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No Lying-In-State For Ooni Of Ife

Ooni of ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade

Ooni of ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade

THOSE who are expecting to see the remains of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, the Olubuse 11 and pay him their last respects, should think of better ways to do so. Reason: There will be no lying-in-state for the monarch, a palace source disclosed yesterday.

Although the source still maintained that the monarch is still alive and urged people to discard social media reports that Oba Sijuade died in a London hospital, he also pleaded with Nigerians to respect the rich culture of Ile Ife that believes that Ooni is still alive until 16 elders (Agba merindinlogun Ile Ife) of the ancient town, announce the transition of the monarch, “if indeed the monarch has joined his ancestors as being rumoured”.

The controversy about the state of health of the monarch continued yesterday as there were indications that some of his personal belongings might have been stolen by those a source described as “palace rats”.

A high chief and one of the leading traditional priests who spoke with The Guardian in Ile Ife yesterday, disclosed that the remains of the late monarch will be buried according to Ile Ife age-long tradition which forbids members of the public to witness the funeral rites.

He said: “Ooni is not a Christian or Moslem monarch. I can confirm to you that he would be buried as the late Sir Adesoji Aderemi was buried in 1980. Then the family and various organisations can hold social engagements after the traditional rites. But it is a taboo to bury an Ooni in the presence of none initiated members of Ife palace cult”.

When asked why people would not be allowed to see his remains and pay him their last respects, the priest laughed: “Ooni is a deity, not an ordinary human being. There has been a traditional way of burying a monarch in Ile Ife since the 11th century and it cannot change. But after the burial which I can confirm to you will take place at the palace, people can go and see the tomb but not the body.

“Ife is the source of Yoruba, Ooni is not just a monarch but the foremost traditional priest in Yorubaland. That is why we are amazed at the way people trooped into the palace because they can’t see anything. But mark my words, Oba Okunade Sijuade is still alive as far as we are concerned at Ile- Ife.



14 Comments
  • olu

    If Ife is the cradle of Yoruba race as claimed by Ife people and yet trapped in the old order, I think the other Yoruba people have since left Ife at the cross road and march on to modernity and progress.

    • Julius Joel

      We are talking about what defines a people when talking about culture. Modernity does not become a people’s identity. More than six hundred years after slavery and the carting away of African people to the Americas, Your a identity remains intact. That resilience of a culture is what gives dignity to the You as till today. What is entrenched in the psychic cannot easily be wished away by globalisation or what you called modernization. You need to find out the real essence of the belief that a King’s body should not be displayed like a commoner. It may be mystical but not necessarily evil.

      • Dejandon

        Word!

  • Prince T

    The other day when Prince william gave birth a town crier was the one that announced the birth to the public. imagine that happening in any nigerian town what people here will say. they could have used press conference but they tresured that old tradition. . i do not agree with the primitive fetish culture that does not help anyone. they hinder progress. however, but there are several parts of our nigerian cultures that must be treasured. our dressing, our festivities, culture of respect for elders, our food and most importantly our LANGUAGE that is fast dying.

    • Vincent Bamigboye

      Brilliant. Thanks Prince T. We Nigerians follow foreign cultures, languages, dressings and traditions at the expense of our age-long rich ones. Some of my nephews and nieces in Lagos cannot speak Yoruba language! Unfortunately their English language skill is deficient. I’m told that Chinese has been introduced to our schools. Argh! we are in trouble and the future is not looking good for our own way of life!

      • 21stCenturySlave

        Yes indeed. Mandarin language was introduced into the curriculum at Grace Childrens’ School, Lagos about 6 years ago. It’s optional, just like French.
        Well, since the Chinese constitute more than 20% of global population, it would be smart to have some Nigerians who can communicate in that language.

    • Oramiyan

      God bless you my brother.

  • Gumel

    Well the small king unfortunately we like it or not we are literate or illiterate has gone back to the Real Universal King the Almighty God the Ever Living who calls everyone to His presence.So the deniers should continue to deny the reality but majority of us have accepted it that is our fate and everyone’s fate is hanging in the balance DEATH that is the true reality which we have to face and are all scared of this long journey.

  • John

    Since his head would have been removed for rituals for the coming king, there is no way this Ogboni traditionalits will allow anybody to see his body. Thank God he has not died, he will live forever

  • MAHUMAD

    It is barbaric that civilization has not gotten to Ile Ife, the cradle home of the YORUBAS. Tell to the sun, tell it to the moon notwithstanding that the World
    is aware that he has died. Not lair shall see the kingdom of GOD

  • Dr Dokun Jagun

    Our culture and tradition are dying. And part of those expected to uphold the tradition are undermining it. A prominent Yoruba Oba died in London, thousands of miles away from his domain — first of its kind in the history of Ile ife. Now there is a quagmire. The whole age old practice of Ife royalty is in confusion. Who says our tradition is not crumbling? The Oba is not on the throne and yet no one is able to tell where he is or rather whether or not he is! Only heaven knows what calamity this happenstance will bring upon the Ife people.

    • Prince T

      the confusion is a welcome development. nigeria has moved on so also many parts of yur youruba culture. the king is acutely aware that the youruba herbalists cannot cure him and the herbalist could not cure guinea worm that ravaged the nation when this so call culture was strong. it was the white herbalist that eradicated it, i.e if you still know what guinea worm is. thanks to the white herbalist from london for that. ooni went to the white herbalist for treatment. please be aware that human sacrifice is now a crime or eating human body. it is high time we make burger out of the sacred cow that cannot produce milk.

  • God Pikin

    The funniest thing is that oyinbo man in England don see his body cos it would have been illegal to release it without an autopsy. Silly tradition

  • Wale King Degoke

    GREAT AND BELOVED PEOPLE OF YORUBALAND, I’M PARTICIPATING ON THIS FORUM AS AN ILE-IFE ROYAL PRINCE. LONG BEFORE COLONIALISM, OUR COMMUNITIES WERE WELL ORGANISED WITH MONARCHS WHO WERE SEEN BY THEIR PEOPLE ESSENTIALLY AS SACRED BEINGS WITH MYSTICAL AND SPIRITUAL POWERS. BUT WE SHOULD MOVE ON WITH TIME TO DISCARD ANCIENT PRACTICES THAT MAY VIOLATE THE RIGHTS OF OTHER PEOPLE, EVEN TO LIVE.

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