As the transition rites are being performed on the remains of the late Oba Sijuwade Okunade II, an important ingredient of sacrifice is said to be missing.
A source told our correspondent that the burial rites for the late Oba has begun at the Oduduwa shrine and other forests around Ile-Ife vicinity.
It was learnt that there were hitches when members of different fraternity groups besieged the shrine.
Our correspondent gathered that some spirits had to be invoked to pave way for a new successor but ‘the ingredient to do some rites were initially not available’.
One of the priests said: “We are almost through. An important ingredient for sacrifice got missing but fixing it shouldn’t be a problem. Everyone should not stop to pray for the peace of our dear land. The Ooni was a symbol and not just a person. He can’t die, but can transit to another realm.”
Meanwhile, there are palpable fears among residents, who live close to the palace as the rites of Ooni gain momentum.
It was learnt that after the initial rites on Ooni at the Oduduwa Forest, the late king was moved to the Obatala House, which is also known as “Ile Ase”.
Some of the residents confirmed that rites suggesting the occurrence of strange things are already being noticed, even with no official announcement.
Another segment of the residents feared that they could be caught unawares with the ongoing rites.
The residents informed our correspondent that they were aware about the missing ingredient.
“This one that we are hearing that something is missing and we do not know it, is worrisome. Most of us are scared and are being very careful. Many people are saying that it is the Aba Oba ku (a person who dies with the king) that has run away but we don’t know how true that is.” one of them said.
But when contacted, another palace priest said the idea of dying with the king has been abolished.
He explained that the residents have nothing to worry about, stressing that all the traditions are being observed carefully.
In a related development, Governor of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola, broke his silence on the death of the Ooni since Wednesday July 29.
The governor who had held a closed-door meeting with some traditional rulers and high chiefs of Ile-Ife at the Oke-Fia Government House, Osogbo, on the day the news broke, broke his silence with the last message he got from the demised King.
He said, “Oba Sijuwade sent a powerful Short Message Service (SMS) to him, a day before the reported demise.”
The governor described the referred message as a “touching one”, whose content would be shared at the appropriate time.
He also explained that the message had been discussed with the Ife Royal Traditional Council when they met in Osogbo.