Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Biography: Age, Spouse, Wives, First Son, Net Worth

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Biography

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Biography—BiographyNG reports that the Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi, the late Alaafin of Oyo from the Adeyemi branch of the Alowolodu family, was born on October 15, 1938. He is the current Alaafin of Oyo, the acclaimed traditional empire of Yoruba land situated in the current Oyo State of Nigeria. During his late childhood, he lived briefly at Iseyin, where he learned the basic rudiments of Islam.

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Biography

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Biography

The Old Oyo Empire has been said to have existed without interruption for about 600 years. In the olden days, the Alaafin was an absolute ruler. He is also called by other names, which include Kabiyesi (the King Who No One Can Question), Iku Baba Yeye (The One Who Can Command Death or Pronounce Same Upon His Father or Mother, Or He Who Is Parent To Death), Alashe (He Who Wields Authority), Ekeji Orisha (Second-in-Command to gods).

The Ascension to Power

Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III is the son of Oba Adeyemi II, the former Alaafin of Oyo who was deposed and sent into exile in the year 1954 for having sympathy for the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). Oba Adeyemi II had come into conflict with the then-deputy leader of the Action Group. It was in the year 1971 that Lamidi Adeyemi succeeded Alaafin Gbadegesin Ladigbolu II. This happened shortly after the end of the Nigerian Civil War when Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo was the governor. Then, he was working as an insurance clerk. Ascension to the Throne.

A Monarch of Distinction

As the usual practice in the selection of the new Alaafin, after the death of Alaafin Bello Gbadegesin, the Oyomesi contacted Oranlola (Baba Iwo) of Alowolodu to become the Alaafin. He then called for a meeting within the Alowolodu royal family. He informed them of his meeting with Oyomesi and that he suggested his son, Sanda’ Ladepo. All the members of the family agreed to this except Baba Salami Dudu. Baba Salami Dudu suggested Prince Lamidi Adeyemi, a son of Alaafin Adeyemi Adeniran ll. The contention for the throne of the Alaafin became more intense to the extent that some of the princes from the larger royal families in Oyo became contenders. Among these were Aremo Sanni Gbadegesin, Prince Olanite Ajagba, Prince Afonja Ilaka, Prince Lamidi Adeyemi, and Prince Sanda ‘Ladepo Oranlola.

A Champion of Tradition and Progress

After all the intrigues, the present Alaafin (Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Olayiwola III) emerged as the Alaafin of Oyo in 1970. It was crowned on January 14, 1971. He had married two of his wives, Alhaja Olori Abibat Adeyemi (Iya Dodo) and Alhaja Olori Rahmat Adedayo Adeyemi (Iya Ilekoto), before his ascension to the throne of his forebears. Some of his notable children are the Late Alhaja Kudirat Akofade Erediuwa, Barrister Babatunde Adeyemi, Princess Folasade Arewaomoba, Princess Taibat Adeyemi, Prince Nurudeen Adesegun Adeyemi, Prince Akeem Adeniyi Adeyemi (Skimeh), Prince Adebayo Fatai Adeyemi among other.

His Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi III, J.P, CFR, LL.D. The Alaafin of Oyo Empire, his Imperial Majesty Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III is undoubtedly a monarch not only with only but also with class. To say he is an enigma by every standard is an

understatement, as many who interacted with him testify that “a moment with him is like an exploratory adventure through the school of history.”

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi III, undoubtedly one of Africa’s most powerful and influential kings, has lived two decades and over half a century into decades of heeding the natural call of the gods and his people.

Here is an X-ray into the life of the great Traditional Icon, who has held the Oyo Empire together in response to his covenant with his people and the gods. As the saying goes, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

The Alaafin of Oyo Empire, His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III would disagree any less with this saying. As an insurance officer who became the Alaafin of Oyo. The contest for his emergence began in 1968 when he was invited along with ten others from his ruling house to contest for the vacant stool of the Oyo Empire. As it was the custom of the land, there were three parameters with which they were judged. First was eligibility, second was popularity and third, the stamina for the huge

responsibilities of the office of the Alaafinof Oyo.

Oba Olayiwola Atanda Adeyemi emerged the first, defeating ten others after a rigorous screening exercise.

However, due to what observers attested to be political interference, the then government “refused to endorse my appointment, saying the procedure was not right” were the words of this great monarch during one of the numerous interviews he granted. So the process started again with the same result the second and the third time. Interestingly, despite the immense pressure upon the Oyomesi ‘against his candidature by the government, the Oyomesi stood its ground. Thus, the process was put in abeyance until after the Civil War, when the whole process started all over again.

