Ile-Ife in Osun State was practically shut down yesterday as Traditional Rulers Council, TRC, formally announced the death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II.
The late monarch will be buried tomorrow, his eldest son, Prince Adekokunbo Sijuwade, disclosed yesterday. He said the monarch’s body will arrive Nigeria today from London.
The announcement of the passage of the eminent monarch was preceded by the rites leading to the burial of the Ooni.
When Nigerian Pilot visited the town yesterday morning, it was noticed that the restriction of movementS earlier announced was not enforced, but only a few people and vehicles were seen on the roads.
Markets, shops, banks and offices were shut with only a few filling stations opened for business. The chiefs had directed the residents to remain indoors from 9am till 4pm yesterday to allow them continue with the Oro rites.
At the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU Campus, students remained indoors in compliance with the order.
At about 9.20am, eight elders, referred to as the “Isoros” in white garments, carried a local pot and embarked on a procession outside the Ooni’s Palace gate to Enuwa Square.
It was also observed that felling of trees within the palace was carried out by another set of elders which signified traditionally that the monarch had passed on.
After these rites, the Osun State government formally announced the passing away of the Ooni.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola made the announcement at the Government House shortly after he was briefed by the High Chiefs of Ile-Ife led by the Obalufe, High Chief Folorunso Omisakin who is next in command to the late Ooni.
The announcement came two weeks after the news of Ooni’s death came to public knowledge through the media.
On Tuesday, July 28, 2015, the news of the death of the Ooni in a London hospital was reported but the chiefs described it as a mere rumour.
While commiserating with the wives, children, family members and chiefs of the town on Ooni’s death, the governor enjoined indigenes of Ife and Yoruba across the world to take solace in the fact that he lived a purposeful life during his reign.
Earlier, the Obalufe of Iremo, High Chief Omisakin, who started with a song, said the delay in the formal announcement of the monarch’s passage was to follow tradition and perform necessary rites.
Omisakin described the late Oba Sijuwade as a lover of all and urged the state government to keep supporting the town.
The eldest son of the late traditional ruler, Prince Adekokunbo Sijuwade, who also accompanied the chiefs to the Government House, said the remains of the monarch would arrive in Nigeria today and would be buried on Friday.
Born into Ogboru Ruling House on January 1, 1930, the late Sijuwade became the 50th ruler of Ife Kingdom on December 6, 1980.
Until his death, he was the Co-Chairman of Nigeria Traditional Rulers Council.

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