows
“Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu
Prince Amidu Oladigbolu (Mogba)
Prince Sanni Kolade Oladigbolu
Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu
Prince Muyideen Adekunle Ladigbolu”
The names above have the highest hierarchy over every other Oladigbolus that are contesting because they are all biological grandsons of late Alaafin Abubakar Akanbi Siyanbola Onikepe.
I’m of the opinion that any Prince that should be considered worthy of the throne of our forefathers should have an antecedent worthy of the exalted throne. He should have verifiable records, such as business, finances, educational records and most importantly traditional, institutional Knowledge.
Everyone has his personality in the public domain. Any prince worthy of the exalted throne should be someone who has distinguished himself in the public domain over the years, without any blemish to his name. He must not be someone of questionable character. All these qualities will help shape the views of the people towards the throne. Who’s on the throne of Alaafin matters to our socio-Cultural beliefs, heritage and traditional history.
History won’t be kind to anyone who fails to ensure all these aforementioned qualities are properly observed in choosing the next Alaafin. Money bags will fail, you can’t buy an institution like the exalted throne of the Alaafin and expect progress in such King reign. Manipulated process lead to various hardship, if a prince truly love his people, he will allow the will of the gods to manifest, this alone can hold the sanctity of our cultural heritage.
The Late Alaafin Lamidi Adeyemi was an active staff of an insurance company before ascending the throne and that’s why no one can write his history without referring to him as an insurance officer.
The next Alaafin shouldn’t be anyone hoodwinked just to fulfill the selfish interest of some power brokers, but the progress of our Kingdom. Our Allegiance should be to uphold the Oyo Empire and uplift its institutional heritage to the envy of other Kingdoms desirous of our cultural values.
I am not a member of kingmakers nor the government. However, I will raise up my pen and leave the rest for reasonable Nigerians to digest the statistics .
Analysis of contenders
Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu (biological grandson)
Bishop Ladigbolu ( biological grandson)
Prince Sanni Kolade Oladigbolu ( biological grandson)
Amidu Oladigbolu Mogba ( biological grandson)
Muyideen Oladigbolu Iyaji ( biological grandson)
Wale Gbadegesin (4th generation)
Kabiru Gbadegesin (4th)
Lukman Gbadegesin ( 4th generation)
Mojeed Gbadegesin (4th generation
Bashiru Gbadegesin (4th generation)
Isiak Gbadegesin (4th) generation
Hakeem Owoade ( descendants of Alaafin Ladigbolu’s younger brother)
Adegboyega Ibraheem Ladigbolu (5th Generation)
Olanrewaju Adepoju writes from Oyo town. He can be reached via Olanrewajuadepoju224@gmail.com