The Ife Traditional Council has formally announced the death of the paramount ruler of the town, Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
The Ife Traditional Council yesterday formally announced the demise of the paramount ruler of the town, Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
The Obalufe of Ifeland , High Chief Solomon Omisakin, who led the delegation of high chiefs to the Osun state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, at the government house, Oke- Fia informed him that the foremost traditional ruler has joined his ancestors.
Omisakin said that the delay in Ooni’s death was due to strict adherence to Yoruba tradition of announcing the death of a monarch. His words: “We, the Ife Traditional Council have come here to brief you the governor and the government of Osun about the passing away of our royal majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Ooni of Ife.
“The breaking of the news of the demise of the king must follow traditional ways and rites, that is why it is coming at this time. “The news of the transition to glory of any Yoruba monarch is not ordinary news that one can just announce at a market place or a social gathering.
“The announcement of the death of a great man like our royal monarch is great news that must be announced in a grand style. “On behalf of the entire Sijuade family, the Ife traditional Council and the entire Ife indigenes, we hereby announce the passing on to glory of His Imperial Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse the II.”
In his response, the state governor, Aregbesola who recounted the last message he received from Oba Sijuwade on the 23rd day of July when he briefed him of his medical trip abroad. Aregbesola described Oba Sijuawade as a person who promoted cultural heritage to uplift the Yoruba tradition the world over.
In the said message” I commit you and your government in the hands of God Almighty. Am not feeling fine, I needed further treatment abroad”. “This was the last conversation I had with the late monarch, we dearly miss his charisma, demonstration of loyalty and his position as a rallying point for all Yoruba people and a bridge builder across all ethnic groups in Nigeria.
“Indeed, he was a great man and he left an indelible mark on the sand of history, not only in Yorubaland, Nigeria but across the world.” Earlier in the day, some traditional rites were performed where trees inside the palace were cut down.
At about 10:40 am, some people numbering about eight referred to as the “ISOROS’ who wore white garments carried a local pot and embarked on a procession outside the palace gate to Enuwa Square. Markets, shops, banks were under lock and key just as only few filling stations opened for business.
At the Obafemi Awolowo University Campus Area, students remained indoor in compliance with the earlier order from the management of the institution.
Meanwhile, the Obalufe of Iremo Quarters and the Vice chairman Ife Traditional Council, Oba Folorunso Omisakin , Lowa of Ife, Chief Joseph Ijaodola and Prince Adetokunbo Sijuwade have disclosed that an interdenominational service will hold for the monarch on Friday in front of the palace.
The two in a release titled” Notification of the transition of our father and imperial majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II. CFR”, affirmed that the king joined his ancestors two weeks ago Oba Sijuwade ascended the throne of his ancestors on Dec. 6th 1980.
Adetokunbo Sijuwade, the son of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, on Wednesday officially announced the death of the monarch, saying he would be buried on Friday. Addressing newsmen at the Government Office in Osogbo, the younger Sijuwade said that the body of the late monarch would be flown in from London on Thursday and buried on Friday at 10 a.m.
– Yetunde Oladejo, Osogbo