There was confusion in Ile Ife yesterday over the restriction of movements as part of the rites of passage for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
Vanguard reports that a particular drum which is only beaten and seen on the night preceding the formal announcement of Ooni’s death, was seen in the palace court. This means that the final rites that follow the demise of the king is close to the end. According to the leader of Oro cult in Ile-Ife, Oba Layi Adereti, the ‘Oro rites’ will be happening today. And locals would be told to stay in their house between 9am and 4pm when the Oro procession would move round the town to formally announce Ooni’s passage.
However, the Royal Traditional Council of Ile Ife said locals should ignore the restriction order, saying they should not panic and that they can go through their normal lawful businesses. Also, Lowa of Ife, Oba Joseph Ijaodola, in a message monitored on an Ile Ife-based radio station, said there will be no restriction of movement in the town as no Oro procession will go through the town. He also went ahead to implore newsmen to disregard any news of Oba Sijuade that does not come from the Royal Traditional Council, saying the town will deal with anyone that flout its directive on the matter.
Despite all these, residents in the area were seen buying basic needs in preparation for the restrictions that may last for hours. Long queues are seen at the ATM Machines, markets were packed full of locals buying for the ‘raining day’. Sources also made it known that non-indigenes have fled to neigbouring towns in fear. Even the Dean Students’ Affairs of OAU, late yesterday told students of the institution to stay indoors during the duration of the burial rites.
A statement by the Acting Dean, Dr. I. M. Durosinmi , said: “This is to inform the generality of students that there shall be a curfew in Ile-Ife, on Wednesday, 12th of August, 2015 from 9am to 4pm and from 11pm till dawn. “Students are therefore strongly advised to stay on campus and those off-campus to remain indoors. The Division of the Students’ Affairs counts on the maturity and sense of responsibility of Great Ife students and appeals to all students to comply with the information and continue to keep the peace.”
In a related development, governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state, spoke up on the death of the Ooni after his reported demise some weeks ago.