New indication has emerged on why the death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, has not been officially announced by the palace.
The silence, it was gathered, is because Isoro cult members, who are carrying out necessary rites on the late monarch, are yet to give their nod that the death be made public.
The remains of the monarch have already arrived in Ile’gbo, the place where he monarch was installed, sources hinted.
Ile ‘gbo is located within Ile Oodua, the late Ooni’s palace.
An Ife traditional title holder told Leadership Newspaper that Ooni’s remains arrived the palace and was received by members of Isoro cult early this week.
“His journey to the throne started from that place called Ile’gbo. That is where he was installed Ooni and that is the place [where] anyone that will succeed him will also be installed,” he said.
“The body is being preserved through traditional means.
“All the rites will be done while the body is kept there. That does not mean that a formal announcement of his death will follow in the next two weeks.
“It may take months, depending on how fast the Isoro members are able to conclude the necessary rites.
“The body is there as I speak to you but nobody except members of the cult can see it.”
The Chief Priest of Oduduwa and Obadio Agbaye Orisun of Yoruba land, Oba Farotimi Faroba, had dismissed the reported arrival of remains of Ooni.
Faroba told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) last weekend that Ooni was hale and healthy.
“Ooni is hale and healthy, and that is to confirm to you that nothing has happened to him.
“And if he is still alive why the rumuor that his remains has arrived in the ancient town?
“Ooni’s death cannot be hidden. Assuming his reported death is true, you will notice crowd at the main palace gate, while the gate would be locked and no one will be allowed to enter.
“Also, the Oduduwa chief priest will announce the demise of the Ooni upon sounding of a bell at Enuwa square located in front of the palace.
“After the announcement, all the trees in the market would be cut; markets would be closed while all forms of merrymaking such as drumming or partying would be suspended in town for a number of days,” he explained.
Faroba said since Ooni was still alive there was no need to perform any of the rites.
According to him, the wedding of one of the Ooni’s sons which was slated for Aug. 2 in Lagos still went ahead as planned to confirm that the monarch is still alive.
“Ooni is second in command to the deities and if anything happen to him, the 200 gods and goddesses would be aware before Oduduwa chief priest would announce it.
“I am saying all these to confirm to you that Ooni is still alive,” Faroba said.