Buhari Receives Pastor Adeboye, Ooni Of Ife In State House (PHOTOS)

President Buhari receives in audience, H.R.H. Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife in Statehouse, also he welcomed Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

Pictures below are shared by the president’s official photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo.

President Buhari receives in audience, H.R.H. Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of Ife in Statehouse on 16th Feb 2016
President Buhari receives in audience Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Statehouse on 16th Feb 2016

Ooni Begins Free Health Service For People Of Ile-Ife

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has launched a free health service scheme for the people of Ile Ife.



Ogunwusi urged the people of the town to make good use of the free health care services, saying that development cannot thrive in a town that has health challenges.



The monarch has also inaugurated seven commuter buses to ease transportation problems of the people of Ile Ife and its environs. The monarch, who partnered with Olofin Micro Finance Bank, Ile Ife, inaugurated the coastal buses, worth N56m which were assembled by Leyland Motor Company, in Ife on Thursday.

He used the occasion to appeal to Nigerians to patronise locally-made goods. This, he said, would encourage local manufacturers, create jobs and boost the economy.

The Managing Director of Olofin Micro Finance Bank, Mr. Toyin Olufolahan, said the buses cost N8m each.

He said the bank decided to partner the monarch in his bid to bring about economic transformation in Ile Ife.

Ooni Launches N60m Inter City Mass Transit Buses

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Thursday in Ife launched the N60 million “Olofin Adimula’’ inter city mass transit scheme.



In his speech at the occasion, the monarch said that the inter city mass transit buses were introduced to reduce transportation cost and the challenges faced by commuters.



He said that the buses would be managed by Olofin Microfinance Bank Ltd.



He commended Ife kingmakers and the people for selecting him as the new Oba and promised not to disappoint them.



The royal father promised that over 20, 000 widows and some youths of the town would be empowered.



He commended the management of the Microfinance Bank for collaborating with him to introduce the mass transit scheme to reduce the cost of transport.



Oba Ogunwusi assured members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other transport unions that his regime would not inflict pains on them.



He explained that the mass transit scheme was introduced to reduce cost of transport and urged the people to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods to boost the economy.



Speaking earlier, the Managing Director, Olofin Micro Finance Bank, Mr Toyin Olufolahan, said that the mass transit scheme would generate thousand of jobs.



He said that the Ooni and the management of the bank had also organised free health scheme for Ife indigenes at government hospitals.



The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the buses would carry passengers from Ife to Lagos, Port Harcourt, Delta, Abuja, Kano among other cities in Nigeria.




Ooni, Alaafin Will End Marginalisation Of South West — Yoruba Monarchs

Yoruba monarchs have described Sunday’s visit by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III as the beginning of a glorious dawn that would end marginalization of the South West zone in the polity.



The traditional rulers, under the aegis of Yoruba Obas Conflict Resolution Committee, said this after a meeting held at the Ibadan residence of the convener of the committee, the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Frederick Obateru Akinruntan, Okoro Ajiga 1.

The kings have been apostles of peace and unity among Yoruba Obas and had long ago been engrossed on how the duo of Ooni and Alaafin would come together and make the zone forge ahead.



Oba Ogunwusi was at Oyo on Sunday to felicitate with Alaafin who was celebrating his 45th year coronation anniversary, thereby cancelling a 79 year old cold war between the two monarchs.



Reacting to the memorable re-union, Secretary of the Committee, Oba Saliu Azeez, Sabiganna of Iganna, who spoke on behalf of the rulers, said the visit would go a very long way to positively affect the Yoruba as a nation.



Sabiganna, who was flanked by Oba Joel Daodu, Ololuyani of Iyani- Akoko in Ondo State described the move as a glorious one.



He promised that the peace and Conflict Resolution Committee would consolidate on the Ooni’s initiative to ensure that Obas in Yorubaland remain united.



Coming together of the two rulers, according to him, would engender peace, unity and progress of the Yoruba nation.



While he said the cordial relationship would certainly correct so many wrong things, he said that “if the head is okay, it will definitely be well with the entire body”.



