Thursday, 30 July 2015

Ooni: Aregbesola, Ife chiefs meet in Oshogbo

The Royal Traditional Council of Ife, on Thursday, met Governor Rauf Aregbesola briefly behind closed-doors at the Government House.
The delegates first told the governor in the presence of some journalists  that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, was alive contrary to the news in the media.
The  details of the brief  meeting held behind closed-doors were not made available to journalists. The chiefs,  led by the Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, had earlier said it was regrettable   that the Ooni was always a target of negative publicity in the media.
Some prominent indigenes of Ife, who are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, were present at the meeting. They are: Senator Babajide Omoworare; immediate past Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Sikiru Ayedun; a former member of Osun State  House of Assembly, Mr. Adetilewa Sijuade and a former Special Adviser to the Governor  on Youth and Sports, Mr. Biyi Odunlade.
The Lowa of Ife said, “We were all shocked when we heard the rumour of baba’s death. If at all such an incident had occurred, the Traditional Council  would be the first to know and equally break the news to the entire public.
“Sixteen of us are his chiefs and when he was travelling out, he didn’t look like he was going to die and should that have happened to him, we would have been informed even before anyone would hear about it. We pray that Ooni Sijuade will live long in good health.”
Aregbesola thanked the chiefs for holding forth the monarch’s domain  while he was  away and he prayed God to give the monarch long life in good health.
Meanwhile, the palace  of the Ooni looked deserted on Thursday when our corespondent visited the place.
There was no crowd nor the hordes of okada riders who had gathered at the entrance of the palace on Wednesday when newspapers broke the news of the Ooni’s death.
While  visitors to the palace including journalists were not allowed to go beyond the first court which houses  the press centre, the Emese’s court and the police station, some chiefs who visited the palace were seen going inside the inner part of the palace.
A palace source, who spoke to our correspondent, said the rebuttal of the news of the Ooni’s death by the RTC was in order.
The source said although the monarch had passed away, the procedure for breaking such big news must be followed.
He said, ” The Traditional Council did a good job. They tried as much as they can to ensure that things are done the way they should be done.
“Although they may not be able to do all those things the same way they were done about 100 years ago, there must be a semblance of it. He was not just an ordinary person, so the announcement of his death must follow the due process.
” The news quickly filtered out because it happened outside the country. Nobody would have known except some very few persons if he had died right inside the palace.
” You know that the same  thing happened to one of the foremost Obas in the country ( name withheld) , it is almost two months now and they have not announced it officially.  But the Ooni passed away  outside the country, so it is difficult to manage the situation, but the chiefs did what is expected of them.”
Asked when the corpse of the departed monarch is expected to be brought back in the country, the source declined comment.

HENRY E. J Williams

Author & Editor

Has laoreet percipitur ad. Vide interesset in mei, no his legimus verterem. Et nostrum imperdiet appellantur usu, mnesarchum referrentur id vim.


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