EXCLUSIVE: The Ooni of Ife, HIM, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse 11 …His Final Hours

The Oonirisa
The Oonirisa
The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse 11, has joined his ancestors. The ELITES reliably gathered that Oba Sijuwade died in London on Tuesday evening, at around 7pm. He was aged 85.

The royal father passed on at Saint Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, United Kingdom (U.K), where he was being treated. He was reportedly flown out on Thursday in an air ambulance for treatment at the London hospital when his health reportedly suffered a relapse.

The ELITES gathered that the Oonirisa slumped at the palace, Aafin Adimula on Thursday evening. He was then rushed to Ibadan in an helicopter and thereafter, to Lagos in an air ambulance. By the time he arrived in Lagos, the Oonirisa, who was accompanied by his son, Aderemi Sijuwade, had been revived, and thus, was strong enough to board the British Airways flight to London. The royal father and his son, Aderemi, his most constant escort, were also joined by two of his wives- Oloori Morisola and Odun.

The ELITES gathered that Oloori Ladun could not leave for London on that Thursday night because she had to stay back to host her mother’s first year memorial, which was billed to take place last Sunday. The Oonirisa’s first son, Prince Adetokunbo had to stay back in Nigeria, so as to lead the family delegation to the introduction Ceremony ( Writing-in) between his brother, Adegbite Adewunmi and Dolapo Oni, the popular talk-show hostess and actress.

On getting to London on Friday morning, Oba Sijuwade was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital, a general acute hospital that diagnoses and treats a range of adult and paediatric conditions.
The hospital is one of the four Major Trauma Centres (MTCs) in London, acting as the hub for the northwest London trauma network and a vital part of the London-wide trauma system which connects a series of trauma units and rehabilitation facilities. It pioneered the use of robotic surgery, including the UK’s first da Vinci robot for keyhole surgery.

Meanwhile, by Sunday evening, two of the Oba Sijuwade’s children, Rasak Adele (Theory) and Adegbite were reported to have left for London. They were later joined by Oloori Ladun Sijuwade, who left Nigeria on Monday night. The crown prince of the Sijuwade family, Adetokunbo left last night, after the Oonirisha had joined his ancestors.

The ELITES learnt that immediately the Oonirisa passed to the great beyond, some notable chiefs were called and informed of the news. One of the most symbolic acts that were carried out was the switching off of all the lights in the palace. This was the first time this would happen, since July 1980, when the former Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi joined his ancestors. This was then followed by the moving out of some vital belongings out of the palace.

The last few days of the Oonirisa was spent in the company of his three wives, Morisola, Ladun and Odun and some of his children.

The Royal Council of Ife today issued a statement describing the Ooni as being “hale and hearty”. According to tradition, only the Council has the right to announce the passing-away of the Ooni.

The 85-year old Royal Father assumed the post of Ooni of Ife in 1980 as the 50th Ooni of Ife.

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