History & Culture

Concern trails Abobaku over Alaafin Adeyemi’s Demise

The term “Abobaku” is presently trending on Twitter and other social media platforms following the news passing of Oba Adeyemi today.

Many tweeps have been sharing comments on what would be the fate of the one closest to the king, having enjoyed the same benefits with the monarch while alive.

While some showed concerns and kicked against the revival of such tradition following the circumstances that surrounded the passing the late Ife Monarch, Oba Sijuwade, whose Abobaku was said to have run away because of the fear of death; others are asking that chief Abobaku be closely monitored from escaping so as to be buried with the monarch to avoid calamity in the land.

Meanwhile, some days ago, there was a trending report of the Abobaku of Oníkòyí of Ikoyi escaping to an unknown destination and yet to be found.

In ancient Yoruba Culture, anyone who bore the Abobaku title was buried alongside the incumbent king upon his demise.

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It is believed that the title was a way of strengthening loyalty and preventing betrayal that could lead to the King’s untimely death since whoever occupied the position was sure to protect the King as much as he could, to avoid his death as well.

Abobaku title was a death trap, as the holder of such title had their life depending on the death or survival of the incumbent King. But the position was much contested, just like other exalting chiefly titles in the kingdom. And this was because of the benefits attached to the title.

The abobaku is believed to be close to the King with the right to enjoy the royal largess. He may even have rights nearly equal to that of the King, depending on the cultural practices of the kingdom in question.

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Following the death of the previous Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade, it was rumored that the abobaku escaped; to avoid getting buried along with the dead King. But this has been dispelled as fake news, with clarifications emerging to prove that no such title existed in Ile-Ife.

And the Saarun of Ife who is said to be the closest to the Ooni, lived his full years and was never buried with the Ooni. Since the abobaku culture was abolished in 1859, there has been no record of this practice anywhere in Yoruba land.

Below are some of the tweets with which Nigerians have been bantering on the issue of the Abobaku following Alaafin’s death

@Tee_Classiquem1 said: “The title of Abobaku has to be one of the scariest titless to ever existed in Yoruba land, so now that Alaafin of Oyo is dead automatically he will also be announced dead even though he’s still hale and healthy? Well, it can never be me sha, I swear they won’t see my break light.

@Phoenix4721 said: “Abobaku should not japa abeg. You cannot flex life with baba and run away this time.”

@PhemmyEyeOfGod said: “Justice for alaafin of Oyo. How abobaku go chop life of over 5 decades japa in the space of few hours help us find abobaku.”

@Arc Jamal Usamat: “May Almighty Allah have mercy I pity Abobaku”

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@Bibiire Albarika Stardom Kayzman: “Wetin go happen to ABOBAKU of OYO bayi if truly Alaafin Oyo is dead”.

@Niyi Tabiti said: “In Yoruba land, the King never dies.

He only travelled to meet his ancestors.

Oba ti waja…How can iku baba yeye die? Stop it🙌🙌

Meanwhile, all eyes is on ‘Abobaku’ before he

escapes from Oyo☺️”.


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Oyo Affairs is an independent news media with the main focus on Oyo state news, politics, current events, trending happenings within and around Oyo state, Nigeria

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  • On the issue of Abobaku…the Ooni of Ife doesn’t have the practice of Abobaku. The Alaafin alone had Abobaku which the family still exists in Oyo , they are called Olokunesin of Oyo . It was during the death of Alaafin Ladigbolu 1 in December 1944 brought a stop to the practice by the Colonia District officer Robert Barry karr and not in 1859 see archival record University of Ibadan.