Credit : Vanguard

Ooni Visits Alaafin, As Monarchs End 79-Year-old Supremacy Battle

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II yesterday laid an unprecedented achievement in the history of Yoruba race as he paid an unscheduled visit to Alaafin Of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi at his palace to join him in celebrating his 45th coronation anniversary on the throne.



Speaking at the thanksgiving service to commemorate the anniversary, Oba Ogunwusi though uninvited emphasized that his agenda, is to unify all Yoruba sons and daughters all over the world.



Oba Ogunwusi, in his quest to unite Yoruba nations said, “I am here today, though not invited, but as the Arole Oduduwa, the onus is on me to felicitate with all sons and daughters wherever they are and to show my solidarity for them.



“I am ready to damn any consequences or insinuations from anywhere; my mission here is to preach peace among nations of Yoruba both home and abroad and I am ready to work with Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Olayiwola Adeyemi to project the unity and love which existed in days of our forefathers.”



Ooni of Ife?, Oba Ogunwusi, on Sunday, became the first Ooni to visit Oyo town since 1937. He visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, to grace his 45th coronation anniversary thanksgiving, held at the Methodist Church, Apaara, Oyo State.

Ooni of Ife?, Oba Ogunwusi, on Sunday, became the first Ooni to visit Oyo town since 1937. He visited the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, to grace his 45th coronation anniversary thanksgiving, held at the Methodist Church, Apaara, Oyo State.

The Ooni, who was accompanied to the 45th thanksgiving service of Alaafin by over 100 monarchs across Yoruba land, said with the support of all obas in Yoruba land, there will be unity in Nigeria and by extension the world.
“Oduduwa is father of all nations and his spirit abides by all us as the symbol of the progenitor,” he noted.


Earlier in his speech, Oba Olayiwola Adeyemi, who expressed joy with the presence of the Ooni and all other Yoruba Obas, maintained that if every monarch in the Yoruba unite, there will be tremendous progress in Nigeria.


He said: “This special visit was done last in March 1937, that was the first time the kings in Yorubaland met in Oyo town and today history was made with the visit of Arole Oodua, Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II and I feel delighted to host you and to reassure you that I will be ready to work with you.


“I had a cordial relationship with Ooni Adesoji Aderemi and I did not want to relent my bound with any Ooni of Ife that assumed the post but everybody has his own little differences.”


The Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Rt, Rev, Titus Ilori Omoniyi, emphasized that the unity among Yoruba nation will bring progress and development and this will leads to unprecedented progress to all nations.


Among the royal fathers that accompanied the Ooni were; Orangun of Ila, Ajero of Ijero, Timi of Ede, Olu of Yewa, Alara of Aramoko, Oore of Otun, Alayemore of Efon Alaye, among others.



Credit : Vanguard

For Kneeling Down In Church: Ooni Tells Critics ‘No King On Earth Is Above God’

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi(Ojaja II) has berated those criticising him for kneeling in church to worship God, saying that “no King on Earth is above God”

A picture showing the monarch kneeling down during the installation thanksgiving held at St Paul’s Anglican, Ile Ife, on Sunday, December 13th, had gone viral on internet, attracting diverse comments.

While many that commented on the picture saw no wrong in the action of the newly installed monarch, many were of the view that the act desecrated the revered stool of Ooni.
The week-long coronation activities for the Ooni climaxed with a thanksgiving service on Sunday 13th December 2015, at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Ile-Ife.

But in a statement signed by the Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace, Ile-Ife, Moses Olafare, the Ooni said it is an unacceptable sacrilege to equate Ooni’risa or any other king to the almighty God.

His words: “God is the creator of mankind and it is God who made it possible for the enthronement of any king.

“The ILE OODUA has been drawn to a publication released Wednesday 16th 2015 by an online medium known as NEWSPUNCH in which His Imperial Majesty, Ooni’risa & Arole Oodua Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) was criticized for bowing to God.

“God remains the highest KING OF KINGS who has kept all Kings alive and had made it possible for me to be crowned as the a King of the source of Yoruba civilisation.

“I have no regret whatsoever for kneeling down to exalt the almighty God who did not only create me, but also kept me alive, saw me through all the storms in m life-journey and eventually crowned me as the Custodian of Oodua Race.

