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Following the untimely death of Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, Alaafin of Oyo, many Nigerians on social media have wondered if the late monarch had an Abobaku and what would happen to him.

Abobaku was defined thus way by Kehinde T E Ajayi and Falade Thaddeus Odunayo in their research work Abobaku: Human Sacrifice In Yoruba Rites of Kingship:

“Abobaku is a Yoruba chieftaincy title that literally means “one who dies with the king.”

He is chosen as a chief from a specific family with authority in the village or community.

“The Abobaku has a lot of advantages and luxury, and he is always with or near the monarch, eating and drinking what the king eats and drinks. In all of his comforts and pleasures, one thing stays constant: he dies when the king dies.

“He is buried in the same grave as the king.” He is well aware of this, and he takes pleasure in it all while it lasts. It’s worth noting that this is linked to king funeral customs, which leads us to investigate what a king’s burial rites look like in Yoruba country.”According to BBC Yoruba, the Abobaku tradition started in the ancient town of Oyo. Since the Abobaku knows he has to die when the king dies, he wholeheartedly ensures the king remains alive, healthy, and safe.

According to BBC Yoruba’s inquiry, Oba Adeyemi possessed an Abobaku.

A royal source told the Yoruba language news media on Saturday, April 23, that Oba Adeyemi had an Abobaku, but that the name had been altered (from Abobaku) to ‘Oloko ehin.’


According to the source, the Oloko ehin (Abobaku) is expected to die/be buried with Oba Adeyemi in accordance with old culture and tradition.

The culture, on the other hand, has shifted. A specific rite will be performed instead of the Oloko ehin (Abobaku) dying/being buried with the late monarch.

The palace source explained that the rite will prevent the Oloko ehin (Abobaku) from dying alongside the king.

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