Home NEWS Aku-Uka: The Mysterious Funeral Rites of the Jukun People

Aku-Uka: The Mysterious Funeral Rites of the Jukun People

by InlandTown Editor
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The paramount ruler of the Jukun people in Wukari and supreme leader of Kwararafa empire in Taraba State, the Aku Uka of Wukari Dr. Shekarau Angyu Massaibi Kuvyon the II, CON has been confirmed.

The Aku Uka of Wukari who died on Friday 8th October, 2021 at the age of 85 after ruling for 45 years. The people of Kwararafa came out in mass to honour the late paramount ruler of the kingdom and bid him farewell. Most of the people dressed in their traditional attires with their hair scrapped were in the funeral procession

A press statement published on the official website of the Taraba State government and signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Iliya Bekyu Akweh, announced with a deep sense of sorrow the death of His Royal Majesty, the Aku Uka of Wukari Dr. Shekarau Angyu Massaibi Kuvyon the II, CON after a brief illness. It states that until his demise, the Aku Uka was the Chairman, Taraba State Council of Chiefs and was the Chancellor, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State and later appointed the Chancellor, Federal University Lafia, Nasarawa State.



The life of a Jukun king from the period he ascends the throne to his passage to the spiritual realm is shrouded in mystery as he is not just the traditional head but the spiritual and religious leader. In accordance to this belief, a King does not die in Jukun land, instead, he is transposed to the spiritual realm while the new king is put through a rite that makes him a continuation of the dead king. This further explains why as a tradition King are not buried but the corpse rides on a horse transiting to an unknown destination known as Nando through Jukun holy ground called Kuje where they journey to their ancestors accompanied by a horse bearer.


In Jukun traditions, the death of the king must be followed by the ritual suicide of the king’s horseman as well as the king’s wears, because the horseman’s spirit is essential to helping the King’s spirit ascend to the afterlife. A specific family in the Jukun land has been tasked with the duty of the horseman to the king where the were trained from childhood to perform such duty relentless. But this is suffering hitches in modern time as most believe it’s barbaric and archaic.

The death of a king remains unannounced, until certain traditional rites are completed, the Abun Wa Cio (King Maker) will communicate to the traditional council for the official announcement and the preparation for the “Pankya”.


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