Since the news of the demise of king broke out two weeks ago, it had been the trending topic in the
country. You would barely miss a thing even if you were in no way close to the Ife monarch. From the traditional newspaper, to the modern social media, it was as if they had nothing else to report
besides the happenings in the city of the 401 deities—Ile-Ife.
The news of insurgency, hyper-rise in dollar and the general increase in the prices of commodities that was threatening the nations’ economy were over-shadowed by the news of the death of Lagbade Lajuwa, the fiftieth Ooni of Ife.
Lagbade was crowned Oba in 2009 after the demise of his predecessor, Oba Iyiola Adelowo. The news of his death was a simple matter of traditional beliefs and procedures clashing with modern technology.
According to the Ife tradition, the Ife High chiefs do not announce the passing of the Oba until certain functions have been carried out. However, it appears that modern technology in the form of the internet and numerous news feeds got a hold of the story and publicised it.
Given that news and general communication in today’s society has been widened to such an extent that virtually every corner of the earth can now access news, it was apparent that the news was in the public domain, whilst the chiefs were still conducting their functions.
The city of 401 deities wasn’t done rocking the media. Several reports claimed the burial rites of Oba Lagbade was reportedly been stalled after the Abobaku fled the town.
The Abobaku was the one who dies with the king. He is usually appointed upon a king’s coronation, and has to be buried with the king when he eventually dies. His job was to serve the king here on earth and in the world beyond. The reports were denied by the Ife High Chiefs.
After the Oro festival that lasted seven days ended two days ago, the Ife High chiefs officially announced the passing of Oba Lagbade. That meant the seat of the Ooni of Ife was vacant. It was only customary for the prospects from the Adekanbi Ruling House to gather at the Ife shrine as Ifarotimi consulted the gods.
Things took a new turn when Ifarotimi revealed none of the candidates was chosen by the gods to become the next king.