To the relief of many and the chagrin of the opposition, Oba Adeyemi III was elected the winner and was finally chosen by the kingmakers on November 18, 1970, and then moved into the palace after completing the necessary rites under the tutelage of the Oyomesi.

In the process, he was inducted into the mysteries of various gods, such as the Ifa and Sango mysteries. He was also made to undergo these inductions to directly represent these deities on earth.

He was taken through these processes to learn all the chants, the sayings, and the origins of all the past Obas. More so, it was during the various purification and cleansing processes at the hallowed grounds of the Yoruba ancient shrine that Oba Adeyemi III made a covenant with the illustrious Yoruba ancestors that he would defend, protect and add glamour to the Yoruba norms and tradition; vowing to be the icon, the embodiment of Yoruba culture, And, he had since then taken his covenant seriously and had delivered the

dividends of his covenant.

At an impressive ceremony at the Durbar Stadium, Oyo town, Oba Adeyemi III was presented with the staff of office as the Alaafin of Oyo in the presence of thousands of witnesses from all works of life by the then military Governor of the Western State, Colonel (now retired General)Adeyinka Adebayo. Then began the journey laden with a huge responsibility to protect, defend, and protect the cherished values of Yoruba customs and traditions with the zeal and, if need be, to lay down his life defending those values.

Fortunately, and much to the relief of the Oyo Empire and the world, the need to lay down his life to defend Yoruba values never arose, hence his 70 birthday celebration, with 38 out of those years spent on the throne of his forefathers. The philosophy behind the Alaafinate as an institution “is a duty for service and service to humanity.” This means that once someone becomes the Alaafin, the totality of his life is service to the people and humanity in general. The Alaafin has no life of his own; day and night, he is for the service of the Yoruba race, nay humanity.

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Wives – Family Life

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Wives

One of the notable aspects of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s life is his extensive family. He has a large and diverse household with 18 wives, including his first wife, Abibat. Some of his queens include Rahmat Adedayo, Mujidat, Rukayat, and others. His first son, Prince Israel Adeyemi, holds a significant position within the family hierarchy.

Oba Lamidi Adeyemi Net Worth

As of 2024, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s net worth is estimated to be around 45.3 million USD. This substantial wealth reflects his royal status and his investments and assets accumulated over the years.

In these many years, Oba Adeyemi III had striven to work strictly by the oath he took in the presence of the Oyomesi on behalf of his people. Being a self-conscientious perfectionist, we make bold to say that he has worked assiduously and tirelessly with many governments both at the state and federal levels:

Beginning with General Adeyinka Adebayo

(1971); Colonel Christopher Oluwole Rotimi,

(1971-75); Navy Captain Akintunde

Akinyoye, Aduwo, (August – September,

1975-83); Colonel David Mediaysese

Jemibewon (1975-78); Colonel Paul Tarfa

(1978-79); Chief Bola Ige, the first elected

governor, (1979-83); Dr. Victor Omololu

Olunloyo’s second-elected governor

(October- December 1983); Colonel

Oladayo Popoola, military governor

(1984-85); Colonel Adetunji Idowu Olurin,

military governor (1985-88); the late

Colonel Sasaeniyan Oresanya, military

governor (1988-90); late Colonel

Abdulkareem Adisa, military governor

(1990-92); Chief Kolapo Ishola, third elected

governor (1992-93); Naval Capitan Adetoye

Sode, military administrator (1993-94);

Colonolen Chinyere Ike Nwosu, military

administrator (1994-96); Colonel Ahmed

Usman, military administrator, (1996-98);

Compol Amen Edore Oyakhire, military

administrator (1998-99); Alhaji Lam

Adeshina, fourth elected governor

(1999-2003); Senator Adewolu Ladoja

(2003-2007); Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala

(the incumbent governor).

