The Abobaku Saga: Social Media, Where Ignorance Is Bliss

By Gani Kayode Balogun Jr

imageAs a writer, one of the hardest route to take is satire, especially in Nigeria where people took everything literally.
My father used to say that knowledge is abundant, but wisdom is rare, which to me means you must apply wisdom in applying knowledge to any given problem.
When the Abobaku saga started, I was so sure someone was just being funny, I mean, anybody with a passing knowledge about Yoruba history would surely get the joke.
But days later, the story was still trending, and somehow, some very senior, and well respected journalists also join the fray.
I can excuse the quasi or emergency journalists, those who have gained notoriety and fame neither for their unique turn of phrase nor for any intellectual bent, heck, some cannot even write a complete sentence to save their lives, but just because news reporting, like almost every thing else, has been dumbed down to sound bites.
I can also indulge those who are not Yoruba, the Omoluabi concept is complex enough for some freeborns, not to talk of strangers.
The first thing I expect an average educated and enlightened mind to do is to mentally fact check the story.
What is the name of the said Abobaku?
From which family did he come from?
Was there ever was an abobaku in the history of Ile Ife?
Was there an Abobaku when Ooni Aderemi died?, if yes, what happened to him?
I know the tale is juicy and has all the ingredients of a soap opera, but it was a tale, nothing more..
The Abobaku is exclusively an Old Oyo template, and was never a practice in Ife. Even in Oyo town, it is no longer in vogue. Any student of yoruba history would tell you that the practice of the crown Prince of Oyo dying with the Aalafin was the immediate cause of the Yoruba wars, which lasted a hundred years.
I know fake news is the order of the day, but sometimes you begin to question our ability for critical thinking, spreading a story because it is popular, not because it is true, is one of the pitfalls of using the social media as a primary news source.
My Ten Kobo.

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