Dem conclude di burial rites of the late Aku-Uka of Wukari, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa-Ibi over di weekend for Taraba state for central Nigeria but tori of di burial ceremony still dey trend sake of di display of culture and tradition wey don leave questions for pipo mouth.
Di 85 year old monarch spend 45 years on di Wukari Kingdom throne before he pass on for October 2020 but di biggest question wey pipo dey ask na around di ‘horseman’, di man wey escort di late monarch enta forest wey dem lay am to rest as per dia culture and tradition.
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On Sunday, video and fotos begin circulate ontop social media wey show how di burial ceremony happun and how di horseman with di decorated late Aku behind him dey ride dey go.
Prince Masa Ibi Aku Uka na one of di princes of di Wukari Kingdom, e tok to BBC Pidgin about di different tori wey dey trend for social media.
Di tradition of di horseman
Tori be dey fly say di horseman go escort di corpse enta di forest and no go return.
But di prince say na lie.
“Many tins for social media no be true, dem say dem don give di horseman N5 million and say e must die inside di forest and not return all dat one no be true.”
“Di tradition for hundreds of years na say di horseman na im go escort di monarch and you must be a courageous man to do am because anytin fit happun dia, you might jam many tins on di way or coming back like wild animals etc.”
“As I dey speak to you now, di horseman don return safely and notin do am so all those tins wey dey circulate no be true.”
Di prince also explain di oda rites wey happun for di transition programme wey pipo dey also tok about especially di women wey shave dia head.
“Regarding di women wey shave dia heads those ones na wives and children of di former Akus (kings) and also those of chiefs of di kingdom.”
“For di men like me, we shave our own heads and beards afta we come back from escorting di Aku before we enter our houses, I dey among di last five to return from escorting di Aku.”
“Di reason we shave na say by di time new hairs begin grow back, new king and new dispensation go don dey start and di shaved hairs don go with di Aku wey transit to im ancestors.”
E add say di pipo wey line up for di fotos wey go viral na just mourners and sympathisers wey comot to mourn di Aku.
Finally, di prince say dem dey expect a new Aku to dey announced in less dan a month.
How dem dey select di horseman and im role
Unlike wetin some dey tok on social media say di horseman since from pikin don know say if King die na im go escort am, prince Masa say no be true.
“Selection of di horseman dey happun days before di burial rites go happun afta consulting di gods.”
“So no be true say na certain family dey do di work and from childhood pesin don know say na im work.”
According to di tradition, di horseman na im go ride di Aku deep into di Nando forest wia e go jam im ancestors.
As pipo dey escort dem from di start, many go begin turn back until e reach point wey be say na only di horse man go proceed to take di late monarch to im final resting place.
How di transition ceremony dey happun
So according to Wukari kingdom tradition Aku no dey die, e only transit to go jam im ancestors dat na wetin Prince Masa tell BBC Pidgin.
And regarding di transition rites, preparation dey start from 3 to 7 months according to di prince.
Just as fotos and videos dey circulate on social media, pipo from all over go line up to pay respect to di departing Aku.
Women of power go shave dia head while di men go wait till after dem return from escorting di Aku to shave before dem enter dia houses.