Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday commiserated with the family, friends, associates, subjects and the government and people of Osun over the transition of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Olubuse Sijuwade II, saying the nation and most especially the Yoruba race has lost a rare gem.
Oba Sijuwade who became the fiftieth Ooni of Ife in December 6, 1980, passed on Tuesday, July 28 in a London hospital at the age of 85 after a brief illness, but his departure was officially announced on Wednesday, August 12, by the Ife Royal Traditional Council in accordance with tradition.
In a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, the Governor said the late first class monarch will be sorely missed for his fatherly role and advice, describing his demise as a great loss to the nation.
Extolling the virtues of the late Ooni, Governor Ambode recalled that the late monarch used his wealth of experience in tradition and commerce to better the lot of the Yoruba race.
“Without any iota of doubt, Oba Sijuwade was a forthright traditional ruler, and astute business man who for decades helped to pursue and unite the common interests of the Yoruba race. His timely interventions in communal and inter-state disputes in the past are remarkable strides that will forever remain in our minds”.
He said the leadership role of the late Oba will remain an inspiration to all, stressing that one of his virtues as a leader was his ability to take responsibility and be responsible for others.
“Among other virtues the Ooni dedicated himself to the service of the nation and as long as we are alive, we must remember him for many things; his peace loving nature, candidness and his belief that there is hope that Nigeria’s challenges will be surmounted in the nearest future.”, he said
He prayed that Almighty God grant the departed soul peaceful repose and his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss just as he urged them to take solace in the fact that he lived a fulfilled life and was leaving behind a worth legacy for his successor.
“On behalf of my family and the good people of Lagos State, I wish to express our sincere condolences on the passing away of one of our illustrious traditional rulers. He would sorely be missed by all”, the Governor said.