Traditional worshippers and native doctors have revealled why Nigeria has had so many perilous happenings unfolding in just three months into the year 2020.
According to them, the first quarter of the year has been fraught with so many calamities and tragic incidents because the injunctions of the traditional gods were not adhered to.
Hence, they said, the deities are unhappy and have turned their backs on the people. The traditional worshippers spoke amid rising concerns among Nigerians on the spate of disasters, wanton bloodshed and brigandage, sudden deaths among youths, road mishaps plus the deadly epidemics that have ravaged the country.
At the beginning of 2020, many had reasons to hope that it was a special year that would be unwrapping blissfulness as the months roll by. Their excitement stemmed from the fact that the year is a leap year with 366 days, which has not happened since 2016, and which would not happen till 2024. Also, some were excited that the year 2020 marked the start of a new decade, which signifies a new beginning that would be loaded with opportunities to make positive changes in their lives, while some others held that 2020 is special because it is the only year they would live through wherein the first two digits will match with second two digits. The next year to follow this pattern would be 2121. However, all this air of optimism is gradually evaporating following the rate of bad incidents that have been unfolding since the year.
In the past quarter of the year, Nigeria has witnessed nothing less than 15 devastating cases of inferno especially at markets in Lagos, Anambra, Oyo, and several other states, about four fearsome and tumultuous explosions that have led to the loss of over 20 lives, countless injuries and destruction of property worth billions of Naira in Lagos, Ekiti, and Ondo. Also, scores of deaths have continually occurred via road mishaps on several roads spread across the nation. Thousands of persons have been rendered jobless because of sudden government policies, and over 10, 000 have become homeless via natural and man-made disasters. And not forgetting outbreaks deadly pandemics like Lassa fever and the COVID-19 virus that has enveloped the entire country in panic.
The litany of ill-fortunes that have haunted the country this first quarter has made many to be already disenchanted with the year.
Speaking to Sunday Sun, a Yoruba traditional religion worshiper that practice the Ifa (Isese) religion, Oluwo Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode, hinted that the misfortunes especially the COVID-19 pandemic was foretold by Ifa as far back as the 7th of June, 2019.
According to him, their predictions were made during the beginning of the traditional New Year which starts during the harvesting season of new yams.
“I can tell you that in every situation whether negative or positive, there is always a spiritual undertone. But unfortunately, people don’t take these spiritual signals seriously”, he said.
“You believe that the New Year starts in January. But to us traditional worshippers, January is not the beginning of the New Year, because that is the western Gregorian calendar. In Yoruba spirituality, the New Year starts when there is new yam, especially in June. And that is when we divine from the deities to know what will happen in the future. And I remember vividly that this year, which started from June 2019 through June 2020, we divined at Ile-Ife on June 7th, and Ife said that there is going to be an outbreak of disease/an epidemic. We call it Ifa-agbaye, which means ‘divination for the world’. Ifa had warned that these pandemics would happen, and that is what we’re experiencing now. And it was recommended that people should keep their surroundings clean, and sanitize our environment. We made the announcement online, after delivering the message to Ooni of Ife.”
According to Oluwo Fakayode, who is the founder of the Iji Imole Olodumare Temple, in Ibadan, Oyo State, the latest COVID-19 pandemic is an evil force unleashed from the spiritual realm to kill people.
“The Coronavirus can be likened to unseen forces, even though powerful scientific equipment has made it possible for people to see it. And when things like this are happening it can be natural or maybe from the celestial realm to the terrestrial. We cannot see it as a sign of punishment. it can happen for either something positive or negative. And at times it can be something that a group of people has set up, maybe as a weapon, or it can be from the consumption of contaminated food. But whatever it is, the virus is still an unseen evil force that has a spiritual undertone, and if we had taken the precaution, it is possible that it would not have happened or we would have minimized it. Because in those days in Yoruba land, when there was anything like an epidemic or pandemic, there are traditional measures that people would take to reduce it to the minimal. Some of those measures like using palm wine and squeezed bitter leaf, to rub on the body, can be likened to the sanitizers that people using today. Also people little quantity of the mixture, and then put the palm wine in the house. Also, some leaves like Akoko leaves, are then cut and placed in front of the house to wade off the evil. This virus is evil, and I can tell you that it has a spiritual undertone, because before something happens in the physical realm, it has happened in the spiritual. And as traditionalists, we are working on it. Our people are making divinations, sacrifices, and performing different rituals to get rid of the virus, and people are making recommendation that has to do with herbs that our forefathers used then, whenever there is outbreak of epidemic.”
