By ODEKANLE DAVID
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade has passed on, on Tuesday, at 85 years in London hospital.
Unofficial sources confirmed that few days before his death, the monarch was flown out of the country in an air ambulance on Friday.
The spokesperson for the Ooni, Chief Funmilola Olorunnisola, was quoted saying, “I don’t have anything to tell you immediately.”
The Punch quoted one Osun traditional ruler, who said, “The Ooni is dead. It is true. He died about two hours ago in the UK. His two oloris (wives) – Olori Moni and Olori Odun – were with him in the UK.
“He travelled out for treatment anytime he fell ill but he couldn’t make it this time. It is sad but I believe it is God’s time. There was nothing anyone could do to stop it.
“Tokunbo, his eldest child, will probably leave for the UK this evening (Tuesday). There is nothing we can do but we take solace in the fact that he lived well. The proper announcement will be done later,”
It will be recalled that there were fears over the health of the first class monarch since 2013 when he was taken out of the country for medical attention for over a month.
Born on January 1, 1930, Sijuwade became the fiftieth ruler of the ancient kingdom of Ife, popularly referred to as the cradle and source of the Yoruba, in 1980.
A former commissioner and indigene of Ife, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “It is true. I was with him on Wednesday. Last Thursday when we held the political summit in Ife, he supported us and sent an emissary to the summit. He slumped on Thursday and was rushed to Ibadan airport from where he was flown to Lagos in an air ambulance en route to England for treatment. He became stable by Saturday. It is sad that he relapsed and passed on.”