Lagos - The 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 Sijuwade, Olubuse II.
Ambode said that the nation, and most especially, the Yoruba race, had lost a rare gem.
Oba Sijuwade who became the fiftieth Ooni of Ife on December 6, 1980, passed on Tuesday, July 28 in a London hospital, at the age of 85.
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, Habib Aruna, Ambode said the late first class monarch would be sorely missed for his fatherly role and advice.
According to him, the monarch's demise is a great loss to the nation.
Extolling the virtues of the late Ooni, 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 an astute businessman, 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.
Ambode said the leadership role of the late Oba would remain an inspiration to all, adding 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.
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''His peace loving nature, candidness and his belief that there is hope that Nigeria’s challenges will be surmounted in the nearest future are worthy of emulation '' he said
Ambode prayed that the Almighty God grant the departed soul peaceful repose and his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
He also urged them to take solace in the fact that he lived a fulfilled life and left behind a worthy 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," Ambode said.