At the federal level, he worked with

General Yakubu Gowon, (1971-75); General

Muritala Mohammed (1977-76); General

Olusegun Obasanjo (1976-1979); Alhaji

Shehu Shagari, the first executive president

(1979-83); General Muhammed Buhari

(1984-85); General Ibrahim Badamosi

Babangida (1985-93); General Sani Abacha

(1998-99); General Abdulsalami Abubakar

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007); and

President Umaru Yar’Adua

During the agitation for the state creation in 1975, the Alaafin was the first to fire the salvo, and coupled with the efforts of others, the old Oyo, Ogun and Old Ondo States were created. In recognition of his priceless and modest contributions to national development, he was invited as the only Oba from Yoruba land to perform the holy pilgrimage to Mecca with General Muritala Muhammed. Other traditional rulers on the trip were the late Emir of Gwandu, the Otaru of Auchi, and the late Momodu Ikelebe II. The Federal Government honored this great achiever with the national honor of CFR at the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, in 1979.

In 1980, the Federal Government appointed Kabiyesi Oba Adeyemi as the pioneering Chancellor of the newly established University of Sokoto, now Uthman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, for a first four-year tenure.

At the expiration of that first tenure, the University’s senate and Council recommended him for another term. The president and visitor to the University graciously approved the request. Thus, he was appointed for a second term.

At the expiration of the second term, in an unprecedented manner, he was appointed for yet another term, the third term, thus giving him a total of 12 years as the Chancellor of the University, a feat yet to be matched by anybody in the annals of the chancellorship of the University of Nigeria.

It must be noted that during those years, Oba Adeyemi III presented several academic and reasoned memoranda on university education and contemporary issues published nationally and internationally.

The University, in appreciation of his contributions and achievements, honored him with the Degree of Doctor of Letters (LL.D), Honoris Causa. At the time of Oba’s Chancellor, the University recorded absolute peace as the regular calendar was never disrupted for a day.

In January 1988, the monarch installed Chief MKO Abiola as the Aare Ona Kankanfo in recognition of Abiola’s contributions to the social, economic, cultural and political development of Yoruba land and Nigeria at large.

Under General Ibrahim Babangida’s administration, the Federal Government appointed Alaafin as the Amiru Hajj operation two years later to lead the Muslim faithful in the 21 federation states. The report of that year’s Hajj operation remained the yardstick for measuring the success of Hajj operations in the country today.

At his primary constituency as a Paramount foremost traditional ruler in Yoruba land, Oba Adeyemi III used his position to better the lots of many Obas, lifting many non-crown-wearing Obas to the status of beaded crown wearers, not to mention his consistent fight for the improvement of their (the Obas’) welfare at all times. These Obas spread through Oyo, Osun and Ogun. Some of those who benefited from this gesture were the Olubadan of Ibadan Adebimpe and the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi Ajagungbade. “Following the powerful motion I moved at the Old Oyo State House of Chiefs floor, the government approved the beaded crown of the two traditional in 1976”. The monarch said.

In 1975, the Onjo of Okeho was elevated. In 1977, the Onitede of Tede, Oba Olulokuntoo, got the beaded crown. In 1979, the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Mashood Osuola, also got the beaded crown. Timi of Ede, the late Oba Oyelusi Tijani Agbaran II, also elevated. In 1980 and 1981, Oba of Kisi, Oba Yusuf Ariwajoye Oke, re of Saki, Oba Abimbola Oyedokun, and Sabi Iganna were promoted, respectively. Others were the Baale of Ile-Ogbo, who got elevated to the status of an Oba to Olu of Ile-Ogbo in1995, Olubu of Ilobu, Oba Asiru Olatoye Olaniyan, who got his own in 1986. Alayegun of Ode-Omu, Akire of Ikire-Ile, Akirun of Ikirun, Aree of Ire, and Olunisa of Inisha, all in Osun State, also got the beaded crown, courtesy of the Alaafin. Baale of Igboora, Jacob Oyerogba, got elevated as a crown wearing.

Oba with the title of Olu of Igboora in 2001. In Ogun State, the Oba of Ipokia got the beaded crown elevated at the instance of the Alaafin.

Last but not least, Baale of Igangan, Lasisi-Aribiyan, got elevated to the status of an Oba as Oba Lasisi Aribiyan, the Asigangan of Igangan and was awarded

beaded crown in 2002.

In fact, Oba Adeyemi III presented the crown to all of them in various towns with pomp and pageantry. In 1977, in exercising his power as the Chairman of the Council of Obas and Chiefs, he moved the meeting of the Council to his palace in Oyo.

Childhood Crown Prince Lamidi Atanda Olayiwola Adeyemi’s father, Late Oba (Alhaji) Adeniran Adeyemi II, was a staunch Muslim who mapped out his son’s journey into education, starting from the Quranic School in Iseyin.

