The remains of the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, who passed on last night, are being prepared for Islamic prayers, palace sources have said.
The prayers will be offered at 4 p.m. inside the palace today.
A cultural icon and committed traditionalist though, Alaafin Adeyemi III often identified as a Muslim.
His remains were brought to Oyo in the early hours of Saturday from Ado Ekiti, where he passed on at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital. Traditional rites then followed upon arrival in Oyo.
Following the traditional rites, a janazah (Islamic funeral prayers before internment) will be performed on the remains.
A child of the passing Alaafin, who confirmed the Islamic prayers arrangement, said he did not know what would follow the prayers – whether the remains are to be buried according to Islamic rites or returned to the traditionalists.
PREMIUM TIMES understands that the late monarch’s children are trying to negotiate a way that their father will be buried in full compliance with Islamic rites, though after the initial traditional rites.
Another young royal said it would not be difficult for the children to have their way after the earlier traditional rites “because many of the traditionalists, who are to perform the rites, have never done such before.”
The Alaafin reigned for 51 years, the longest for any Oyo monarch. He was announced and installed Alaafin in late 1970, but the coronation ceremony held in January 1971.
The Alaafin’s spokesperson, Bode Durojaiye, has confirmed that the monarch passed on last night, but the Government of Oyo State has not issued an official statement.
Alaafin Adeyemi was the Permanent Chairman of Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs.
He was 83.
One of the core rites, according to Oyo tradition, is some ritual at Bara in Oyo East LGA, regarded as the abode of the “sleeping Alaafin.” But a senior traditionalist said, “some rites will only be performed there without actually burying a monarch there.”
“The remains would be taken there but be returned to palace where Kabiyesis have always actually slept,” the traditionalist said, asking not to be identified by name.
With the ongoing efforts by the monarch’s children to have their father buried according to Islamic rites, the traditionalist said no preparation has been made at Bara.
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