Hey guys, if you're on social media then yesterday you must have been in on the frenzy. According to reports on social media the final burial rites for the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Sijuwade had been stalled as the 'Abobaku' "skipped town".
'Abobaku' is someone who is chosen to be buried with the king. Apparently in some customs an Oba is never buried alone.
I understand why the Abobaku would já/run/flee but I would have you know that I'm not happy with the Abobaku. No, I am NOT! What did he think, that the Oba would live forever? From what I've gathered so far, once the Abobaku is chosen the Oba takes very good care of him, knowing that their destinies are intertwined. I hear there are many rights and privileges accorded to the Abobaku and he lives the "good life" while he's alive, with full knowledge of how his life would end, unless he predeceases the Oba... So wait, he ate large, enjoyed privileges, partied with royalty, like royalty, and when time came to help the Oba carry his load to the afterlife, he absconded. Haba Abobaku!
LOL. On a more serious note, please how is the Abobaku chosen? Is he chosen as a child or as an adult? Can he decline the "honour" of being chosen as Abobaku. Even if he doesn't, can he later renege, without any penalties? If the Abobaku was chosen when he was a child or a minor (not having full knowledge of the implication of his status) isn't that grounds for a law suit, if he decides he doesn't want anymore and is met with refusal? Isn't this act of burying person(s) along with someone MURDER? Shouldn't it be criminalized?
Isn't the general Abobaku concept a Human Rights issue? Isn't it an infringement of the Abobaku's fundamental human right? S.33 of the 1999 constitution provides that every person has a right to life and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life except he's sentenced to death by the court. So death sentence resulting from a criminal offence for which a person has been found guilty is the only circumstance where a person has his right to live denied. The law is clear on intent. Apparently our Abobaku here doesn't intend to be killed... Doesn't it make you wonder how many Abobakus before him went willingly?
Now, this is a customary matter and our law recognizes customs and customary law, but only to the extent that it's not repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience (Eshugbaye Eleko v Government of Nigeria). Basically the position of the law is that customary law can be observed and empowered, provided it's not repugnant to natural justice (which it is, in the Abobaku matter). And that such custom must not be incompatible with any law for the time being in force (which it is, see S.33 1999 constitution FRN).
It is therefore my humble submission that customs such as the Abobaku (among several others; scraping of head to mourn the dead, wives drinking the water used to wash their husbands' corpses, daughters not inheriting property etc) be scrapped/abolished/ended/stopped/removed...
Anyhoooooo, please I need answers from those who know. Particularly, how is the Abobaku chosen? Anyone care to talk about the flight of the Abobaku?
*heads up guys, for those who want to seek asylum in the overseas, especially in the Americas, this is a new ground for you. Tell them you're fleeing nigeria because you're the Abobaku, and if they send you back your town people will kill you and your entire family. Thank me later*