OYO State governor, Mr Seyi Makinde, on Sunday, recounted how, during his governorship campaign in 2015, the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, gave him a major reason he would not win the election that time.
Speaking during a condolence visit to the immediate family of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Makinde said the late Oba Adeyemi openly told him his governorship bid was bound to fail because he had no structure.
Apart from querying his not having a formidable structure to win election, Makinde said Oba Adeyemi questioned if he had trusted allies across the nooks and crannies of the state who could give him up-to-date and accurate information about happenings in their domains.
Makinde said Oba Adeyemi’s words turned out to be true as he lost election.
Makinde, however, noted that his admonition came in handy for his success in the 2019 election when he had built a structure across the state, coupled with joining the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which also already had a structure.
The governor bemoaned the loss of a personality who is courageous to speak truth to power and one who lived a fulfilled and impactful life.
He said: “You know I tried to be governor in 2015. I told baba openly and he said, Seyi it is not possible. He told me I had no structure. That was at about 1.00 a.m.
“He asked if I can get information about something happening presently in Kishi without requesting for four hours to travel to Kishi and return.
“He told me such cannot deliver governorship. He said if I have structure, all I will do is to call someone in Kishi that is trusted who will tell exactly how things are there. He said that is structure.
“I failed in that 2015 election but I learnt that not many people will tell you the truth. Others will deceive you but baba told me it won’t work and gave reasons. Not many people tell the truth.
“Having realised my ambition in 2019, I understand further that in positions of authority, not many will tell you the truth.
“The second lesson is that structure means trusted allies. By 2019, I had structure and got a party that had structure and that was secret of our success. That is, apart from God who had destined things to happen.”
He bemoaned the loss of “the last human encyclopedia of Yoruba traditional history,” assuring that the state will give the late Alaafin a befitting burial celebration.
He urged the Oyomesi to ensure the vacuum in the Alaafin stool is not allowed to linger for so long.
“I plead with the Oyomesi to ensure that the vaccum does not last so long. After all the rites, we are here to ensure that wishes of Baba, some of which he shared with me, will come to a reality,” Makinde said.
On fingers pointed at him over the death of three top monarchs of the state within the space of some months, Makinde said the demise of the leading traditional rulers happened at a God-destined time.
Makinde said: “Some people wrote that Seyi Makinde is the one killing the obas. I am not killing any oba. There is time for everything as God has destined. There is time we are born to this earth and there is time we will return to our maker.
“Our Kabiyesis that have joined their ancestors all lived impactful lives. They also left behind legacies that, if abided by, our towns and the state at large will be peaceful.”
Welcoming the governor, the respected Oyo prince, Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu, said the late Oba Adeyemi was a true incarnation of Atiba.
Ladigbolu recalled that Oba Adeyemi, in his lifetime, rebuilt, renewed and elevated Oyo to reckoning as the greatest of West Africa and African empires.
The close ally of the late Alaafin noted that rather than mourning, the family of Oba Adeyemi is celebrating.
Ladigbolu said: “We are not mourning but celebrating the king of kings. Olayiwola Adeyemi is a true reincarnation of Atiba. If you noticed, he will always walk, talk, dance like Atiba and he chose the month of April which was the same month Atiba departed to leave us. When I met the Asiwaju and Otun of Oyo, Baba Ogunmola this morning, he came to the house to see.
“Both of us reminisced how much of Atiba has come back to rebuild, renew Oyo so that the rest of the world who knew less about Oyo in the past will now come to see Oyo as it truly is, the greatest of the African, West African empires, whose king is truly the king of kings.
“Our celebration is that of the glorious, luminous, unforgettable life of our father.”
Among those who paid condolence visits to the late Oba Adeyemi’s family, on Sunday, were the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.