That Ibadan Ritual Forest

Adeola Aderounmu

The biggest news in Nigeria this week apart from the unending massacre in Northern Nigeria is the ritual forest discovered in Ibadan.

Those who are not used to the “juju” of Africa will find this difficult to comprehend. But in Africa, well in Nigeria, I can write about the possibility of using “african jazz” in the most negative ways.

This means that some people can use extra ordinary powers to make other people go crazy. It may sound out of this world to those who do not grow up under this type of clime. But we know that some humans in Nigeria possess the witchcraft or evil power to influence the progress and stability of other people.

Some individuals have this ability to place a spell on other people. So what has happened in Ibadan is the exposure of this “generational” or “ancient” power. It is unfortunate that these powers are used to suppress and harm other people.

Often, captured people (preys) are decapacitated and parts of their bodies are used for rituals. In modern Nigeria it is the politicians that usually engaged in patronising these ritualists. Some people who want to be rich at all/any cost also engaged the services of the ritualists. Not least among those who patronise the ritualists are church/mosque owners who want many worshippers in their servvices.

In all, money is the root of all evils.

Africa and Nigeria in particular would have been a glorious paradise if all these negativities are harnessed and used for things that are progressive in nature.

Rather than make rituals in this way, the “powers” of these people can be transformed into scientific and technological know-hows. It is possible through careful investigations and planning.

It is very unfortunate that Nigerians (now the yorubas) are using “juju” to enslave their own people, depriving them of their freedom and suppressing them mentally. In extreme cases many people have been killed in this evil Ibadan forest.

We saw this before in the Okija shrine in the East. We have heard of Clifford Orji and many other stories. It is sad that in the end because of the statuses of the people involved in the patronage, many investigations are swept under the carpets. Another shrine or ritual center soon rear its ugly heads.

One hopes that those who are rescued from the Ibadan shrine will be compensated, treated and re-established into the society. They have the rights to live their lives again. Those behind the Ibadan evil forest should be brought to books under the law.

The state government in Ibadan, in other yoruba and non-yoruba states where people have these “powers” should look for methods and ways to harness the powers in a positive way instead of patronising them for evil things. In our traditions and cultures there are so many things that we can bring to the fore/front that when properly utilised can advance the course of humanity.

What we should stop doing is harming our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. All humans are equal and have the right to freedom and pursuit of happiness.