The selection process for the new Ooni of Ife may be delayed for long as a result of the uncertainty on the reported death of one of the two main Ile-Ife kingmakers, Obalufe of Iremo quarters, Oba Solomon Omisakin, on Thursday.
Obalufe, the leader of the chiefs on the right side of Ooni and next in rank to him, is also the prime minister of Ife who oversees the town in the absence of an Ooni.
Details of the circumstances surrounding his death was still sketchy as at the time of filing this report.
However the palace kinsmen kept mute on the matter as they repeatedly said: “Obawa lojiji (meaning, his death was sudden), we cannot comment on it now, but we will comment later.”
Obalufe, who was also the leader of the Ife royal chiefs, was one of the town’s kingmakers before his death at the age of 85.
The news of his death spread across the ancient town at about 1.30p.m, while the young and old including prominent chiefs and who is who in the land were seen rushing down to his palace at Iremo to ascertain the truth of his demise.
THISDAY investigations in the palace around 1.45p.m of the day noted that sympathisers, relations ,close a$$ociates of the deceased as well as his family stormed the ruling palace in twos and threes to discuss the matter and console the family members of the departed.
However, many sympathisers were seen weeping uncontrollably while some were sobbing and mourning the death of the departed monarch.
Speaking with journalists on the death, one of the prominent sons of the Iremo quarters in Ile-Ife who called himself as Alowooja Iyiola said the deceased had been hospitalized in the last few days.
Also, one of the deceased daughters who was contacted on phone on the development, burst into tears and said: “Won ti ku o.” meaning he has died.
She stressed that Obalufe gave up the ghost at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, at the early hour of the day after he slumped in his residence and was rushed down to the hospital before he later gave up the ghost.
The daughter said: “My father died at the age of 85 before he bid the world bye-bye.”
She remarked further that he was kept at the casualty unit of the hospital when his health became worsened before he finally died.
As at the time of filing in this report, family sources hinted that relations and people of Ile-Ife would soon commence with the preparation of his final rites and noted that it could be done before the finality of selection process of new Ooni.
Also confirming his death, the Chairman, Landlord a$$ociation of Eleyele, Ile-ife, where Obalufe was living before his exit, Chief Elijah Adeyele, described him as a good community leader that should be emulated by all .