High Chief Adetoye Odewole, the Secretary of the Royal Traditional Council of the Palace of the Ooni of Ife, has debunked media reports that Oba Okunade Sijuwade, was dead.
Odewole who made the clarification at a press conference at the Ooni’s palace on Wednesday said the reports were the product of rumour mongering.
Also speaking at the conference, High Chief Joseph Ijaodola, the Lowa Adimula of Ife, who claimed to have spoken with the Ooni in London about one hour before the conference, said the monarch was “alive, hale and hearty.’’
Similarly, Prof. Muib Opeloye, the President, Ife Development Board (IDB), denied the media reports while addressing a crowd that had besieged the Ooni’s palace to confirm the news.
Opeloye urged the people to disregard the rumour, noting that if indeed the Ooni had died, there was a proper channel to announce the news.
The Street Journal recalls that media reports in the early hours of Wednesday were awashed with the story that the Ooni died in London, without attribution to any credible and verifiable source.
The Ooni, 85, ascended the throne of his ancestors on December 6, 1980 at the age of 50. Ile-Ife is the ancestral home of the Yorubas of South Western Nigeria from where tradition says they all descended.