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The Flight Of Abobaku (Lets Talk About The Legal Implications).

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*


  1. Isn't it curious that TV stations yesterday didn't give news about Abobaku? When the media is cut off or reluctant to air sensitive issues then the crusade against such issues are almost Africa. The scary part (for those of us who have accepted that the Abobaku tale is real) is the news of the final rights going to be performed tomorrow, yet twitter and Facebook Nigeria says no rights until Abobaku's found. So if the government isn't bothered and the media is "less concerned", who knows...maybe there's a deputy Abobaku somewhere, or (scarily) an innocent substitute who may have been possibly kidnapped. I even heard (though I don't want to believe this) that it seems Ooni's head won't be buried with his body and another set of special rituals will be performed after the severing. Hian! Let Friday *come&go* biko.

    1. Thank You.. It Was A Failed Religious Propaganda (As Usual) Against The Traditional Religion/Culture Of The Land. See The Simple Truth About Abobaku Here.. Http://Bit.Ly/1hgbj4m

      There Is Another Photo About The Abokaku Finally Arrested.. This Is Old Photo From One African Country
      See That Here.. Http://Www.Dailymail.Co.Uk/Femail/Article-2480870/Ethiopian-Bodi-Tribe-Big-Beautiful-Men-Compete-Fattest.Html

      Yoruba Tradition Is The Best. The Christians Should Pls Stop Spreading Lies Against Our Traditional Religion. We Have Tolerated You Already To Choose From Any Religion You Wish.. Religious Tolerance and Freedom.

    2. I wish you were the one to be buried.

  2. Thelma are u sure the Abobaku would have been chosen before the oba dies? Because I know the normal custom is that an oro Will be performed after the oba dies and an announcement would be made for no one to move after a specific time of the day and whoever disobeys and walks around after the specific given time would be caught and used to perform the rights during the oba's burial because I know that no one would want to know that he is an Abobaku from day one and still go ahead and choose to be an Abobaku, never. it's never heard of anywhere, I don't think anyone going through abject poverty would even do that. As for the other point u raised, Memphis has said it all, if the media doesn't see anything wrong with it and talk about it then is it our voice that will heard

    1. Maybe, that's different from the Abobaku issue, the Abobaku is chosen right from the ascension of the oba, he knows fully well that he is to die with the king and he enjoys all the privileges that comes with the package as long as the king is alive.
      It is even considered an honor to be chosen. I do not know how they are selected ooo, but come to think of it, no one would have heard of such practice if the dude had not absconded.
      I heard next king has to eat the dead king's heart though. Tbh I always thought the stories I have heard about this are am myths.... Gross

    2. These*
      BTW, Thelma when is the next hangout or should I ask Memphis? Been offline for awhile. So pained you guys had all the fun without me

    3. Memphis who? Memphis what? The Memphis that didn't come for the hangout or another one? We would have another before the year ends and this time there will be a long notice so that everyone who wants to be there can make it.

    4. No be small vexing time :D

    5. Wow! Eat the dead king's heart? Africa and some of their bizarre traditions tho.

  3. Lmao @ deputy abobaku.

    I'm totally ignorant about such issues although I remember years ago that a traditional ruler died in Rivers State and we were told not to go out because he was to be buried with seven human heads.

    My question is how is the abonaku chosen, is he informed from a young age? Is he related to the Ooni? Why can't one of the Ooni's family members be used since they love him so much? Basically all the questions T asked.

    And if it's true that he agreed and is treated like royalty too then what he did is fraud. Why will he chop and run?

    1. Yes! What he did is fraud biko, if he can't ride with the Oba to his grave then he shouldn't have agreed in the first place.

    2. @Hope,i think it's unfair to tag him a fraud. He definitely wasn't the only one who "ate" with the Oba and I refuse to believe he got the next best treatment after the king and even if he did,is his life the ultimate payment for it? We talking of a life here not some bank loan...

    3. There is usually a family where this abobakus come from. And it's true they usually enjoy everything the oba enjoys, they get whatever they want including their children. So they know from the word go what they are doing.

    4. The. Oba or anyone else didn't create his life. So why demand for his life? Such a barbaric custom!!!

  4. What's the diff between the Kano 9 and the Abobaku? I'm truly convinced Traditions aren't for the 21st century.

  5. What I can remember from Wole soyinka's "Death and the king's horseman"
    He is called Elesin Oba( the king's horseman) he is to ride with the king even to the grave. The king's horseman knows his role already and is ready to be buried alive with the king upon his demise. It is a royal tradition. I think they will still bury 7 heads with the body of the Oba, not sure though.

  6. No one wants to die. The decision to die with the king is easier to make until the king dies and death becomes imminent. It is only human. Christ being true God and true man prayed to his father to "take this cup away" from him as his death drew near, though this was the very reason he came down from heaven to earth.

    I'm not comparing this guy to Christ. Making a decision to die does not dying less dreadful. Being buried alive is crude plain and simple. This particular tradition gbakwa oku.J

  7. Another case of silly tradition. This rubbish should stop

  8. I think the selection is done by family i.e idile. Abobaku itself is almost like a lineage title. It is not really by choice, you are born into the family and if your dad was the prior abobaku, you as his son take over as the next. At least that was my understanding of it from some Mount Zion movie a couple of yrs ago actually titled Abobaku. Think its still on Youtube. Barbaric but the abobaku dey enjoy while Oba is alive o!!

  9. Awesome analysis, especially the part about seeing asylum. Anyway, wish him well but why sign up for something you know you can't handle. In Ubulu-Ukwu, Delta State, before an individual is given a title from the palace, the said recipient will select an individual to be his "footstool", he enjoys the props of being associated with royalty but he or any member of his immediate family will never have the opportunity of being given a title. I don't know if he gets to die with the said chief o, cos I just witnessed it last year. funny enough, the title holder is a Professor in UI. Still watching to know how the story will end cos the "footstool" dey enjoy pass the chief's nephews.
    Ardent BV but first time commenting

    1. #seeking.
      Typo on my first comment
      **burying my head in sand**


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