Whoever emerges as the next Alaafin of Oyo will inherit the wives of the late Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III.
This was revealed by Archbishop Emeritus of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Most Reverend Ayo Ladigbolu – a member of the Agunloye Ruling House of Oyo Kingdom
Alaafin passed away on the night of Friday, April, 22, 2022, at the Afe Babalola University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State in South-West Nigeria.
The 83-year-old monarch ruled for 52 years, making him the longest-reigning Alaafin ever.
Oba Adeyemi was survived by 18 wives and unspecified number of children.
Speaking on the fate of the king’s widows, Ladigbolu said there is a traditional precedent that should apply in such a situation.
He told Punch in an interview that, “The new king will inherit them and that is the tradition, but you know things are changing now. Once a woman is married to the Alaafin they are married forever to the Alaafin. You know circumstances of life are changing and we have to adjust to the changing trends.”
The Archbishop reiterated that the women are by tradition married to the Alaafin institution and not the person, therefore they’re at the mercy of whoever becomes the next king.
“They are married to Alaafin and Alaafin is not a person but an institution. The new Alaafin will be responsible for their welfare because they are married to the institution and not just a person.”
Asked if any of the king’s widows is at liberty to leave the palace to go out and remarry, Ladigbolu said, “I don’t have to elaborate on that; all I can say is that they are married to Alaafin and Alaafin is not a person but an institution.