President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, and the people of the ancient Ife kingdom, over the demise of the traditional ruler.
A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the president expressed sadness over the news of the transition of Ooni, one of Nigeria’s foremost traditional rulers.
It said President Buhari urged the Ooni’s family, friends, associates and subjects to be consoled by the knowledge that he lived a fulfilled life, and had left worthy legacies for his successors to build upon.
According to the statement, Buhari said Oba Sijuwade’s place in posterity is already assured by his long and worthy service to his people and country.
The statement said: “President Buhari extends his sincere condolences to the late Ooni’s family, his friends, associates and subjects, as well as the government and people of Osun on the departure of the first class monarch.
“The President joins them in mourning the revered traditional ruler who will be long remembered and celebrated for his worthy service, over more than three decades, as the Chief Custodian of the traditions of the Yorubas and his invaluable contributions to the sustenance of the cultural heritage of his people within and outside Nigeria.’’
It said the president noted that the late Ooni of Ife would also be remembered for his notable contributions to the development of his community, state and country as a leading businessman, administrator and inspirational traditional ruler.
“God Almighty will comfort all those who mourn Oba Sijuwade and bring forth a worthy successor to take his place on the ancient throne of Ile-Ife,’’ the president is quoted as saying.
Oba Sijuwade, a revered, first class and famous Nigerian Yoruba monarch, was said to have died in a London hospital a fortnight ago, but the family only officially announced his death on Wednesday in Osogbo, Osun State capital.