There was apprehension in Ile-Ife, Osun State yesterday following the commencement of ‘Oro Festival’ in the town. The development was seen by many people in the town as a prelude to the formal announcement of the death of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
Some people had been circulating information in the nook and crannies of the state telling their friends and family not to pass through lfe at night when traveling, from yesterday because of the Oro festival expected to last seven days.
A palace source who craved anonymity, however debunked this claim, disclosing that there are certain rites that must have been performed, than the ongoing Oro festival, before the news will be broken.
The source further stated that one of the conditions to be met before the announcement of the death of the monarch was the closing of markets in Ile Ife, the symbolic jingling of royal gong across town as well as the appearance of the dreaded Isogun, a chief that only appears at Ile Oodua at the demise of Ooni.
Our correspondent also gathered that there is a particular door at the backyard of Ooni’s palace that had been permanently closed since December, 1980 when Ooni Sijuwade ascended the throne which would be opened to indicate that the throne is vacant. According to the source, “Until all these conditions manifest, it cannot be concluded that Ooni has joined ancestors.
I live here in the palace and we believe baba (Ooni) is still alive in United Kingdom. “Preparation is in top gear for the marriage of his son in Victoria Island in Lagos on Sunday. I can’t confirm if he will appear in person at the event but that marriage is what is engaging all of us now.” Another very close family source said the final rites should have started but on a very light note so as not to scare people, stressing that the manner the passage of the monarch happened did not allow for strict adherence to traditions.
-Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo