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Ooni’s death ’ll be announced in due course — Source

Despite the rebuttal of the news of the death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, by the Royal Traditional Council of Ife, a source close to the palace said the monarch has joined his ancestors.
It was gathered that the Lowa of Ife, who is the head of the kingmakers, Oba Olasoji Ijaodola, would soon make an announcement of the passage of the monarch at a later date.
Traditionally, the passage of the Ooni, who is referred to as the second-in-command to the deities, should not be announced until the various levels of rites of passage had been completed.
It was gathered that one of the rites of passage includes an announcement by the Lowa, who would announce the passage upon the sounding of a bell at the Enu-Owa square located in front of the palace.

One of our correspondents learnt that after the announcement, markets would be closed while all forms of merrymaking such as drumming or partying would be suspended in the town for a number of days.
According to him, the process of breaking the news to the public would start from the eldest prince, who would tell the traditional council and the Ife traditional council would, in turn, inform the Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers.
The Osun State Council of Traditional Rulers, he said would subsequently inform the governor of the state officially after which the rites of passage would commence.
The source, who was not willing to divulge the details of what the rites of passage would entail, stated that, drummers would come to the palace and beat special drums for some days.
After this, he said, some elders and women would also gather at the palace and sing dirges for some days.
After the rites of passage have been completed, the source, who is a traditional ruler, stated that the Lowa of Ife would come to the main entrance where he would beat the gong and announce the demise of the Ooni to the public.
The source added that the throne would remain vacant for a period of mourning before the ruling houses would present names of contestants to the stool.
Another source, who corroborated the news of the death of the monarch, said the media was not supposed to be the one to break the news of the death of the monarch.
He said it was wrong but stated that such news could no longer be hidden because of the advancement in technology, adding that the chiefs would still not abdicate their roles for the media.
The four ruling houses in Ife include Giesi, Ajagbun, Osikola, where the late Oba Adesoji Aderemi hailed from, and Ogbooru, where Sijuwade hailed from.
The Oluomo of Ife, Chief Gbenga Owolabi, said that it was wrong to say that the “Ooni is dead.” According to him, the Ooni is an institution and a royal stool, and not a person.
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