The Oba of Lagos, His Royal Majesty, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, has revealed that despite Lagos being a metropolitan city, there are taboos in his palace.
For example, as a king, he is not allowed to see any newborn child born to him until 90 days. In an interview with Punch published today, the Oba said:
There is nowhere there are no taboos, in Benin, Yoruba cultures. For instance, in this house (palace), if a child is born to me today, I will not see him or her and he or she will not enter this house (palace) until 90 days. And there are some drinks and food anybody with royal blood in this palace must not put in his mouth. That is why the Yoruba adage says the practice in one household is an abomination in another household.
Why can’t you see your child and what are the food and drinks that such persons from the royal lineage must not taste?
Just like I said, an adage says what an elderly person uses to eat pap is hidden under the leaves of the pap (which implies that there are certain details that cannot be made public).
Beyond the ones in the palace, what are the taboos that millions of Lagos residents should know?
When it comes to taboos, Yoruba would say whoever does what no one has ever tried would see what no one has ever seen. The normal taboos in Yoruba customs are many.
Like it is in the Quran, all sins can be forgiven, except two. One is that anybody who deliberately kills another person cannot be forgiven and anybody who deliberately takes his mother to the holy mosque in Mecca, during the Ramadan fast, to go and have affair with her there, will not be forgiven.
But, people should know their limits. Like the popular adage, a farmland cannot belong to father and son without having a boundary; they would know their boundaries. And that is why nobody can ill-treat anybody around me here. Anybody who feels he can come and do anything unjust in Lagos here should know that it will not work.