Ayibi emerged as Alaafin after the rule of an interim government headed by Basorun Iba Biri. He was the grandson of the immediate past Alaafin, Jayin, and son of the popular Prince, Olusi who died in the hands of his father in a rush of anger. Ayibi was too young at the time of Jayin’s death, but the King council, Oyomesi, elected him as the future ruler. He was eventually crowned when he came of age but the entire process of succession, as ingenuous as it seemed, proved to be a total mistake. Jayin was denied normal progression to maturity, being a Kabiyesi, meaning unquestionable, from infancy. His mental health was in question, for he ordered executions of both complainant and litigants in his court, showing no respect for equity.

The story is told of how Ayibi, while having one of his wives bath him, wordlessly took offence at the lady’s joke, “And this is all of the man so much dreaded by all!” He ordered the wife’s father decapitated and had her receive the head in a calabash. Such was the evil that made the people of Oyo to reject their King, and no King of Oyo spares his own life when rejected.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer