Following the alleged death of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, traditionalists in Ile-Ife, Osun state, have declared a seven-day sacred traditional Oro festival.
During the seven-day period of the festival, residents of the ancient town, especially women must not stay outside beyond p.m.
Though the reason for the declaration of the Oro festival was not known, informed sources believe it might be in connection with the alleged death of the traditional ruler of the town, the Ooni of Ife, which his chiefs have continued to dismiss and described as mere rumour, The Nation reports.
Some other sources however, said that the festival had nothing to do with the alleged death of the Ooni.
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It was gathered from sources that the traditionalists would use the 7-day period 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.
According to the sources, whoever violates the traditional order of the oro festival will have themselves to blame for the dire consequence.
The sources who pleaded anonymity claimed that this year edition of the festival only coincided with the “rumoured death” of the town’s monarch.
To prove that Oba Sijuwade is alive, they said: “There is a door that remained closed during the life time of a sitting monarch, and since the door remained closed, it means that the monarch is presumed to be alive.
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“The closure of markets to business and ringing of a special bell to announce the death of the monarch are two major significant signs to show that a monarch has joined his ancestors and these are yet to be done.”
Rumuor of the Ooni's death surfaced during the week but the Royal Traditional Council (RTC) of the town, on Wednesday, July 29, stated that the paramount ruler is alive and in good state of health.
Meanwhile, major markets in the ancient town have remain opened, as commercial and economic activities continued.
Also, the Ooni palace at Enuwa was calm and devoid of the usual human and vehicular traffic, except for the presence of the private guards and about four police men manning the gates of the palace.