Who acts as regent when an Alaafin passes on ?


*Photo: Bashorun (Right) and Samu of Oyo (left) *

By Onike Rahaman*


This type of write up wouldn’t have been necessary,if not for the rejoinder a well respected person (name withheld) sent to my WhatsApp status this morning following the picture of Bashorun (Right) and Samu of Oyo (left) that I posted on my status.

The person faulted my submission that I goofed to have written that while passage rites continue and till a new Alaafin is installed, Bashorun will be in charge of palace administration and governance of the Oyo traditional institutions and system being the head of the Oyomesi and the prime minister according to Oyo history and tradition.


In his contrary view, he claimed that Aare Ona Kakanfo is to assume the role of regent till another Alaafin is installed.

Following readers’ comments and appeal to me to make clarifications, I am now putting on records that the Oyomesi constitutes the council of state.

According to a great historian and the Otun of Oyo in his popular book titled-A New Perspectives to Oyo Empire History (1530-1944),he reaffirms that “Bashorun is the president and head of the council.

He was like the Prime Minister in modern times. He commanded the army of the capital. He is the regent when an Alaafin dies.

” The Oyomesi are to shortlist and select the new Alaafin for the endorsement of the Governor of the state.

Prof.Kolawole Balogun corroborates the historical fact in his book titled- Government in the Old Oyo Empire-“Bashorun is the chief minister of the state and commander of the army of the capital city, not only divined annually the fate of the Alaafin but was also the regent between the demise of one Alaafin and the selection and installation of another.”

Other members of Oyomesi are: Agbaakin,Samu, Alaapinni,Laguna, Akinniku, Asipa and Ona Modeke.

None of the other history texts consulted provides contrary opinion to this.

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