Panic as Fire Guts Ooni’s Palace

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  • My palace is intact, says monarch

Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

There was panic yesterday at the Palace of Ooni Of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi following the outbreak of fire that gutted parts of the Ile-Oodua in the palace.

The incident threw many people nto a state of confusion in the ancient town before the prompt intervention of the fire fighters.

Speaking with THISDAY yesterday an eyewitness said, “the fire started inside a location in the palace but the timely intervention of men of fire service prevented it from spreading to other buildings.”

However while reacting to the incident, the Ooni Of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi in a statement by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olafare, described the fire incident as minor.

“The Palace of the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, wishes to inform the entire public that a minor fire outbreak involving a tiny part of one of the administrative buildings within the premises of the palace occurred at about 1:15pm today, Wednesday, August 19, 2020, leaving no harm to the oldest palace in Yoruba land.

“The minor inferno, which lasted for about 20 minutes was immediately put out by collective efforts of people in the palace led by the Ooni’s Chief Security, Kolawole Emmanuel, later joined by men of the fire services from the state government, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife and Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, Ile-Ife.

“Aside from the fact that there was no causality whatsoever, the fire was just a minor occurrence, which was nothing to be compared to the misleading huge pictures being painted in the media, particularly the social media.

“While it is suspected to have emanated from an electric spark, measures are currently in place to reveal the cause of the inferno.

“We wish to thank men of the Osun State Fire service, Obafemi Awolowo University Fire Service and OAUTH Fire Service for their swift response, while efforts of well -meaning Nigerians who reached out to the Palace for objective analysis are equally appreciated.

“Once again, the ancient Palace of Ife remains as rich as before in culture, traditions and tourism,” the statement added.