Agboluaje was the second Alaafin to reign during Basorun Gaha’s dictatorship. Unlike his immediate predecessor he was agreeable to his patron, Gaha and was allowed a relatively long reign. Agboluaje lacked ambition, but the Territory of Oyo Empire, now in its widest stretch, had its integrity maintained.

It has been said that no Alaafin, having celebrated Bebe festival, invented by the long reigning Alaafin Ajiboyede, live to enjoy three more years in power, Agboluaje was no exception, but this is not necessarily uncanny, for the festival itself is valedictory and must have been inspired by some subtle prognostic factors. Agboluaje’s celebration of himself drew many hundred vassal kings and chiefs of the Yoruba nation. It was a spectacle but one Agboluaje’s friend who was the King of Popo, tempted the people of Oyo to envy, for he rivaled their king in dressing, changing clothes as much as the celebrant. Basorun Gaha, considering this an act of disrespect to the Oyo throne subsequently declared war on him. Agboluaje pleaded on behalf of his friend, but Gaha was too perverse to listen. The Alaafin sent words of warning to his king friend who fled to safety but he, unaware of his friend’s safety, took his own life in grief.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer