Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III (born 15 October 1938) is the Alaafin, or traditional ruler, of the Yoruba state of Oyo and rightful heir to the throne of its historic empire.
Lamidi’s father, the Alaafin of Oyo Oba Adeyemi II Adeniran, was deposed and exiled in 1954 for sympathizing with the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). He had come into conflict with Bode Thomas, deputy leader of the Action Group.
Lamidi Adeyemi succeeded Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II in 1970, during the governorship of Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo, after the end of the Nigerian Civil War. In 1975 the head of state General Murtala Ramat Mohammed included Oba Adeyemi in his entourage to the hajj. He was chancellor of Uthman dan Fodiyo University in Sokoto from 1980 to 1992. In 1990 President Ibrahim Babangida appointed him Amir-ul-Hajj in recognition of his commitment to the consolidation of Islam in Nigeria.
On 3 May 2011, the outgoing Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala announced that the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III was no longer Permanent Chairman of the Council of Obas and Chiefs in Oyo State. The state government had just passed a law that introduced rotation of the office of Chairman between the Alaafin and his two rivals, the Olubadan of Ibadanland and the Soun of Ogbomoso. It was said that the measure, introduced by a state assembly with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) majority, was in response to the Oba’s support for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) during the April 2011 elections. The ACN beat the PDP decisively in that election.
Talking in September 1984 he said: “Traditional rulers should be seen as the perfect embodiment of the culture of the place, as well as the synthesis of the aspirations and goals of the nation. This is not only in social values of veracity, egalitarianism, justice and democracy; but in dress, utterances and comportment; even the mere necessary trivicalities [sic] that mark Nigeria and the locality as a distinctive entity”.
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