The Ooni of Ife, Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade is dead. He died today in London at the age of 85.
Oba Sijuwade was the fifth Ooni of Ife. He climbed unto the throne on December 6, 1980. As the Ooni of Ife, he presided over the Ife territory, in the South West Nigeria but his influence went far and beyond.
He came into office at the height of the supremacy fight amongst Yoruba Obas. The crisis pitched him against the Alaafin of Oyo. It festered on until Osun state was carved out of the old Oyo State.
Before he became an Oba, he studied at Abeokuta Grammar School and later at Northampton College in the United Kingdom before he became a manager at Leventis stores.
Oba Sijuwade’s term as Oba was characterised with political treachery, as he was one of the traditional rulers that meddled in politics. He was infamously instrumental to the annulment of June 12, 1993, elections won by late Moshood Abiola. The Ooni had also been severally fingered in the failed effort to have Senator Iyiola Omisore elected the governor of Osun state in 2011.
He survived by several wives and children.