The supreme Yoruba monarch, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has passed away.
Alaafin Adeyemi, the third of the Alowodu ruling house, died in the late hours of Friday at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital in southwestern Nigeria.
The mortal remains of the supreme Yoruba traditional ruler were taken to Oyo town, 62 kilometers from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in the early hours of Saturday, where traditional rites began, palace sources told this newspaper.
He was 83 years old and the longest-reigning Alaafin ever with 52 years.
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde is expected to make an official statement once he receives news of the monarch's demise from the Bashorun of Oyo, Yusuf Akinade, the head of the "Oyo Mesi" who will now run Oyo City before a new Alaafin is installed.
The monarch was ill and the plan was to fly him abroad before he passed away late Friday night.
A source familiar with the plan for the medical trip said his tickets and those of several wives had already been obtained.
His death came months after the death of the two other senior monarchs of Oyo State - the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Jimoh Oyewumi. All this happened in less than five months.
A new Olubadan was installed, but the Soun's throne remains vacant.
Alaafin Adeyemi was born Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi on October 15, 1938, in the Alowolodu royal house of the famous city of Oyo.
He was crowned on November 18, 1970, as the successor of Oba Gbadegesin Ladigbolu I and was popularly known as Iku Baba Yeye.
During his reign, he was the permanent chairman of the Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs.
Following the death of Alaafin Adeyemi, it is now the turn of the ruling house of Agunloye to provide the next monarch of Oyo. Mr. Adeyemi's predecessor, Alaafin Ladigbolu, came from the Agunloye house.