President Muhammadu Buhari has extended heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Oyo State, the royal family, the Olubadan-in-council and the people of Ibadan on the passing away of Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji.
The 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland and chairman, Oyo State Council of Obas and Chiefs, Oba Saliu Akanmu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso 1, died yesterday at the age of 93 years at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan.
The president, in a statement by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, affirmed that the late Kabiyesi was a visionary and compassionate leader, who used the spheres of his influence as a respected traditional ruler and a lover of the creative industry to advance the progress of his people, encouraging and motivating them to give their best in their vocation and to the nation.
While his demise understandably leaves a huge void to fill, the President urged the people of Ibadan and Nigerians from different walks of life to honour the eternal memory of the deceased by imbibing the virtues he cherished so much: generosity, peace, tolerance and devotion to unity.
As the funeral rites of the 41st Olubadan of Ibadanland get underway in Ibadan, the President expressed hope that the process of selecting his successor will be guided by wisdom, understanding and good judgment that exemplified the life he lived.
President Buhari prayed God to grant the soul of Oba Adetunji eternal rest and comfort the family, friends, associates and subjects he left behind.
Also, All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has expressed sadness over the death of Olubadan of Ibadanland, saying coming shortly after the death of another top-ranking traditional ruler in Yorubaland and precisely in Oyo State, it’s a big loss for the state and Yoruba race.
He described the late Oba Adetunji, whom he said he had a personal relationship with, as “humble, humane, mature, calm and decent, always a symbol of unruffled dignity.”
In a condolence message released by his media office and signed by Mr. Tunde Rahman, Asiwaju Tinubu said: “This demise has robbed us of his wisdom and wise counseling. He never withheld his deep insights and rich perspectives from those who sought his guidance.
“Particularly coming shortly after the death of another top-ranking traditional ruler in Yorubaland and precisely in Oyo State, this passing truly rankles. The late Olubadan was a sage. He was humble, humane, mature, calm and decent, always a symbol of unruffled dignity.”
“On the throne, the late Olubadan worked assiduously for peace and stability of not only Ibadanland, Oyo State and Yorubaland, but also the entire country. He superintended over the ancient city with even-handedness.
“I had a close personal relationship with Kabiyesi and I will deeply miss him. My condolences to his family, particularly the Oloris, Mogajis and the princes. May God Almighty comfort them.”
Tinubu commiserated with Governor Seyi Makinde and the government and people of the state who would now have to endure the demise of another top traditional ruler barely three weeks after the passing of the Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III.
Other prominent Nigerians paid tributes to the late monarch included the minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare, Senator Kola Balogun and the chief medical director, University College Hospital (UCH), Professor Jesse Otegbayo.
The Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin described the passage of the monarch at the age of 93 as shocking and unbelievable.
According to him, just within a period of one month, Oyo State lost three highly revered Obas to the cold hands of death.
Ogundoyin stated that late Oba Saliu Adetunji was a principled and morally upright traditional ruler whose fatherly advice would be missed.
The chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council, Comrade Ademola Babalola recalled with nostalgia the warm reception the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, accorded him when he sought the royal father’s blessing to contest as the Union’s chairman in the year 2019.