The immediate past Press Secretary to the Ooni of Ife, High Chief Funmilola Olorunnisola has passed on after a brief illness.
The veteran journalist who served under late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II for 30 years between 1985 and 2015, when the late Ooni joined his ancestors gave up the ghost at about 5am on Tuesday in his Ile-Ife residence shortly after complaining of a chest pain.
High Chief Olorunnisola, the traditional prime minister and Obarisa of Odogo ijesa, was a seasoned journalist, media practitioner and P.R. manager with records of professional excellence.
Olorunnisola until his death remained a very influential personality in the inner recesses of the Ife Royal Court as a close aide to His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II who held him in high esteem and continued to find him majorly relevant in the affairs of the palace because of his wealth of experience in advisory capacity.
Surprised by the news, Ooni Ogunwusi described him as a great personality, rare gem, disciplined gentleman and a core loyalist who dedicated himself to the service of the Oonirisa with absolute humility and deep passion.
“Too bad, it’s indeed an untimely death. We will greatly miss him. He was appointed 31 years ago by my predecessor Ooni Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II. I subsequently, upon my enthronement found him very resourceful and I retained him as a special tourism adviser though retired after 30years of meritorious service to the this palace, but obviously not not tired. He was a very disciplined gentleman, very loyal to the throne, very humble and always ready to carry out assignments given to him without any hesitation. May his gentle soul rest in peace and may the Almighty Olodumare continue to be with the family he left behind”. Ooni Ogunwusi said.
Born in 1950 to the family of Chief Samuel Onifade Olorunnisola of Idogo, Ijebu-Jesa, the deceased had spent 11 years at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State(BCOS) Ibadan where he rose to the position of Controller of News before being appointed in 1983 as the Chief Press Secretary to the then Governor of Kwara state, Chief C.O.Adebayo.
He became the Press Secretary to late Ooni Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II in 1985 and served for a period 30 years during which he was also appointed by the former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola of the State of Osun as Chairman of the state’s Culture and Tourism Board, a position he held for 8 years.
Succeeded by Yera Moses Olafare in December 2015, the “BABA PRESS”, as Olorunnisola was fondly called was re-appointed by the newly crowned Ooni Ogunwusi as his honourary Special Adviser on Tourism, the capacity in which he functioned productively until his death at the age of 66. He is survived by two wives; Folasade and Oluwatoyin with six children Tomilola, Sunmisola, Gbemisola, Kayinsola, Kunmilola and Pemilola.
His body has since been deposited at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital(OAUTH) Ile-Ife.
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