“This act of equating me to God of Gods, King of Kings and the sole owner of the universe is a wicked sacrilege planned to embarrass the the throne.

“My emergence as Oba has been made possible only by the almighty Olodumare to whom I remain eternally grateful” the Ooni said.



Credit : Vanguard

51st Ooni of Ife Coronation: Osinbajo, Tinubu, Danjuma, Others Present (PHOTOS)

The coronation ceremony and presentation of Staff of Office to His Imperial Majesty Arole Oduduwa, Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, took place today in Ile-Ife, Osun state.


State governors, party leaders, and several public figures were in Ile-Ife for the coronation ceremony.
Amongst notable guests were vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, Lagos and Osun governors, Akinwunmi Ambode and Rauf Aregbesola, were in attendance.


Also at the event were former Minister of Defence, Gen. Thiophilus Danjuma, the Governor of Ogun State, Sen Ibikunle Amosun, among others.


According to the Chairman of the Media Sub-Committee of the occasion, Mr Biyi Odulande, the same event took place about 35 years ago, during the coronation of the late Ooni Okunade Siujuwade in 1980.


Odunlade said: “the people of Ile-Ife and indeed the entire Yoruba people are lucky to have had the king of the cradle of Yoruba race in the person of Ogunwusi Enitan.”


See more photos below …



Meet The New Ooni Of Ife

The Osun State Government has unveiled a new Ooni of Ife.

He is Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, a 40-year old real estate magnate and prince from the Giesi Ruling House in the town.

The Secretary to the Osun State Government said the selection of the new Ooni followed the completion of all processes for the filling of the exalted stool.

Mr. Ogunwusi was selected from 21 candidates presented by the Giesi ruling house for the exalted stool.

The statement, made available Monday on morning, said, “The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has approved the appointment of a new Ooni of Ife.

“He is Prince Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of Giesi Ruling House of Ile-Ife, State of Osun.

“This choice follows the completion of the due process by the kingmakers and the communication of their decision to Government.”

The announcement of a new traditional ruler for the ancient town came 89 days after the death of Oba Okunade Sijuwade at a London clinic.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Dele Momodu: Good bye, our dear Kabiyesi

Fellow Nigerians, let me confess that my trip to the ancient city of Ife last Thursday was a most harrowing experience. As a matter of fact, the drive itself was very smooth devoid of the usual hurly-burly on that notorious Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. We set forth on our journey around noon not knowing what to expect along the way. Road travel in Nigeria has defied common logic. You require methods to the malfeasance and madness of our dare-devil drivers. We drove all the way to Ibadan without any major drama of bottlenecks and we thanked God for journey mercies.

The second leg of our journey was from Ibadan to Ile-Ife. We tried to navigate our way from the ubiquitous gridlock around Iwo Road and meandered our way through the backstreet towards the Ibadan Airport to link up the Ife Road without much ado. The trouble came where we least expected. As we approached the Asejire Dam which used to be one of my favourite sights as a kid, we suddenly noticed a logjam ahead. Many passengers had abandoned their vehicles to assemble on the Asejire Bridge like locusts. We were momentarily alarmed wondering what had gone wrong on this usually peaceful stretch.

Alas, a vehicle which I suspected to be a public transport had sped and obviously somersaulted into the rocky river. We saw a deluge of Federal Road Safety Corps operatives struggling hard with what looked like a rescue mission as well as trying to clear the crowd of onlookers for easy passage of travellers like us. I actually seemed to appreciate their passionate dedication to the work of saving lives. Anyway, we prayed for survivors to emerge from that cataclysmic dive and continued on our voyage.

We arrived Ile-Ife with some anxiety because we didn’t know what to expect. Rumour had developed wings like bushfire in harmattan about a certain palace errand of The Ooni of Ife who must mandatorily accompany him on his journey to the great beyond by being buried alive with the King. Many of my Ghanaian friends had called to ask me about this odoriferous news about the disappearance of The Ooni’s Abobaku.

