Ooni Of Ife’s Passage Rites Begin

…Ife Traditionalists Declare 7-Day Oro Festival
imageThere is palpable apprehension among residents and travellers through the ancient city of Ife in Osun State as it is believed that the rites of passage of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II has commenced.

Major markets in the town shut down early and motorists said it is risky to embark on a journey through the town at dusk because of the prevailing situation in the town.

It is believed that rites that would herald the announcement of the death of traditional rulers in many Africa communities involve severe sacrifices.

Though the reason for the declaration of the oro festival was not known, but informed sources believed it might be in connection with the alleged death of the traditional ruler of the town, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, which his chiefs have continued to dismiss and described as mere rumour.

Preferring anonymity, the sources said that whoever violates the traditional order of the oro festival might have himself to blame for a dire consequence.

According to the sources, traditionalists would use the period of the festival to appease the gods and perform necessary rituals that would make the town to enjoy peace and also avert looming danger in Ife and its environs.

The esoteric tradition of Ile-Ife, where about 401 deities are worshipped all year round competes with Egypt as an origin and the custodian of a robust civilisation. Tradition permits that the Ile-Ife Traditional Council is the only body that has the right to announce the demise of a sitting monarch and they are also saddled with the responsibility of nominating the successor.

After the closed door meeting with the Osun State governor Rauf Aregbesola in Osogbo on Thursday, the RTC members, it was learnt, returned to Ile-Ife to commence the arrangements that will culminate in the formal announcement of the revered monarch.

Two noticeable features of the rites of passage were the closure of markets to business and the activities of Oro cultist in the evenings.

Since the news of the demise of Oba Sijuwade filtered into town, people closed for business in Ile-Ife early.

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