Controversy Trails the Demise of Ooni of Ife: What to Know About Ife Monarchy

ooni of ife

Following the widespread news that the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II had passed on on Tuesday, July 28, at a London hospital at the age of 85, the Royal Traditional Council of Ife Town has come out to dispel the news as mere rumours – saying the paramount monarch is alive and in perfect health.

The council of traditional chiefs and title-holders even insisted they spoke with the first-class Yoruba Oba on phone, and that he is busy preparing for his son’s wedding which is billed to hold in Lagos on Sunday.

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A high chief of Ife, Joseph Ijaodola, while speaking on behalf of the other traditional chiefs at the palace said there is no truth in the rumour of the Oba passing, and if this were true, it would be the duty of the Royal Traditional Council to announce the fact to the whole world. Ijaodola, speaking in Yoruba, is the Lowa of Ife town.

And the Ladin of Ife, High Chief Adetoye Odewole, who is the secretary of the RTC maintained Oba Okunade Sijuade spoke to his chiefs on phone a few hours earlier.

“Those behind the death story are enemies of Ife and as I speak with you, the chiefs have not heard anything like that. This is not the first time such rumour will be carried about our father,” Odewole said. “They did it in 1984, also in 2004 and now, these people are coming up with another rumour. Oba Sijuade remains in sound state of health”.

Although the Osun State government has not made any official statements on the health status or demise of the paramount ruler, the Osun State House of Assembly commiserated with Gov. Rauf Aregbesola, the council of chiefs, and the good people of Osun State over the demise of the Oba.

“We celebrate the life and time of the great king, Oba Sijuwade, attesting that the monarch exuded unique royalty almost equivalent of imperial culture that could not be rivaled while he called the shot on the revered stool of his fathers,” Goke Butika, the spokesman of Najeem Salaam, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly said.

Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II


The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II is/was the 50th Oba of Ife. He was born January 1, 1930 in Ile-Ife to the Ogboru ruling house. He went to Abeokuta Grammar School and then Oduduwa College in Ile-Ife. He worked for three years in his father’s business, then for two years with the Nigerian Tribune, before attending Northampton College in the United Kingdom to study business management.

By the age of 30 he was a manager in Leventis, a Greek-Nigerian conglomerate. In 1963 he became Sales Director of the state-owned National Motor in Lagos. After seeing a business opportunity during a 1964 visit to the Soviet Union, he established a company to distribute Soviet-built vehicles and equipment in Nigeria, which became the nucleus of a widespread business empire. He also invested in real estate in his home town of Ile Ife. By the time Sijuwade was crowned Ooni in December 6, 1980 he had become a very wealthy man.

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Past Oonis of Ife

  1. Oduduwa
  2. Osangangan Obamakin
  3. Ogun
  4. Obalufon Ogbogbodirin
  5. Obalufon Alayemore (Obalufon II)
  6. Oranmiyan
  7. Ayetise
  8. Lajamisan
  9. Lajodoogun
  10. Lafogido
  11. Odidimode Rogbeesin
  12. Aworokolokin
  13. Ekun
  14. Ajimuda
  15. GboonijioO
  16. Okanlajosin
  17. Adegbalu
  18. Osinkola
  19. Ogboruu
  20. Giesi
  21. Luwoo
  22. Lumobi
  23. Agbedegbede
  24. Ojelokunbirin
  25. Lagunja
  26. Larunnka
  27. Ademilu
  28. Omogbogbo
  29. Ajila-Oorun
  30. Adejinle
  31. Olojo
  32. Okiti
  33. Lugbade
  34. Aribiwoso
  35. Osinlade
  36. Adagba
  37. Ojigidiri
  38. Akinmoyero (1770–1800)
  39. Gbanlare (1800–1823)
  40. Gbegbaaje (1823–1835)
  41. Wunmonije (1835–1839)
  42. Adegunle Adewela (1839–1849)
  43. Degbinsokun (1849–1878)
  44. Orarigba (1878–1880)
  45. Derin Ologbenla (1880–1894)
  46. Adelekan Olubuse I (1894–1910)
  47. Adekola (1910)
  48. Ademiluyi Ajagun (1910–1930)
  49. Adesoji Aderemi (1930–1980)
  50. Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II (1980-2015?)

Ọọ̀ni Lajamisan, was the 8th Ọọ̀ni of Ile Ife, and the son of Ọọ̀ni Oranmiyan. Ọọ̀ni Oranmiyan was the father of the first Oba of Benin, first Aláàfin of Oyo and the father of Oṣile of Oke-Ona, Egba. Ọọ̀ni Lajamisan, the son of Ọọ̀ni Oranmiyan, was also the father of Ọọ̀ni Lajodoogun, the 9th Ọọ̀ni of Ile Ife, through whom the genealogy of all succeeding Ọọ̀nis of Ile Ife until the reigning Ọọ̀ni Okunade Adele Sijuwade, Olubuse II, Arole Oduduwa and the head of the Yoruba nation, is traced down to Ọọ̀ni Odùduwà – the ancestral father of the Yorubas.

About the Author

Wale Eleshin
Wale has a degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; and a Masters in Library, Archival, and Information Studies from the same institution. He loves writing, gardening, and hanging out with friends. Wanna get in touch? Contact him at [email protected]

2 Comments on "Controversy Trails the Demise of Ooni of Ife: What to Know About Ife Monarchy"

  1. Dr. Adepeju Esan | July 31, 2015 at 6:38 AM | Reply

    Whatever happens, I am a core apostle of sanctity of culture and tradition, particularly the good ones. There are rules guiding the announcement of such ‘deaths’ and I believe they must be followed. Let’s not allow civilization to erode all that hold us together as a people, if Ooni is not dead, I agree, when he is, let’s know through the proper and acceptable channel. God bless the YORUBA nation.

    • I agree with you Dr. Esan. When it comes to culture and tradition, there are procedures to be followed. The only thing is: culture shouldn’t necessitate denials. That is, if it is true that the Ooni has passed on, town elders should not deny it in the name of culture. The media has taken over the traditional responsibility of the elders in announcing the demise – if it actually happened.

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