The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and the pan Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, have congratulated the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, on his 50th anniversary on the throne.
Afenifere's National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, in a statement issued yesterday said Afenifere is delighted to congratulate the monarch who was coronated on January 14, 1971 at the age of 31 to succeed the late Alaafin Ladigbolu.
According to him, the Alaafin in 50 years has brought peculiar gravitas and character to the throne, adding that he is a great pride to Yoruba at home and abroad.
"We proudly celebrate his golden years and pray that God will keep him for many more years in dedicated service that we are proud of always.
May Iku reign for long in full health and his coast enlarged.
"We cannot but mention in particular the peculiar leadership Baba provided for the Yoruba in the dark days of Sani Abacha when evil walked over Nigeria unhinged".
Also, in a statement issued yesterday, Gbajabiamila said since his ascension to the throne 50 years ago, the Alaafin has been a source of inspiration not just to the people of the Oyo Kingdom but also to the entire nation.
The Speaker noted how Alaafin became an embodiment of peace and unity among Nigerians in the last 50 years.
He said the people of Oyo kingdom are lucky to have Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III as their leader.
Gbajabiamila said apart from being a foremost peacemaker, the Alaafin happens to be a man of honour and integrity, which he said characterize his 50 years of peaceful reign as the Alaafin of Oyo.
He said, "Kabiyesi Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III is one man that believes in the unity of his people and the entire nation. This much he has guided his people to achieve in the last 50 years. I am particularly delighted that the 50th anniversary of the Alaafin of Oyo is happening during my lifetime. I believe every Yoruba son and daughter, irrespective of where they are, should be proud of the Alaafin for the kind of leadership he has been providing in the past 50 years.
"We cannot forget in a hurry how the Alaafin used his good office and leadership style to make the Oyo kingdom a reference point. He is indeed a man blessed with abundant wisdom.
"To think that the Alaafin is marking his 50 years on the throne at the age of 82 in sound health is another source of joy. I join millions of Nigerians, especially the sons and daughters of Yoruba land, in wishing the Alaafin God's protection, blessings and wisdom."