Ooni’s burial rites reach final stage

The rites of passage being performed for repose of the soul of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, may have entered the final stage.

A source close to the palace told journalists in Osogbo on Saturday that the corpse of the late paramount ruler had been move from Ile’gbo where it had been kept since its arrival from the United Kingdom in the early hours of Saturday, August 1.

The source said the body had been moved from Ile’gbo where it underwent traditional embalmment to Ile Ase where the king was vested with spiritual authority with which he ruled while on the throne.

According to the source, the remains of the monarch would be stripped of the authorities vested in the king before his final journey to the land of the dead.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The body of the Ooni has been moved from Ilegbo to Ile Ase. The rites, which were supposed be carried on him at Ilegbo where he was kept since his arrival, have been completed.

“He is now at Ile Ase and he would spend some days here, where all the authorities bestowed on him would be reclaimed before his burial.”

The source further said the rites being carried out now were not what uninitiated persons could witness without paying the supreme sacrifice.

The monarch gave up the ghost in the UK on July 28, five days after he arrived in the country for medical treatment.

Credible sources had told our correspondent that the monarch was flown out to the UK in an air ambulance after his health deteriorated.

But his chiefs have continued to deny his death.

Meanwhile, Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has said he would disclose the content of the last text message the late monarch sent to him before he travelled out.

Aregbesola said this at the state House of Assembly on Friday during a special sitting to mark the 50th birthday of the Speaker, Mr. Najeem Salaam.

The governor, who spoke in Yoruba, said the message was touching and he promised to divulge the information therein when it was ripe to do so.

He said he believed what the Ife Royal Traditional Council, who visited him, told him that Oba Sijuwade was alive. He said monarchs were immortal beings according to Yoruba beliefs.

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