Ooni of Ife’s family removes personal items from palace

Ooni of ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade

Ooni of ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade

THE true picture of the status of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, whose reported demise has remained a controversial issue, is becoming clearer as sources close to the palace confirmed yesterday that relatives of the monarch have started evacuating their personal belongings from the palace.

The sources told The Guardian that removal of personal effects of the royal family began yesterday and continued yesterday.

However, Ife traditional chiefs still maintain that the Ooni still lives until the public hears contrary information about the monarch from them.

Yesterday, the chiefs still held another round of long meeting at the outer part of the courtyard. Details of the meeting were not immediately known but sources said the discussion might not be unconnected with necessary ‘rites of passage of the departed’ monarch before news about his demise is broken to the public.

A source told The Guardian that in Ife Kingdom and in accordance with the rich culture and customs of the ancient town, a reigning Ooni is presumed to be alive until all necessary rites are observed and appropriate chief makes public announcement regarding his passage.

The Guardian learnt that the evacuation of the personal property of members of the Royal Family from the palace is part of activities signposting that something serious might have happened to the monarch. “I can confirm to you that those who are close to the royal family have started to remove their personal effects from the palace.

The exercise began on Tuesday and it also continued yesterday.” The source said that all property belonging to members of the royal family must be removed from the palace to prevent looting by the public once certain two traditional chiefs, who have not been to the palace since the rumoured demise of the monarch were sighted in the royal residence.

Despite the evacuation of property of members of the royal family, normal activities was still going on in the outer courtyard while security within and outside the palace is relaxed.

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