One of the leading aspirants for the vacant stool of the Alaafin of Oyo land, retired Archbishop Prince Ayo Ladigbolu has paid a courtesy visit to the National Museum, Aafin Oyo township, to explore the rich cultural heritage of the Oyo empire and Yoruba customs and traditions, where institutional and collective memories are kept.
Prince Ayo Ladigbolu who is the chairman of the Oyo Metropolitan Development Council, visited the museum on Wednesday 22nd of November, 2023.
In his own words during the section-by-section viewing of the museum items, the museum Curator, Mrs. Afolayan Ronke, reiterated that the building of the museum looks like colonial architecture while reaffirming that it used to be the Native Authority building where the Aláàfin Adéníran Adéyẹmí, father of the late king Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III of Oyo held meetings during his reign.
Prince Ayo Ladigbolu and his team viewed the image of the Nok Terracotta, the Igbo Ukwu Bronze artifacts, the Ife Bronze head, the ancient Crown image, the FESTAC 77 logo, and items from Owo, Benin, and some other parts of Nigeria.
Other items are; ère ìbejì (twins carving), a staff of Sàngó, the carving of Èsù, and a big Ifá divination chain and tray (Ọpọ́n Ifá ati Òpèlè).
The museum is only a site of memory, not a site of religion or traditional culture. Prince Ayo Ladigbolu was taken to a picture of the house where Captain W. A. Ross, District Administrator of the Ọ̀yọ́ Division lived in Ọ̀yọ́ is displayed. Images of some colonial tombs and a church building inside the old Saint Andrews College are also displayed.
The museum also has a section for Gẹ̀lẹ̀dẹ́ masks, Ẹpa masks, and the carvings of a hunter in his full element.
Also, the section has a big Ayò Ọlọ́pọ́n which was carved like an Ifá divination board, complete with the figures. The carving shows an intersection between Yoruba spirituality which Ifa as a Science on its own embodies and the recreational life of the people.
According to the Curator, also take Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu and his entourage to a section of the full portrait image of the official coronation of late Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, section by section full list of late Alaafin of Oyo, history of legal tender in the country, from cowries to the British Pounds and the modern Nigerian Naira now in use.
On finality, Prince Ayo Ladigbolu was taken to an old garage where Aláàfin Siyanbọ́lá O. Ládìgbòlù’s car was parked, the curator promised to put on display in due course the old limousine vehicle of Alaafin Olayiwola Adeyemi.
In his entourage are; Prince Olukitibi Salam, Baba R.A Atanda, Saheed Olatunji, and several others.