Adetokunbo Sijuwade, Eldest son of the late Ooni of Ife, Okunade Sijuwade, on Wednesday officially announced the death of the monarch, saying he would be buried on Friday.
Adetokunbo told reporters at the government office in Osogbo, the Osun state capital that the body of the late monarch would be flown in from London on Thursday and buried on Friday at 10am.
Solomon Omisakin, Obalufe of Iromo and vice-chairman of the Ife traditional council as well as Joseph Ijaodola, Lowa of Ile-Ife, both corroborated Adetokunbo’s statement, expressing gratitude to the people of Osun and praying that God would provide another king who would excel as the late Ooni did.
Shortly after, the state government issued a statement saying: “The State of Osun wishes to announce that our Royal Father, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse 11, has joined his great ancestors.
‘‘The governor, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, received the news today Wednesday August 12, 2015 through the Traditional Council.
“The governor however joins other sons and daughters of Osun to celebrate the translation of this highly revered monarch whose era brought prestige, honour and dignity to traditional institution in our clime, his reign brought tremendous development and increased global attention to his domain.”
Aregbesola, who read the last text message he received from the monarch at the briefing, said the deceased informed him of his frail health, saying he was travelling to London for treatment.
Ooni died in a London hospital on July 28 but the palace debunked media reports on the development, saying the enemies of the kingdom were behind the news.
But on Monday, Layi Adereti, the Awara of Iwara-Ife, confirmed Ooni’s death, saying preparation for the burial was in progress and that official proclamation of the passage would be made on Wednesday.
He warned residents to stay indoors during the period when the traditional rites for the king’s passage would be observed.