On hearing the news of their ebullient monarch’s death, hundreds of natives and residents of Ife converged on the entrance of the palace but were prevented from entering by guards. However, the entire ancient town remains calm with people going about their normal businesses.
The sympathisers began arriving at the palace as early as 6:30am to ascertain the veracity of the report from palace chiefs, but they declined to speak.
They callers were, however, turned back at the entrance by palace guards, while the gate was shut. Many sympathisers gathered in groups a few metres from the palace gate, discussing the development in hushed tones.
Ife has a tradition of the people looting the palace of a king that has passed away. But the tradition could not be executed when Sijuwade’s predecessor, the illustrious Oba Adesoji Aderemi, died.
When the private secretary of the Ooni, Mr Saka Awojoodu, was approached to react to the development, he simply said: “I have nothing to disclose.’’
Mr Bisi Oduyemi, one of those who was at the palace, said he came to find out whether the news of the monarch’s passing on was true.
Meanwhile, the entrance of Ooni’s palace was shut to visitors. Only newsmen, chiefs and relations of Oba Sijuade were allowed into the premises.
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