All efforts to explain the falsity of those claims were rebuffed by doubting Thomases. I was forced to tweet and explain that only two kings reigned in the last 85 years in Ile-Ife namely, Oba Adesoji Tadeniawo Aderemi and Oba Okunade Adele Sijuwade Olubuse II. I knew when Oba Aderemi passed on and there was no one buried with him. It is impossible for a living human being to be buried with a king at this time and age and I can say authoritatively that the law abiding Ife Chiefs will never commit such carnivorous murder.

We drove through the famous Lagere Road and headed towards the Ife Palace and met a desolate town in the mourning process of their powerful king. It was almost surreal. We eventually got to the palace gate where we encountered several barricades and some youths who claimed they were Oro cultists. They lurched forward menacingly as if to pounce on us. Then we heard some shrieking chants. We stopped and our security escorts tried to bring the riotous situation under control. I think one of the guys recognised the occupants of the Ovation-branded car and shouted “it is Ovation, Dele Momodu is a son of Ife, he is our own and free to drive anywhere!” I felt humbled and we gave them something for their efforts.

We had been misinformed by someone that the Crown Prince Adetokunbo Sijuwade and the wives of the departed monarch were still ensconced somewhere in the palace of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race. The boys directed us on how to enter the palace.

The gates were firmly locked but the second one swung open as our convoy approached snakelike. As we entered the palace proper, we experienced a certain eerie feeling. It was apparent something had gone desperately wrong. The place had lost its original allure and glamour. I thought we had mistakenly entered Fagunwa’s phantasmagorical forests. We continued towards the inner gates leading to The Ooni’s residences. We saw freshly-cut trees on the ground meant to block any intruder and nosey-parker. The place was virtually empty.

I wondered why we were allowed to drive inside the palace when there was no soul except a few Chiefs straddled in one corner performing their mandatory rites or whatever it was. I felt the urge to get out of that extra-terrestrial space as fast as possible. After all the hullabaloo of Abobaku, what if some human heads were needed? Could it possibly mean a few of us could be kidnapped or just vamoose into rarefied air without a trace in this vast world? I marvelled at the audacity that ever propelled us in that direction in the first instance but I felt assured because I was in the company of Princes and Princesses, including Prince Adedamola Aderemi, and Oro never affects them.. I was nevertheless a bit apprehensive but still excited about the potentially dangerous adventure.

We eventually turned around and left the palace. Memories of years gone by gushed back and took over my brains. So this is the end of another era, I asked rhetorically. I couldn’t imagine I will never visit Kabiyesi, The Ooni, in that massive sprawling palace again. Nothing destroys than death. The finality of it is most cruelly annoying. We then drove to a few places for some quick meetings.

Eventually, we went to visit Prince Adetokunbo Sijuwade in their private home. The place was buzzling with activities in preparation for the interdenominational service that took place yesterday. We met two of the royal wives, Olori Ladun and Olori Odunayo. I saw many Sijuwade Princes and Princesses who had flown in to Nigeria from different parts of the universe. The new head of the family was completely knackered. The responsibilities on his shoulders are incredibly heavy.

While I was in the house with my friends, I got a call from the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who had been duly informed by Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi of my presence in our State. He was in his usual upbeat mood and he apologised that he won’t be able to host me as he had some prior engagements to deal with. I thanked him for the call and drove to the home of Olori Morisola Sijuwade, The Ooni’s most senior wife. She expressed delight at seeing us come around to honour her husband. We must have left Ife after 10pm and headed to Osogbo where we passed the night.

We checked into our hotel and agreed to meet at about 7am for breakfast. I managed to catch some sleep after working till 3am. By 6am, it was time to get ready. We gathered ourselves in about six cars and drove to Ife and arrived the venue in Enuwa, at about 10am. The Area Boys sprang on us and skilfully with two mobile phones from my friends while I managed to escape those rascals.

The Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo personally attended and this added some colour to the event. It was nice seeing Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Major General Adeyinka Adebayo, Rear Admiral Akin Aduwo, Lt. General Alani Akinrinade, Prince Ayo Aderemi, Mrs Tola Oyediran and her sister, Dr Mrs Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu (both represented the Awolowo family), Prince Adedamola Aderemi (who has spent ample time with the Sijuwades right from London to Lagos), Senator Bamigbetan, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Senator Babajide Omoworare, The Secretary to the State Government of Osun and so many others.

