THE absence of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, at the wedding ceremony of his son, Prince Adegbite Adewumi, on Sunday, has further deepened the controversy over the status of the monarch.
His son, Prince Adegbite Adewumi, had his engagement ceremony with his fiancée, Oluwadolapo Afolasade Olowu, on Sunday.
The wedding ceremony is slated for London on October 10.
Adewumi is the son of Olori Morisola Sijuwade, while Dolapo, a media personality and actress, is the daughter of Chief Olatunde and Chief (Mrs) Oluwaremilekun Olowu, a former Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The bride, who is the last child of the Olowus, is a co-presenter of Moments with Mo, the flagship talk-show created by Mo Abudu, the Chief Executive Officer of Ebony Life TV.
Dolapo, more known as Dolapo Marcy Oni, also has a talk-show as the Marcy Project.
Numerous royal staff of office were presented at the engagement ceremony, which took place at Landmark Events Centre in Victoria Island, making it difficult to decipher whether Ooni’s royal staff was amongst them.
Nothing official was said about his absence at the event on Sunday.
Chief Alex Duduyemi sat beside Olori Morisola as the groom’s father.
Meanwhile, contrary to media reports that the Ooni had been brought to his palace from the United Kingdom, where he reportedly died last week, the chief priest of the ancient town, Oba Olajide Farotimi Fatoba, on Sunday, said “Ooni is still alive.”
He said the issue of receiving his corpse or keeping it in a secluded place inside the palace did not arise, stressing that such development was completely out of place.
Some residents of the town, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune, said they were not aware of the arrival of Oba Sijuwade’s remains in the town.
Speaking in a an interview with some journalists, Faloba dismissed claims that Ooni’s body had arrived the town, insisting that Oba Sijuwade was still alive.
“If the rumour is true, we should be the one to announce it. We are the owner of our culture, Obaship in Ife kingdom is sacred and should be handled as such,” he said.
Also, a palace source who pleaded anonymity said nothing was brought to the palace, adding that, “if at all the remains of the monarch had been brought back, it must have been kept elsewhere and not within the palace.
“It is a taboo for anyone to see Ooni’s corpse when being brought. It is not true that it has been brought back to Ife. If it is true, however, that the corpse had been brought back, it is not within the palace yet,” he remarked.