Tributes have been pouring in for the late Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliiu Adetunji, who died in the early hours of Sunday at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan.
Mr Adetunji, 93, was the 41st Olubadan. He ascended the throne in March 2016 following the demise of his predecessor Samuel Odulana Odungade.
After the announcement of his demise, President Muhammadu Buhari, many dignitaries, as well as family members paid tribute to his memory.
Mr Buhari, in a condolence message by his media aide, Femi Adesina, declared that the late traditional ruler was “a visionary and compassionate leader”.
According to him, the demise of the royal father “understandably leaves a huge void to fill”. He further urged the state’s residents to honour the eternal memory of the deceased by imbibing virtues like generosity, peace, tolerance and devotion to unity which he cherished so much.
The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu, in his condolence message, said “he was a music and entertainment promoter who contributed a lot to uplift the careers of many top musicians in the land, thus contributing his quota to the growth of our country’s economy.”
“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,” Mr Tinubu said.
Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, said “Oba Adetunji was a man of wisdom who had served his people well despite becoming the Olubadan at an old age.
“He was an inspiring and emulative leader par excellence. He will be sorely missed for the fatherly roles he played as a royal father.”
Also, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, described the late monarch as one who was “undoubtedly, committed to the progress and peace of Ibadanland. He was a traditional ruler whose reign witnessed tremendous development in Ibadanland.”
On his part, Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun said “the late Oba Saliu Adetunji was a respected royal father, exemplary and compassionate leader who demonstrated strong concern and commitment to the welfare of his subjects and the development of Ibadan within the short period of his reign.”
The death of the Olubadan comes barely three weeks after the passing of another top ranking monarch, the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi, Ajagungbade 111.
Mr Adetunji was buried at his Popoyemoja Palace on Sunday evening according Islamic rites.
Top politicians such as Rauf Olaniyan, the Oyo State Deputy Governor, former governor Rasheed Ladoja and former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala had attended the funeral service for the late Olubadan on Sunday.
Meanwhile, celebrations have begun at the Ibadan residence of Lekan Balogun, the Otun Olubadan of Ibadanland, as family members and well-wishers troop in and out.
Mr Balogun is next in line to become Olubadan of Ibadanland, according to the stipulated hierarchical order of ascension to the throne.