After visiting a few places including the old Buka of the Obafemi Awolowo University where we dealt ruthlessly with some piping hot amala and goat meat, we went to spend some time again with Prince Adetokunbo and the Oloris. Thereafter, I led the family in a short prayer and it became obvious I’m inching closer to my calling as a Pastor as I prophesied at Pastor Tunde Bakare’s 60th birthday celebration.

What next, I asked as we drove out of the compound. The Ife kingmakers don’t usually waste time in selecting their new king. I expect them to name one of the contenders in the next few weeks. The process is not going to be simple as there seems to be a motley crowd this time around. Ile-Ife is blessed with many successful and accomplished Princes who may be qualified.

I project that the Kingmakers will ask ruling house three out of the four ruling houses to present their candidates, namely, Osinkola, Giesi and Lafogido. The Ogboru ruling house which presented the last Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, will not now be asked to present a candidate. This follows the precedent when Osinkola ruling house was not asked to present a candidate when Oba Adesoji Aderemi Atobatele I joined his ancestors, thus paving the way for Ooni Sijuwade to be crowned.

According to Ife custom and tradition there is no order of rotation in the presentation of candidates by the respective ruling houses. From the twentieth century to date, the last five Ooni’s have come from three not four ruling Houses:

(a) Olubuse I from Ogboru – 1894 to 1909
(b) Adekola from Osinkola – 1910 to 1910
(c) Ademiluyi Ajagun from Lafogido – 1910 – 1930
(d) Aderemi Atobatele from Osinkola – 1930 – 1980
(e) Sijuwade Olubuse II from Ogboru – 1980 to 2015.

Prior to these Obas above who reigned in the 20th century, Lafogiddo had produced 7 Oonis, Osinklola had produced 3, Giesi had produced 6 and Ogboru had produced 2.

Attempts may have been made in the past between 1957 and 1979 to establish an order of rotation but these failed to fly and rotation was jettisoned by the Kingmakers in the one and only exercise in 1980.

There are already indications that virtually all the eligible ruling houses will present their candidates after a rigorous screening exercise to determine eligibility by those houses. Some of the criteria they will utilise are whether the candidate is truly a prince from that particular ruling house, including whether the claimed royalty was bestowed honorarily on the candidate’s ancestor or the aspirant is descended from a male lineage. Similarly, tradition forbids an Ooni to have a living father and, patent disability or deformity is also a ground for exclusion.

The mood in Ile-Ife seems to favour younger candidates since the last two Ooni’s ascended the throne at the ages of 40 and 50 respectively. I predict therefore that nobody above 60 will be considered suitable by the Kingmakers.
There are no clear contenders coming out for different reasons. Firstly, a few of them wished to pay deference to the memory of Oba Sijuwade and did not feel that it was decorous to press a claim until his funeral was concluded. Secondly, some are in public service and will not want to risk their jobs.

Thirdly, the financial obligations are usually quite significant and this has been the practice since time immemorial or, at least, since the passing of Ooni Ojigidiri as Oba Adesoji Aderemi wrote in his letter of July 28 1930 to The Resident of Oyo Province when laying his claim to the throne and; Fourthly, No claimant can say that he was anointed or blessed by the previous Ooni as most of the present contenders were close to Ooni Sijuwade in one way or the other.

Once the ruling houses have concluded their screening they ask the princely gladiators whether they are able to agree amongst themselves so that the house can present one common candidate. If there is no agreement then the ruling house is compelled to forward the names of all those interested in vying for the stool to the kingmakers.

In Ife, there are six primary kingmakers who must act in consultation with the other secondary kingmakers before an Ooni is elected. There are 8 Iharefe Chiefs on the Right headed by Obalufe (or Orunto as he is otherwise known) and 8 Modewa chiefs on the Left headed by Lowa. The Iharefe are the civil chiefs including the war chief, whilst the Modewas are the Palace courtiers. Three of the Iharefes namely, Obalufe, Obalaye and Ejio, form one half of the primary kingmakers whilst the remaining three come from the Modewa side and are namely, Lowa, Jaran and Agoro.

