Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Sunday expressed shock at the passing on of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, whom he described as an exemplar in royalty.
The 93-year-old royal father passed on at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, on Sunday. The royal palace is yet to officially announce the death.
Mr Makinde said in a statement issued in Ibadan by Taiwo Adisa, his chief press secretary, that the demise of the royal icon was painful despite his old age.
He added that the wisdom and wealth of experience of the late first class traditional ruler would be sorely missed.
The governor expressed his condolences to the immediate family of the Olubadan, the Olubadan-in-Council and all Ibadan indigenes as well as the Oyo State Traditional Council.
He said Mr Adetunji gave his all to ensure that Ibadan is developed and took its pride of place as one of the major cities in Africa.
“The news of the death of our father, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, (Aje Ogungunniso I), came as a shock.
“Kabiyesi’s exit at this time is painful to say the least. His wealth of experience, his immense wisdom and his commitment to seeing a greater Ibadan and a better Oyo State are unrivalled.
“Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria and humanity at large will miss Kabiyesi who was ever ready to give his all to see a better society.
“I commiserate with his immediate family, the Olubadan-in-Council, the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes and all Ibadan indigenes at home and abroad on the demise of our father.
“I extend my condolences to Oyo State Traditional Council and pray to God to keep all our Obas safe and give them more years to direct the affairs of our people,’’ Mr Makinde was quoted as having said.
The Caretaker Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Oyo State, Akin Oke, also mourned the passing away of the Olubadan.
Mr Oke described the late traditional ruler as a passionate and visionary leader who lived a well-spent life.
“He had a humble beginning and rose to the pinnacle of his career and became very successful.
“He was a very good man with a large heart and compassion; we pray to God to forgive him; be with his immediate family and the entire Ibadan land. The death of Kabiyesi is indeed a great loss to us all,’’ he said.
The UCH has released the remains of the traditional ruler to his family members and may be buried according to Islamic rites later on Sunday.
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