Explaining further, Fakayode said that the pleague ravaging the country is because we did not heed to the admonitions of Ifa. “It is all because of human’s inability to follow the rules of nature”, he said, adding “When you sin against nature, like littering your environment with dirt, or eating what you’re not supposed to eat, it is taboo. So, we can say that people have committed a lot of taboos against fellow humans and against Mother nature. That is why we are experiencing these kinds of things now.”
While concurring to this, the Vice President of the Osun State chapter of the Traditional Religion Worshippers Association (TRAWSO), Chief Ojebowale Olojede, lamented that neglect of traditional worshippers for other religions has caused Nigeria and the world to be caught unawares by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also disclosed that they have made a concerted effort to make a sacrifice to the gods to implore them to stop the pandemic. “We have prepared and made the sacrifice to save Nigeria and also the world from the pandemic of Coronavirus and other calamities,” he said.
But for Mazi Ofoma Chinedu, another traditional worshipper, native doctor, and founder of the Eziokwu Chineke Gadi Traditional Outreach, the strange happenstances that have caused panic all over the world in this first quarter is a bit different.
According to him, the perils especially the Coronavirus pandemic is a scourge the ancestral deities of the black man have unleashed on the world powers to avenge the many years of slavery, oppressions, and injustices against blacks.
He also predicted that at the end of these world powers would see the enthronement of new world order, lead by the Africans.
“There is so much panic in the world now,” he said, adding “and the pestilence the world is experiencing is the repercussion for the great injustices meted out to the blacks. And I can tell you after these dark days, the Igbo and the African continent would be liberated from the chains that the world has used to bind them. Civilization originated from Africa, but the rest of the world have ganged up to cheat and bound them into slavery, thereby downgrading them as third world countries. It is because of these injustices and exploitation that it has fueled the renaissance and reawakening among blacks, to start evoking the spirits of their ancestors to come to their aid. That is what I see. You can see that America, Europe, and Asia are being ravaged with different calamities. Also, you can see that the Africa continent doesn’t have many issues, aside from the challenges of militancy mainly fueled by teachings of foreign religions. You’ll notice that this Coronavirus doesn’t kill Africans very much as it kills on other continents.
“These calamities happening would mark the end of the old world powers and the beginning of the new world order that would be led by the black man. You can see that these foreign religions have gone down because of this virus. Initially, people believed that they would be healed from every ailment at religious centres. The Coronavirus was brought by the deities and ancestral spirits to expose the foreign religions which were used to enslave blacks. This is the start of a spiritual revolution. The gods are not happy with the injustice meted to blacks. People should go back and consult the gods of their land. We ignored them and started practicing foreign religions/cults. We have our own native religions/cults we should go back to. And I’m happy because people are beginning to realise the truth.”
Again, another traditional worshipper, Onyeozi Chukwunonso Obijofor while decrying the spate of negative incidents this year, called on Nigerians to go back to the roots and embrace traditional means to cleanse their towns.
“The people are suffering because the gods have been neglected for long. And it is sad because we don’t have elders or real traditional leaders that respect the customs of the land. Many so-called traditional rulers that lead their town don’t even have an Ofo (a long piece of wood that symbolizes traditional authority). And many of them mingle tradition with the other religion they practice, yet they call themselves custodians of tradition. But they don’t even know when the gods and ancestors are unhappy with the communities, how to appease them or how to cleanse the land from evil spirits.
“However, we all should see this as an opportunity to embrace our tradition. Nigeria as a country should learn to recognize traditional worshippers because they are the ones that bring sanity to the land”.