The living has bear witness and cleared Late High Chief Jacob Adanta Obelle, that he is not owing to the community or any traditional rite, as such the ancestors should receive him in peace. These were the prayers said by his royal highness king Dr Appolus Chu as he performed the burial rites of Late High Chief Adanta Obelle who passed at the age of 103years.

The skeleton yam barn set in the deceased compound was a flashback of his achievement as a yam titleholder, and the killing of a native bull as tradition demands. The same way it was done when the late High Chief Adanta performed the yam titles. It was all to bring back the memories!

This is because yam title is the most respected, great, honourable, and revered title an Eleme man can attain. It signifies patience, dedication, perseverance, commitment, diligence, persistence, devotedness, and hard work as it involves planting and harvesting tubers of yam and feeding the community. for instance, the late chief Adanta Obelle planted and harvested 42,000 tubers of yam in one farming season which conferred on him the highest yam title known as Achu-Ete.

A yam titleholder is much more honourable, respected and regarded than a lazy king who has not attain such a title but depends on the community for survival. Again, Yam titles are not hereditary, it is a show of a man’s efforts, merits, and results of hard work and dedication.

For a yam title chief who passed, the burial is not complete without a proper yam title burial rites as a traditional requirement, which must be officiated by the highest yam title holder for an Achu-Ete rank. This implies that any yam title chief below Achu-Ete cannot perform such rites. Though all yam title chiefs adorned in their regalia with medals known as “Abian & Ogela” hanged on their shoulders, converged at the playground while the talking drum plays.

It is a great mockery of the Eleme tradition if proper and legitimate procedures are not followed in the burial of a yam titleholder or negligence of a family to observe that burial rite of their yam titled father. Thus, the family of late high chief Jacob Adanta Obelle have upheld the pride of their father & family by observing the tradition and giving a befitting final rite to their father.

The burial rites were performed by the only surviving highest yam titleholder in the Eleme Kingdom in the presence of all other yam title chiefs. His royal highness, king Dr Appolus Chu, this process is synonymous with the judiciary where an ordinary judge can not swear in a governor or president because it is the sole responsibility of the Chief Judge to swear in a governor or a president.

The late chief is a high ranked yam title holder as such only a high ranked yam titleholder can perform the burial rites, as prescribed by the Eleme tradition.

It is believed that upon completion of these yam title rites, the late chief Jacob Adanta Obelle will have a smooth transition in joining the ancestors of the land.

Hadiza Babakatcha