The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, has said he is the only monarch, who has a right to confer chieftaincy titles that cover Yoruba land, on deserving people.
The Oba spoke when he conferred the titles of Ayedero of Yoruba land and Atobaase of Yoruba land on Hon. Shina Peller and Dr. Babajide Agunbiade in his palace at the weekend.
While Peller is representing lseyin/ltesiwaju/Kajola/lwajowa Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Agunbiade is a United States-based oil engineer.
Oba Adeyemi said the duo were deserving of the titles, having proved to be outstanding in their chosen career.
“These great Yoruba sons have proved themselves in their fields of endeavour, hence as a mark of recognition and in advancing the Yoruba cultural heritage, I, the custodian of the history of the Yoruba nation, in consultation with my Oyomesi, have deemed it fit to recognise them by conferring these titles on them today,” the monarch said.
Justifying the titles, which cover the entire Yoruba land, he said: “As I have always made known at every occasion and event such as this one, our pride as Yoruba is in our intrinsic tradition and cultural heritage. Yoruba as a race or nation evolved a superb constitution which though unwritten, is daintily and unequivocally observed by strong convention.
“The Yoruba chieftaincy institution is the pillar indeed, the bedrock of our system of government. A traditional ruler cannot, therefore, afford to be despotic without dire consequences. He, therefore, must rule within honourable norms of our traditions.
“The Alaafin from time immemorial is the king and head of the Yoruba nation. He is the only king in Yoruba land who can confer chieftaincy title on a worthy individual, man or woman, to cover the whole of Yoruba land. In exercise of this right, successive Alaafin of Oyo has been guided by due process in the appointment of Yoruba to chieftaincies that cover the whole of Yoruba land.”
Oba Adeyemi said the recipients were recognised sons of Yoruba nation, adding that they were trusted with the mantles to bear the cultural heritage of the Yoruba race in a worthy manner.
“As I end my speech, I will like to stress that this title serves as recognition, but most importantly as a mantle for service and posterity of the culture, which you today you bear.”