Tributes have continued to pour in for Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, who died over the weekend. The 93-year-old royal father passed on at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan.
He was buried according to Islamic rites in his Popoyemoja Palace in Oyo state on Sunday. President Buhari, in his tribute to the late Monarch, described the Olubadan as a visionary and compassionate leader.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said the Olubadan used his influence as a respected traditional ruler and a lover of the creative industry to advance the progress of his people, encouraged and motivated them to give their best in their vocation and to the country.
The statement read: “While his demise understandably leaves a huge void to fill, the President urges 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 trusts that the process of selecting his successor will be guided by wisdom, understanding, and good judgment that exemplified the life he lived.
On his part, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in his condolence message to the Government of Oyo State and the people of Ibadanland, expressed sadness over the exit of the Monarch, describing him as a renowned leader and king who had the interest of his people at heart.
The former President noted that Olubadan would be missed not only in Ibadanland but across the country because of his considerable contributions to the growth of the society.
He said, “Olubadan was a compassionate and sagacious traditional ruler who served as a worthy custodian of the custom and culture of his people.
“The late monarch will continue to be remembered for the way he channelled his wisdom and energy towards the growth and development of Ibadanland, serving as a sage and moral compass in his domain.”
Governor Seyi Makinde said that the demise of the royal father was painful despite his old age.
Governor Makinde, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, added that the wisdom and wealth of experience of the late first class traditional ruler would be sorely missed.
The governor expressed his condolences to the immediate family of the Olubadan, the Olubadan-in-council and all Ibadan indigenes, as well as the Oyo State traditional council.
He said Oba Adetunji gave his all to ensure that Ibadan is developed and took its pride of place as one of the major cities in Africa.
“The news of the death of our father, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji (Aje Ogungunniso I), came as a shock.
“Kabiyesi’s exit at this time is painful, to say the least. His wealth of experience, his immense wisdom, and his commitment to seeing a greater Ibadan and a better Oyo State is unrivalled.”
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.”
Also, Oba Ogunwusi, in a statement by his spokesman Moses Olafare, described the late king as a great traditional ruler.
The Ooni said that the reign of the late Olubadan would forever be remembered for the tremendous development he brought to Ibadanland.