ALÁÀFIN ABIODUN’S PEACEFUL REIGN
ALÁÀFIN ABIODUN’S PEACEFUL REIGN
Aláàfin Abiodun had a long and prosperous reign. He was said to have been the father of 660 children.
Aláàfin Abiodun’s firstborn Agunpopo was said to have been the issue of an illicit intercourse with one of his father’s wives, during the father’s lifetime; hence the the Oyo citizens refused to have him as the aremo (crown prince).
Ige Gbengeru his legitimate firstborn was accepted for that title, but he was of a delicate constitution, and died prematurely; the office of Aremo now devolved upon the next prince, Adesina.
It was said that when Aláàfin Abiodun was fully established on the throne he found out that a young Mohammedan had hidden one of Basorun Gaa’s children for many years.
The King not only graciously spared the young man, but also rewarded Basorun Gaa’s child preserver for his generous act, and confirmed his goodwill by giving one of his daughters to the Moslem for wife; for surely, said the King, you would have done the same if I had ended up like Basorun Gaa.
Towards the latter part of the King’s reign, certain of the Popo tribes had a quarrel among themselves, and two of their kings came to Oyo with a large retinue of about 4,000 people for an appeal.
They were detained for 3 years without their case being heard, and in the end they were informed that they were no more to return to their own country, but kept as the Alaafin’s body guard under the command of his son, Agunpopo whom the Oyo citizens rejected for the reason stated above.
One act of revenge marred this distinguished sovereign’s reputation. Long before his accession, he was a trader in potash. He once had a quarrel at Ijaye with the Baale’s son but the Baale, out of deference to his high birth interposed and sharply reprimanded his son.
Upon his accession he avenged the alleged insult by ordering the destruction of the town. Ijaye was then an Egba town. This fact is noted because this was the first time Ijaye was taken, a town which was destined hereafter to play a notable part in Yoruba history. His other wars were against the Popos every other year; they were completely subdued.
The Crown Prince Adesina turned out to be a very vain and extravagant young man, weak in character, yielding to flattery. E.g., it was said that some of his followers used to say to him
Prince, you can give me 10 heads of cowries now (a substantial amount of money in those days), if only you wish why; you have only to say the word and it would be done; come now, why be reluctant about it? It is only to speak, etc. The Prince would yield, and order the money to be given.
Aláàfin Abiodun attained to a good age, full of honours, having all his enemies subdued. The Aremo had hoped to succeed his father. Not satisfied with the high honour and unrestricted liberty he was enjoying, he was too eager to occupy the throne, and so he hastened his father’s death by poison.
The end of Alaafin Abiodun’s reign marked an important epoch in Yoruba history. With the death of Alaafin Abiodun ended the universal
despotic rule of the Alaafins of Oyo in the Yoruba country.
Aláàfin Abiodun the last of the Kings that held the different parts of Oyo-Ile (Old Oyo Empire) together in one universal sway and with him ended the tranquility and prosperity of the Yoruba country.
The revolution ensued and the tribal independence, with the loss to Yoruba of the Tapa and Bariba, and Dahomey provinces, and the Popos later on, which has continued to our own day. In a word, with Aláàfin Abiodun ended the unity of the Yorùbá kingdom.
Kangidi succeeded Basorun Gaha as the Basorun of Alaafin Abiodun’s reign.
Eventually, none of Alaafin Abiodun’s numerous children succeeded him on the throne, not even the ambitious “Aremo” (crown prince) Adesina. Aole Arogangan, a tall and handsome prince, a cousin of the late King was elected in his stead as the Aláàfin of Oyo.
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