The rites of passage preceding the public announcement and burial of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, may have reached the final stage as the Isoros, the highest priests or deities in Ife kingdom have procured materials for the burial of the monarch in line with their tradition.
Palace sources confirmed that funds for the procurement of Ikaro (burial material) had been released to the Isoros to facilitate the rites.
All deities in Ile-Ife, it was learnt, have to submit local materials to the palace as burial rites to enhance smooth transition for a deceased monarch.
Meanwhile, a clearer picture of the status of the Ooni of Ife, whose reported demise has remained controversial, has emerged as palace aides confirmed that relatives of the monarch had almost finished packing the belongings from the building.
The sources told Nigerian Pilot that removal of the personal effects of the royal family began last Saturday and continued yesterday.
However, Ife traditional chiefs still maintained that the Ooni is alive until the public gets confirmation from them.
The chiefs held another round of meeting at the outer part of the courtyard, the details of which sources said might not be unconnected with the “rites of passage” of the departed monarch before the news of his death is broken to the public.
In Ife Kingdom, a reigning Ooni is presumed to be alive until all necessary rites are observed and the appropriate chief makes public announcement regarding his passage.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that the evacuation of the personal property of members of the royal family from the palace are part of activities signposting that something serious might have happened to the
“I can confirm to you that those who are close to the royal family have started to pack all their personal effects from the palace. The exercise has begun and it continued yesterday,” a chief said.
The source said that all the property belonging to members of the royal family must be removed from the palace to prevent looting by the
public once certain two traditional chiefs who have not been visited the palace since the rumoured demise of the monarch arrived in the complex.
Despite the removal of property of members of the royal family, normal activities still went on in the outer courtyard while security within and outside the palace was relaxed.
Nigerian Pilot further gathered that the official announcement of the death of the Ooni by the Traditional Rulers Council might be made tomorrow.

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