By Adeola Oladele
Adetokunbo, son of Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse 11, and family members returned to the country at the weekend from the United Kingdom.
Prince Adetokunbo and other family members were sighted on Friday night at the arrival wing of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja around 8 pm.
It was not clear if the remains of the foremost monarch were flown back along with Adetokunbo and other family members.
Ooni’s children, including Adetokunbo, and the monarch’s wives had been with Oba Sijuwade in the UK since he was admitted at Saint Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London, where he was believed to have passed on, on Tuesday at the age of 85.
The foremost monarch was said to have been flown out of the country last week Friday in an air ambulance for treatment at the London hospital after his health took a turn for the worse.
POST learnt that Adetokunbo and other family members returned to the country for the wedding of another son of the monarch, Prince Adegbite, holding on Sunday (August 2) at the Landmark Event Centre, Water Corporation Area, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Adegbite is getting married to Oludolapo Folashade, daughter of prominent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Osun State and former National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) boss, Chief (Mrs.) Remi Olowu.
Notwithstanding the news of the reported demise of the monarch, the family is said to be going ahead with the wedding. Close family members had been taking charge of the arrangements for the nuptials before Adetokunbo and others arrived on Friday.
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Dr. Dalhatu Sarki Tafida, had on Wednesday visited Tokunbo and other members of the Sijuwade family to commiserate with them on the passage of the monarch.
Tafida had spent about one hour with them, during which he condoled with them on behalf of the Federal Government and told them they could demand for consular support if they need it.
Adetokunbo stays in Banyan House in the upscale neighbourhood in Lensbury Avenue of South-west London when in the UK.
Meanwhile, as members of Ife Traditional Council continued to live in denial over the passage of the monarch in deference to Yoruba tradition, which forbids the announcement of the demise of a royal father until certain rites have been performed, POST has learnt that the seven-day Oro Festival has begun in the ancient Ile-Ife town.
For the seven days, it was learnt that, inhabitants and residents of the town, who are girls and women, must not stay beyond 7 pm of each day until the end of the festival.
People of the ancient town have been asked to comply in their own interest as violators of the order would face the consequence.
A source within the palace denied that the festival was part of the activities leading to the announcement of the monarch’s demise, saying it was a normal festival in the ancient town.
Traditionalists will use the period of the festival to appease the gods and perform necessary rituals that would make the town to be more peaceful and at the same avert any looming danger.
Major markets in the town were opened on Saturday even as commercial and economic activities were going on unimpeded.