The Traditional Worshippers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State branch has condemned the open display of the corpse of the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, during the Muslim prayer session, saying it was against the tenets of traditional respect for a dead king.
The association disclosed this on Sunday in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Adefabi Dasola and Secretary, Dr. Fakayode Fayemi Fatunde respectively.
The statement noted that the late monarch never minced words in condemning the open display of any Yoruba Oba remains for any purpose while he was alive.
The traditional worshippers said it was disappointing to see the corpse of a revered monarch being displayed all over the internet.
They added that their protest against the disparaging act was to set the record straight that it was a disrespect for the dead monarch.
The statement read in part, “We send condolences to the children, widows, the Oyo indigenes, Yorùbá land in general and most especially, the Ṣàngó devotees worldwide who have just lost one of them. In fact, Oba Adeyemi was a true devotee of Ṣango and that was why he joined the ancestors on Sango Worship day.
“It is rather disappointing to have seen the corpse of our revered Alaafin being displayed all over the internet, it is saddening and we want this to be on record that we as a body are protesting this act, we do not want our children and grandchildren to question us in the future that we did not act or talk.
“The same disparaging act was witnessed during the burial of the late Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and we made our minds known as well. This is a trend that must stop or we will all be contributing towards the total annihilation of our tradition and culture, our Yoruba monarchs and kingmakers should please make efforts at remedying this malady.
“However, we extol the Ṣàngó devotees for being tolerant to allow the Muslims and Christians to do the initial prayers before the final rites commenced, it is a good sign of religious tolerance that we have been advocating.
“We also use the opportunity to enjoin all the Ọba in Yorùbáland to emulate Ọba Lamidi Adeyemi in the promotion of Yorùbá Traditional Religion which is the basis of the crowns on their heads.”
However, the group commended the maturity displayed by Sango worshippers during the burial, noting that it would go into history as worthy of emulation.