Alaafin Oyo Death: Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, What You Need To Know About Abobaku

Following the death of a top Yoruba traditional ruler, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III yesterday, the subject of Abobaku, the man whom they say should die with the king, has come to the fore again, topping Twitter trend.

The issue of Abobaku became prominent after the death of Oba Sijuade Okunade, the late Ooni of Ife. It was rumoured that another man would be buried with him, the Abobaku, who, during the Ooni’s lifetime, enjoyed the same privileges as the Oba and must also share in his death.

The belief was that if the Abobaku was not buried with the king, the community would record serious calamity.

A top chief of Ife, the Lowa Adimula of Ile-Ife, Adeyeye Adekola Adesiyan, says the claim that a deceased Ooni of Ife is buried alongside their closest aide, abobaku, is not true.

In an interview with BBC Yoruba last year, Adesiyan, who served as abobaku to Ooni Sijuwade Okunade for 14 years, said abobaku was Ooni’s aide-de-camp.

In another interview with The Punch last year, Adesiyan said an abobaku may die over shock on learning about the death of his Oba because of their closeness. He said it is akin to the kind of thing that happens for some husbands and wives that love and trust each other so much that If one should die, the other may not survive for long

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