Nigerians mourn monarch Oba Sijuwade, the Ooni of Ife

August 15, 2015, 12:22pm

Nigerians mourn monarch Oba Sijuwade, the Ooni of Ife

A revered monarch in south-west Nigeria, the Ooni of Ife, has been buried after thousands attended his funeral, a mourner has told the BBC.

Traditional rites to honour Oba Okunade Sijuwade - a king of the Yoruba, Nigeria's second biggest ethnic group - are being held in the city of Ife.

Dignitaries, including Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, paid their respects before the private burial.

The 85-year-old sovereign was crowned in 1980 and was widely respected.

He died in London in July but his death was only announced on Wednesday.

He was considered the most influential monarch by most Yorubas, who number about 35 million in the region.

Nigeria's many monarchs vary in hierarchy and importance and some like the Ooni of Ife and the northern emirs rule over large areas, while others are traditional rulers of a village or town.

BBC