Controversy trailing the alleged death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, is yet to be over as media houses which reported the passage of the monarch to ancestors gave fresh insight into the matter.
Furthermore, yesterday’s visit of the members of the Ife Traditional Council to Governor Rauf Aregbesola where they insisted that the eminent traditional ruler is alive has fuelled speculations that the Ooni is indeed dead.
Sources conversant with the culture of Ife people, claimed that the chiefs were in the governor’s office to formally inform him of the death of the monarch. Residents said they were eager to see the monarch at the son’s wedding this weekend as promised by the traditional rulers’ council.
The traditional rulers were led during the visit by the Lowa Adimula of Ife, Chief Joseph Ijaodola, the next in Command to the Ooni of Ife. He ‎told the governor that the news of the Ooni’s death came as a shock to them, considering the fact that the monarch is “hale and hearty.”
High Chief Ijaodola stressed that, if the incident had occurred, the Traditional Rulers’ Council would be the first to know and break the news to the public.
He urged the governor to dispel the rumour of the monarch’s death, describing it as unfounded.
In his response, Governor Aregbesola accepted the council’s position and prayed for the sound health and long life of the monarch.
Hundreds of Ife people on Wednesday thronged the palace of the t traditional ruler to confirm the authenticity of the death rumour which came to the public on Tuesday night.
Throughout Wednesday, commercial and social activities were at a lull and the entire Ile-Ife wore mournful look.
But when Nigerian Pilot visited the town yesterday, it was agog with commercial activities as markets were reopened with traders displaying their wares.
The palace gate however remained locked while security personnel allowed some traditional chiefs and other important personalities access to the premises.
Some of the residents expressed happiness that the monarch is still alive.
As at the time of filing this report, no condolence register was opened at the palace, apparently to reinforce the stand of the chiefs that the Ooni is alive.
Last week, Oba Sijuwade’s intervention on the Non-Academic Staff Union of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife led to the suspension of their industrial action.
But on Tuesday evening the monarch was reported to have died in a United Kingdom hospital.
The Council of Chiefs, which promptly preparing for his son’s wedding this weekend.
Sources said that his first son, Prince Adetokunbo (Tokunbo) Sijuwade, arrived in London onboard a British Airways flight on Wednesday morning.
He allegedly left Lagos Tuesday night when he heard of his father’s “condition.”
Media reports said that he joined other members of the family comprising Olori Mori Sijawade, the monarch’s most senior wife; Olori Odun Sijuwade; Olori Ladun Sijuwade; Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, who had a daughter – Oyinade Ademide – for the Ooni; and his nephew, Prince Rasak Adewole.
Family sources allegedly claimed that the Ooni collapsed in Ife and was rushed to the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, where a team of doctors led by Dr. Tony Akintomide attended to him.
Thereafter, a private jet was cleared by the authorities to depart for the UK from Ibadan, which made a detour to Abuja to refuel before leaving for London.
The Ooni was allegedly taken by ambulance to the London Clinic, where he was stabilised before his case became worse on Tuesday morning and he joined his ancestors in the evening of that day.

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