Confusion and anxiety yesterday trailed the purported death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II. Some national dailies had reported the passage of the eminent monarch in a London hospital but the palace refuted the publications, saying that the traditional ruler was alive and preparing for his son’s forthcoming wedding.
Oba Sijuade is the permanent chairman of the Osun State Traditional Council.
As shocked residents thronged his palace in Ile-Ife, over the alleged death of the traditional ruler, members of the Council of Chiefs converged on the House of Chiefs within the Ile-Oodua Palace of Ooni, where Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, addressed the media on the issue.
He said the media reports that the monarch died in a London hospital from an undisclosed ailment was “false and baseless.”
According to him, “Our father, the Oonirisa, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II, is hale and hearty, so, the rumour making the rounds that he was dead is not true and we condemned it in totality.”
The Council, which comprises of all traditional chiefs and title holders in Ile-Ife, said Oba Sijuade is not only in good health but preparing for his son’s wedding holding soon.
Also, the Secretary, Royal Traditional Council of Ife, the Ladin of Ife, High Chief Adetoye Odewole, said the Ooni is hale and hearty and even spoke to the chiefs on phone a few hours before the false information about his demise.
Chief Odewole added that those behind the story are enemies of Ife and emphasised that, “as I speak with you, chiefs have not heard anything like that. This is not the first time such rumour will be carried about our father.
“They did it in 1984, also in 2004 and now these people are coming up with another rumour. Oba Sijuade is in sound state of health”.
Also, the Chairman, Ife Development Board, Prof. Muib Opeloye, who corroborated Odewole’s position, said Ife as a town, with its rich tradition, has its way of managing its affairs and warned that people should steer clear from peddling false information about the monarch and the entire community.
Opeloye maintained that the royal father is preparing for his son’s wedding and urged the people not to panic as “Baba is alive and in sound health.”
Meanwhile, the entrance of the Ooni’s Palace was shut to visitors as only newsmen, chiefs and relations of the monarch were allowed into the premises.
At the time of filing this report, natives within and outside Ile-Ife had continued to troop to the palace to ascertain the truth about the reports of the monarch’s death.
The state government was however silent on the monarch’s alleged death.

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