Prior to the selection by the six primary kingmakers, the Araba of Ife is requested by them to consult Ifa and determine the candidates that are worthy for consideration for the Title. Once the Araba puts forward those worthy of consideration, the 6 primary kingmakers make their choice after consulting with their remaining colleagues.

Thereafter the chosen person’s name is sent to the Governor who must appoint that person as the Ooni. It is noteworthy that the kingmakers in Ife present only one person to the Governor as their choice of Ooni and the Governor therefore has little choice but to honour the selection of the kingmakers.

Dele Momodu is a Nigerian journalist, publisher, and former presidential aspirant. He tweets from @delemomodu. This article is culled from ThisDay

Drama at Ooni’s palace: Wives, children barred from Ooni’s burial

The final burial rites of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, was performed on Friday, but his wives, children and family members were unable to pay their last respects as they were barred from the programme.

Some other people who had expected to see the body of the monarch lie in state were also disappointed as his remains were neither brought out for people to see nor was any casket displayed during the burial service.

The event was attended by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Rear Admiral Akin Aduwo (retd.), Gen. Alani Akinriande (retd.), Senator Babajide Omoworare, Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko and many other dignitaries and government representatives.

A source at the palace said that no member of the royal family was allowed to see the remains of the monarch since he was brought back to the palace.

He said, “As we are holding this interdenominational service here, those concerned are performing their own rites inside the palace where the body is kept.

“You can see that the gates of the palace are locked and nobody is allowed to go inside. Nobody can see him again except those who will bury him.

“The wives and children were not even supposed to see his corpse at all but tradition was broken this time around because he (Sijuwade) died in London. But no family member can see him again. Those performing the rites are there now and they will complete it today (Friday). He will be buried in the middle of the night, but nobody will be there apart from those who will lower him into the grave.”

The source said those who saw the bodies of the previous Oonis were attacked by smallpox and did not survive the ailment.

A monarch in Osun State, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that traditional rulers of the town went to various shrines, including the Obalufon shrine in Ife to perform some rites for Sijuwade on Friday.

The monarch said, “Nobody can see the Ooni, not even the US President, Barrack Obama. We are with him. It’s only the initiates who can see him. His wives and children cannot see him.”

During the service, the Preacher, Bishop of Ife Diocese of Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Oluranti Odubogun, said despite his riches, Oba Sijuwade died when it was God’s time to take him away.

The bishop, who was represented by the Very Rev. Olusola Akanbi, said the Ooni brought fame and popularity to his domain.

His said the monarch’s demise demonstrated that every mortal man would die no matter their status.

He said, “Baba has gone. He will stand before the King of Kings who will judge what he did while here on earth.

“Some persons have started jostling to succeed him now but we must all remember the judgement day when we will give account of all that we did on earth.

“I urge you to make today a memorable one and give your life to Christ. Jesus is the only way, accept him today.”

But as the interdenominational service was about to take off, there was a mild drama as worshippers of Oro cult in Ife, also called Isoro, stormed the venue and attempted to stop the service. The worshippers claimed that it was a sacrilege to hold an interdenominational service for the departed king. And as the service went on outside the palace, the traditional worshippers sang and danced inside the palace.

Women barred

It was learnt that as part of the palace tradition and custom, women are forbidden from entering the palace while traditional rites are being performed for a passing monarch.

As the interdenominational service was going on, sounds of gunshots suddenly rent the air, making some of those present at the service to scamper for safety.

A reliable source told Saturday PUNCH that more gunshots would be fired later in the day, as from 5.00 pm, adding that curfew to last for seven days would start by 4.00 pm on Friday.

One of the palace chiefs, Sooko Adelugba, also added that many parts of the town had already been deserted by residents who were eager to comply with the curfew as announced by the palace.

One of the initiates however said it was an abomination to speak publicly of traditional rites offered for a departed Ooni.

His final resting place

Meanwhile, fresh facts have emerged as to why the monarch would be buried beside the immediate past Ooni, Oba Adesoji Aderemi.

It was gathered that the cemetery inside the palace, where other Oonis were buried, was full, which informed the decision to build a mausoleum inside the palace for Oba Aderemi.

