Thursday 4 April 2024

LEVIRATE MARRIAGE (OPO-SISU): Prof. Wole Akeredolu "Inherits" Betty, Ondo Ex-first Lady


Prior to the introduction of English law, the ethnic groups occupying the geographical area known as Nigeria relied on their customary laws to maintain economic and social inclusion in instances of succession. One of these customs, as protected by local laws, is opo-Sisu (levirate marriage) as practised under Yoruba law and custom. Within this culture, levirate marriage involves the inheritance of widows by the relatives of the deceased. In most cases, the inheritors are restricted to the brothers of the deceased.

The widow of the late former Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has reportedly remarried.

Betty was reportedly handed over to her late husband’s younger brother, Professor Wole Akeredolu.

The decision was made by the Emeabiam Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State.

The ceremony reached its climax when the Umuegeolu kindred formally handed Betty over to Professor Wole Akeredolu, indicating the family’s desire to continue having her within their fold after her husband’s demise.

Prior to this symbolic gesture, customary offerings of kolanuts, palm wine, and a she-goat were presented to the Umuegeolu kindred by the Akeredolus, adhering to tradition.

In response, Professor Wole Akeredolu expressed gratitude to the Umuegeolu kindred and the entire Emeabiam Community for their hospitality.

He affirmed the Akeredolu family’s commitment to continue caring for Betty, acknowledging the support received during the mourning period and the interment ceremony held in Owo.

The Mgbafu Mkpe ceremony, a traditional Igbo practice, signifies the transition of a widow back to her husband’s family following his passing.

It involves the mutual agreement between both families, with rituals performed accordingly.

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