From Olanrewaju Oyedeji, Ile-Ife
The drama surrounding the state of health of the Ooni of Ife is creating lots of heated reactions in Ife and around Osun state, our correspondent visited the streets of Ife and Osun state to get the opinions of residents as regards the supposed death of the powerful Ife monarch, reports.
It will be recalled that the traditional council of Ife had a few days ago come out with a position that the Ooni is not dead. This position is in contrast with earlier reports in the media that the monarch had died in a London hospital at age 85.
An Ife resident who pleaded anonymity, expressed disappointment that the revered monarch’s state of health is left to be a source of drama and controversy. ‘Many questions are left unanswered, we the residents are left in dark, is he not our Oba? he quipped.
Another resident of Ife, Samuel said; ‘either way whether dead or alive, the Ooni has lived a good life and at 85 should be celebrated. ‘Though the death of the monarch if true will be painful, it is expected that everyone will one day die.’ He however called on the traditional council to be sincere with their claims of Oba Sijuade being alive.
On his part, one Isaac, another resident of Ife, said that the supposed death of the monarch is of less concern to him once the relative peace in the state is maintained. “I have not gained much from the king myself so I cannot comment on the current drama we are witnessing.’
Meanwhile, panic was the mood yesterday as rumours filtered in that the Ife region of Osun state was in chaos due to the supposed death of the Ooni. Students at the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU) were rooted to where they were for some time. The rumour was however later confirmed to be untrue and motorists continued to ply the area earlier rumored to be troubled.
Meanwhile, the Ife Traditional Council has equally reiterated that the Ooni of Ife is still alive and well.
The chiefs made the declaration on the sidelines of a closed door meeting with Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, at his office in Osogbo yesterday even as they equally declined any further comments on the subject when accosted by newsmen.