In what is believed to be preparation for the process of final rites for the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, kingmakers of Ile-Ife kingdom,on Monday met at the monarch’s palace for a crucial meeting that lasted several hours.
It was gathered that the reason for the emergency meeting which was yet to be ascertained, may not be unconnected with the reports that the remains of the Ooni had arrived the town on Saturday night.
According to sources in the ancient city, as early as 6a.m.on Monday, town criers and bell ringers moved around the town to assuage any form of anxiety on residents, urging them to go about their normal businesses as there is no cause for alarm.
The town criers, who apparently were sent by the Council-in-Chief to move across the length and breadth of the town and debunked several reports of anticipated rituals in the wake of the Ooni’s purported demise, also announced to residents that they will be adequately informed on developments as they unfold.
Sources said that as the meeting of the traditional chiefs was going on in the palace, town criers were equally carrying out their assignment outside the palace.
Those present at the meeting, according to sources, were all the kingmakers who are equally cabinet members of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
The traditional title holders present at the meeting were Lowa, Jaaran, Agoro, Arode, Osanire, Laade, Lowate, Irabese, Lodikose, Obajion, Obalaran, Waasin and Obalaaye.
Those said to be absent at the meeting were the Obalufe of the town, who is also the traditional prime minister of the town and second in command to the monarch, Chief Samuel Omisakin, who was ill and Chief G.A Owoyemi who recently died.
According to tradition, whenever the cabinet members meet for lengthy hours, it means something crucial and unusual has happened in the palace.
Investigation conducted round the palace, however, revealed that, some unidentified chiefs were seen transferring white bundles of white cloths from one vehicle to the other.
Also observed, were many traditional beads to be distributed to high ranking priests and their followers apparently in preparation for the final rite.
However, a source in the town insisted that the remains of the first class monarch are already in the town and that was why many crucial meetings are now being held serially around the palace.
The source, who preferred anonymity, stated that very soon after the official announcement of the monarch’s passage, all markets and entrance gates of the palace would be pronounced shut while curfew would be declared by the traditional chiefs.