The interment of the Obalufe of Iremo Quarters, the deceased traditional prime minister of Ife, Oba Solomon Omisakin, was delayed for some hours on Friday following the seizure of his remains by members of the Isoro cult group in Ile Ife, who insisted on being paid N500,000 before the burial rites can be done. This threw the Iremo Palace of the late Obalufe into confusion.
The Isoro cult headed by the Obadio of Ife, is a powerful cult in Ile Ife and only an Ooni, among all palace traditional title holders, is a member. The deceased was the head of the Ife kingmakers who administered Ife during the interregnum created by the demise of Oba Okunade Sijuwade.
Aged 85, Obalufe died of undisclosed illness in October shortly before the new Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, was announced as Sijuwade’s successor.
Ife was earlier rife with the rumour that members of Ogboni Confraternity were the ones who seized the corpse. However, residents later realized that those who seized the corpse had nothing to do with Ogboni.
Sources say the corpse was seized by the cult, who demanded N500, 000 and other items from children of the deceased before they could be allowed to bury their father. This confiscation caused a delay as the family could not bury the dead in the morning the interment was scheduled.
Punch reports that the family members paid an undisclosed amount and bought some items for sacrifice for the members of the group who disrupted the burial before the remains of Obalufe was interred later on Friday evening.
This was after Oba Olajide Faloba, who heads the Isoro cult had told the newspaper that his group knew nothing about the incident, stressing that Obalufe was not indebted to Isoro in anyway and that he would have been informed if those who seized the corpse were members of the cult.