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Yoruba Chiefs due for funeral

Saturday, April 12 2014

It is expected that four Yoruba Chiefs will visit Trinidad and Tobago to attend the State funeral, and perform a funeral ceremony for fellow Chief, and former President and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Arthur NR Robinson.

Robinson was made Chief of Ile Ife by the Ooni of Ife during a State visit to Nigeria in 1991 and was given the official title Chief Olokun Igbaro ANR Robinson. In his autobiography, In the Midst of It, Robinson stated that his visit to Ife was “a magnificent occasion,” during which a chieftainship was conferred upon him and his wife.

Patrick Edwards, Ambassador to Uganda, in an email correspondence to Robinson’s friend Napier Pillai, stated that the Ooni of Ife would be sending four high chiefs for the funeral to perform certain rituals usually conducted on the death of a Chief. He added that the ceremony could be performed in private, or public.

Edwards stated, “I note with continuing dismay and bewilderment the sustained refusal to append the title of Chief to the name of the deceased. The honour the Chief received was the highest a non-African head of state, or government, ever received at the time, and I suspect since then.”

Robinson’s five-day State funeral is expected to be held from April 29 to May 3.

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