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    Wednesday, July 29, 2015

    Oni Of Ife, Oba Sijuwade Dies At 85

    The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, is dead.
    Details of the monarch’s demise are 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 monarch was said to have died around 5pm on Tuesday (today).

    Source, who spoke on condition of anonymity explained that Oba Sijuwade was flown out of the country from Ibadan about five days ago in an unconscious state.
    “Kabiyesi was flown out of the country about five days ago in an air ambulance. He was unconscious; his situation was critical.
    “As a matter of fact, some people have been weeping in the palace since the weekend because of his situation when he was flown out from Ibadan in that air ambulance,” he said.

    Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade,  born 1 January 1930 - died c. 28 July 2015 became the fiftieth traditional ruler or Ooni of Ife in 1980, taking the regnal name Olubuse II. Ife is a traditional Yoruba state based in the town of Ife in Osun State, Nigeria. He was crowned on 6 December 1980 in a ceremony attended by the Emir of Kano, Oba of Benin, Amayanabo of Opobo and Olu of Warri, as well as by representatives of the Queen of England.

    Sijuwade was born 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. He 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.

    Just last week, the Ooni resolved the industrial dispute between the management of the Obafemi Awolowo University and some staff of the institution, who had embarked on an indefinite strike.
    Our correspondents gathered that the late Ooni was billed to give out one his children out in marriage on Saturday, August 1.

    Details soon.

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