The demise of Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Oba Okunade Sijuade (Olubuse II), has birthed various tales. The recent one being that ‘Abobaku’ (a personage required to die with the King) ran away to avoid fulfilling his traditional obligation of dying with the departed King.
The truth is that the Abobaku tradition died long ago in Ile-Ife traditional cosmology. The tradition was also in vogue in the Old Oyo Empire.
Whoever started the ‘Abobaku’ story on the media is either ignorant of Ile-Ife tradition or was deliberately mischievous. The Abobaku tradition belonged in the past; it was a tradition discarded long ago.
Most unfortunate is that indigenes of the Cradle (as Ile-Ife is called) and who should know better helped in furthering the tales. These people too don’t know their History.
I put a call to an Ile-Ife traditional chief this morning on the issue, and he too confirmed that the circulating story was not true.
Abobaku did not run away. Abobaku belonged in the past. Abobaku does not exist.
Abobaku story is a mere tale.
Femi Olabisi twits at @Femiolas