The body of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Olubuse II, is being kept in Ile’gbo, a palace source said yesterday.
Ile’gbo, which is located within the Ile Oodua, is said to be the coronation place for Ooni.
The source, an Ife traditional title-holder, who preferred not to be named, said the body of Oba Sijuwade was received by the Isoro Cult after it was brought to Ife early this week.
After some rituals, it was laid in ile’gbo.
The source said: “His journey to the throne started from that place called Ile’gbo. That is where he was installed as Ooni. That is the place anyone that will succeed him will also be installed.
“All rites will be done while the body is kept there. But don’t expect formal announcement of his death in the next two weeks. It may take months depending on how fast the Isoro members are able to conclude the necessary rites.
“The body is there as I speak to you, but those who are not members of Isoro cannot see it. Even his family members can no longer see him again because his body from there on belongs to the town.”
Yesterday evening, it was gathered that the personal effects of the family of Oba Sijuwade were being packed out of the palace.
The movement of the personal events might not be unconnected with ongoing rites at the palace.
The palace of the late Oba is still denying his passing, but reports at the weekend revealed that his body has already been secretly flown into Nigeria to enable death rites of passage to commence.
His death is expected to be officially announced as soon as the required traditional rituals are concluded in Ile-Ife.
The Ooni was rushed to London on Friday July 24, and was taken from Heathrow Airport in an Ambulance to the clinic where he passed four days later.
As expected of tradition, the death of Ooni is being wrapped in secrecy by the traditional council in Ile-Ife.
Our reporters confirmed the death of the monarch, but the traditional council, which began the required rites of passage last weekend, still maintains that the Ooni is “hale and hearty”.
The Oba was conspicuously absent at his son’s wedding yesterday, however, he was represented by his traditional staff of office.