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Wives, children barred from Ooni’s burial
Views: 321  |  Comments: 0 |  Posted: 03:07 Sat, 15 Aug 2015
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Posted on: 03:07 Sat, 15 Aug 2015



The final burial rites of the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, was performed on Friday, but his wives, children and family members were unable to pay their last respects as they were barred from the programme.

Some people who had expected to see the body of the monarch lie in state were disappointed as his remains were neither brought out for people to see nor was any casket displayed during the burial service.

A lot of dignitaries were in attendance like Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Rear Admiral Akin Aduwo (retd.), Gen. Alani Akinriande (retd.), Senator Babajide Omoworare, Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko.

Traditional prayers were offered for the late monarch by Tadimole Awo Ilare, Chief Faloba. The event was conducted in less than three hours.

A source at the palace said that no member of the royal family was allowed to see the remains of the monarch since he was brought back to the palace.

He said:
“As we are holding this interdenominational service here, those concerned are performing their own rites inside the palace where the body is kept.

“You can see that the gates of the palace are locked and nobody is allowed to go inside. Nobody can see him again except those who will bury him.

“The wives and children were not even supposed to see his corpse at all but tradition was broken this time around because he (Sijuwade) died in London. But no family member can see him again. Those performing the rites are there now and they will complete it today (Friday). He will be buried in the middle of the night, but nobody will be there apart from those who will lower him into the grave.”

The source said those who saw the bodies of the previous Oonis were attacked by smallpox and did not survive the ailment.

A monarch in Osun State, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that traditional rulers of the town went to various shrines, including the Obalufon shrine in Ife to perform some rites for Oba Sijuwade on Friday.

He said the traditional rulers later went into Ooni’s palace shortly before an interdenominational burial service for the king commenced on the palace premises.

The monarch said:
“Nobody can see the Ooni, not even the US President, Barrack Obama. We are with him. It’s only the initiates who can see him. His wives and children cannot see him.”

During the service, the Preacher, Bishop of Ife Diocese of Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Oluranti Odubogun, said the monarch’s demise demonstrated that every mortal man would die no matter their status.

He said:
“Baba has gone. He will stand before the King of Kings who will judge what he did while here on earth.

“Some persons have started jostling to succeed him now but we must all remember the judgement day when we will give account of all that we did on earth.

“I urge you to make today a memorable one and give your life to Christ. Jesus is the only way, accept him today.”

As the interdenominational service was about to start, worshippers of Oro cult in Ife, also called Isoro, stormed the venue and attempted to stop the service. The worshippers claimed that it was a sacrilege to hold an interdenominational service for the departed king. And as the service went on outside the palace, the traditional worshippers sang and danced inside the palace.

As part of the palace tradition and custom, women are forbidden from entering the palace while traditional rites are being performed for a passing monarch.

During the interdenominational service, sounds of gunshots suddenly rent the air, making some of those present at the service run for safety.

A source said that more gunshots would be fired later in the day, as from 5.00 pm, adding that curfew to last for seven days would start by 4.00 pm on Friday.

One of the palace chiefs, Sooko Adelugba, said that many parts of the town had already been deserted by residents who were eager to comply with the curfew as announced by the palace.

One of the initiates told one of our correspondents who had tried to interview him that it was an abomination to speak publicly of traditional rites offered for a departed Ooni.

Meanwhile, fresh facts have emerged as to why the monarch would be buried beside the immediate past Ooni, Oba Adesoji Aderemi.

The mausoleum is said to be located at the rear end of the palace.

A palace source said the final resting place of Sijuwade had been constructed in a mausoleum inside the Palace of Oba Aderemi, adding that the cemetery inside the palace is calledIle Nla(mighty house).

The worshippers of Oro cult in Ife, also called ‘Isoro’, clashed with residents who were erecting tents for the interdenominational burial service at the frontage of Enuwa Palace.
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