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.
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.
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
The title of Abobaku has to be one of the most scariest title 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 wont see my break light
— OMOTAYO Of Lagos 💥 (@Tee_Classiquem1) April 23, 2022
Do you Know Why Abobaku is Trending After the Death of Alaafin of Oyo ?
The term Abobaku means one who dies with the king. Anyone who bore this title was buried alongside the incumbent king upon his demise. It is believed that the title was a way of strengthening loyalty and
— DR.PENKING™ 🇦🇺🇳🇬 (@drpenking) April 23, 2022