The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, is dead.
Details of the monarch’s demise were sketchy as at press time, but sources in the Osun State Government House in Osogbo confirmed the development.
It was learnt that the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has just been briefed on the development, but the source was not forthcoming on further information.
The late Ooni of Ife was born in January 1, 1930. He became the 50th traditional ruler Ile-Ife in 1980 after the demise of the late Oba Adesoji Aderemi.
Sijuwade was born on 1 January 1930 in Ile-Ife to the Ogboru ruling house, grandson of the Ooni Sijuwade Adelekan Olubuse I. He studied at Abeokuta Grammar School and Oduduwa College in Ile-Ife. Oba Sijuwade 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 spotting a business opportunity during a 1964 visit to the Soviet Union, he formed 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 1980 he had become a wealthy man.
The Daily Times gathered that the late Ooni suddenly fell ill shortly Osun summit held at Osogbo, the Osun State capital. He was said to have been flown to a London hospital where he eventually joined his ancestors.
It was also gathered that the late Ooni was billed to give out one his children out in marriage on Saturday, August 1.
Source: Daily Times