The mausoleum is said to be located at the rear end of the palace.

A palace source said the final resting place of Sijuwade had been constructed in the mausoleum, adding that the cemetery inside the palace is called Ile Nla (mighty house).

Traditionalists clash with residents

The worshippers of Oro cult in Ife, also called ‘Isoro’, clashed with residents who were erecting tents for the interdenominational burial service at the frontage of Enuwa Palace.

A prominent chief in Ife, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the ‘Isoro’ descended on the people who erected the tents because they (initiates) wanted to observe a seven-day burial rites for the departed king.

The chief said, “The ‘Isoro’ saw the erection of tents for an interdenominational burial service as a sacrilege against custom and tradition.

“They descended on the people erecting the tents and flogged them heavily. They destroyed the tents and swore never to allow anybody do any interdenominational service at the palace.”

The chief revealed that the state government had to wade into the crisis before the service was allowed.

He said, “It took the intervention of officials of the state government, who appealed to the ‘Isoro’ to allow the people to hold the interdenominational service before the issue was resolved. If not for the intervention of the state government, the interdenominational service would not have been allowed.”

Meanwhile, Saturday PUNCH learnt that Sijuwade’s family members flew to see his body immediately after he transited in a highbrow hospital in England.

Investigation by Saturday PUNCH revealed that Sijuwade’s eldest son, Tokunbo, and some other family members flew to England immediately the monarch breathed his last to join the king’s three wives, Morisola, Ladun and Odunola – who were already there.

Morisola is the eldest wife, Ladun is the second wife and Odunola, who is the daughter of the immediate past Orangun of Ila, is the youngest wife.

It was learnt that the family members flew down to England to pay their last respect to the departed monarch.

The Araba of Osogbo land, Chief Yemi Elebuibon disclosed that the corpse of the Ooni belonged to Ile-Ife and not his family.

He said, “The traditional burial rites of the kings of Ile-Ife and Oyo are strictly complied with and they are comprehensive.

“When the Ooni dies, the body becomes that of the town. The ‘Isoro’ cult group will take over. The ‘Isoro’ initiates are the ones who worship the ‘Oro’ deity.

“It is the ‘Isoro’ people that would inform the various deities, who were worshipped and appeased when the Ooni was crowned, that he (the monarch) is no more.

“It’s a rite. Nothing must stop it.”

The Araba dispelled the belief that the heart of the late king would be fed to the next Ooni.

He said, “The eating of the heart of a departed King by an incoming one belonged to the past. It no longer exists. People still make this insinuation because many are barred from witnessing the burial of a king.

“What the incoming king will eat is the heart of an animal and not that of a human. Nobody would be buried with the Ooni. Nobody would be killed for any form of sacrifice.”

Elebuibon explained that animals are now used for the burial rites of Yoruba Obas because of modernisation, noting that Christianity and Islam also stopped the use of humans for sacrifice when God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, Isaac.

Source : Punch

Only Palace Chiefs Can Announce Monarch’s Death, IDB Debunks Oba’s Death Reports

The President of Ife Development Board (IDB), Prof. Muib Opeloye, on Wednesday debunked reports of the death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.

Mr. Opeloye, who addressed a crowd that had besieged the Ooni’s palace to confirm the veracity of the reports, said: “Although Baba is advanced in age, he is still hale and hearty in London.

“lf anything of such happened, there is no need spreading the news and moreover, if it indeed happened, there is a way of announcing such news,’’ he said.

Mr. Opeloye enjoined the people of Ife and other well-wishers to go about their normal businesses.

The Royal Traditional Secretary of Ooni’s Palace, High Chief Adetoye Odewole, had earlier debunked media reports announcing the death.

Mr. Odewole, while addressing a press conference at the Ooni’s palace on Wednesday, said the reports were based on mere rumour.

Speaking in the same vein at the press conference, the Lowa Adimula of Ife, High Chief Joseph Ijaodola, said the Ooni was alive, hale and hearty.

Mr. Ijaodola claimed that he spoke with the Ooni in London an hour before the press conference.

Shops, markets and offices remained open in Ife Wednesday while normal socio-economic activities continued unhindered.