He (Prince Lamidi) later returned to Oyo but not to the palace. Rather, he stayed with the headmaster of St. Andrews Primary School (now St. Andrews College), proceeding thereafter to live with the Alake of Egba, Oba Oladepo Ademola, in his palace.

Prince Atanda’s education met a dead end following the 1947-48 demonstration of Egba women against “tax without representation,” led by Mrs Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. This forced Oba Ademola to abdicate his throne and live in exile at Osogbo.

That period was Prince Adeyemi’s introduction to the other side of life he had never imagined existed. Mosquitos, home chores and lots more became his duty. But as they say, hardship only makes one more challenging.

His father sent for him in 1948 and later sent him to live with Sir Kofoworola Adebayo Abayomi in Keffi, Ikoyi, Lagos. While in Keffi, he attended Obalende Modern School, owned by Pa Domingo, father of the renowned musician Adeyomi Domingo. He later participated in Tinubu Methodist School, which overlooked the famed fountain and the first General Bank.

Oba Adeyemi came second in his Entrance Examination into secondary schools in Lagos Island and was offered places at two great schools: Igbobi College and St. Gregory’s College, Obalende. He attended St. Gregory’s College Obalende by his guardian’s wish. Obalende was a cross-cultural settlement, and living there required wit and will; otherwise, one would be walked over.

Oba Adeyemi III lived in challenging areas of Lagos Island, including Faji, Olowogbowo and the famed Ojuolomokoto.

His Sport Life: All work and no play, they say, makes Jack a dull boy. The ruler, as many may have known and as many will find incredulous, is a sportsman. Before his ascension to the throne of his forefathers, he trained and still trains as a boxer.

He runs, jogs, and plays football. Typically, if time permits, he does as much as six kilometers and skips the rope. His Growing Up The Crown Prince Atanda Adeyemi could have grown in luxury and affluence as a royal son should, but his growth was far from what could have been.

Though not read, his father appreciated the value of education through his contact with the British Administrative Officers who came to the Old Oyo Empire. Consequently, he lived to fight tooth and nail to ensure that his son was well-read. Needless to say, Oba Adeyemi III left St. Gregory’s College with an excellent grade and had the choice to study Law, Economics or Public Relations.

He chose to study Law because he majored in English and wrote narrative and descriptive essays. Coupled with an excellent retentive memory and a fantastic ability to remember dates and people, he felt his future in Law was secure. Little did he know that fate had other plans in stock for him. His quest for Law changed when his father was deposed on February 14, 1946, two days before the planned travel abroad.

He was offered a job at the Royal Exchange Assurance, Marina, Lagos. Even though he had landed where his dreams could not carry him, he made the best of every situation fate presented him. He wrote articles about himself and his experience under pen names in newspapers.

One of his numerous articles was entitled” I SHALL BE GREAT” in 1968, and a year later, he wrote another one: “I shall be the next Alaafin.” He wrote critiques of how the Nigerian teachers were treated, having been inspired by the state where he saw one of his old teachers in a tattered shirt and tie. He wrote yet another entitled. “Women Liberation: A misnomer in Yoruba land”. This may not be unrelated to his view that women in the Oyo Empire were, in his words, “at least very active.”

Shortly after his stay at the Royal Exchange Assurance, he was promoted to the 14th-floor specialist area of obligatory Facultative Insurance and Internal memo drafting. He began to earn lots of money, but his father had strict instructions, so he invested every penny that came his way.


Oba Adeyemi III ventured into business buying wrecked cars to repair

and resell. Oba Adeyemi’s journey had been on a challenging path; instead, he rode on the high stormy sea, sun-burnt mountains and many times on rock hilly parts. Having lost his mother, Ibironke, at an early age, he had little or no motherly touch and never had to stay for a long while with his father. He was almost always a lonely man. But his dreams and determination for success drove him to heed the calls of the gods, forgetting his own personal life for the sake of others; he has become an Icon, undoubtedly an Iroko tree, where all birds from the universe find their rest.


Q: How many wives does Oba Lamidi Adeyemi have?

A: Oba Lamidi Adeyemi has 18 wives, including his first wife, Abibat.

Q: Who is Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s first son?

A: Prince Israel Adeyemi is Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s first son.

Q: What is Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s net worth?

A: As of 2024, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi’s net worth is approximately 45.3 million USD.

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