In 2012 when I was still living in Lagos I had been looking for a babalawo for Ifadida (Ifaconsultation) and to learn Ifa. Being the first time I would be doing such on my own since birth, I decided to search online and then I saw his profile. He had an extensive international clout and was well recognized among babalawos as he held very high positions among some of their international groups. I’ll refer to him as S. In September I finally summoned the courage to go see him, and after getting his phone number and email address online I contacted him, confirmed his address, booked an appointment, and met with him. I would later find out that he was also the Oluwon’la (head of all Oluwos) of his community called Odewale located somewhere near Alakuko, and the Ifa temple of that community was situated in his compound. The Ojugbona (deputy) carried out the Ifa dida. My father approved of it. At that time I was going through hard times.
Then we moved to Ota in March 2013 to our own home built by my father that had a number of flats of which all but one had been occupied by tenants. All of them openly disparaged and sought to kill us and openly boasted that they would damage the property, frustrate us and take over the house without paying a dime. The residents of that community also took sides with them. So I approached Solagbade in December 2013 on behalf of my father the revelation of the Ifa dida was Oturupon Ogunda. That concerning the tenants was Ika Gbemi. When the prescriptions (ebo but excluding a vital akose which I didn’t know anything about as at that time and I was not informed about) were observed his former sisters – we’ve since disowned them – conspired to immediately send Moji their eldest one who is barren and around 60 years of age to abandon her home in Ibadan and live with us. This was a warning of Oturupon Ogunda which we weren’t told. I would later take her in January 2014 to Solagbade concerning her pseudo-quest (she pretended to be looking for a child but would later boast to my father that he ought to regard her as his mother) for a child and the revelation of the Ifa dida was Otura Ose – her serious mental problem stemmed from her desire to dominate my father but we weren’t told this and I discovered on my own. My father and I were able to extract a confession in the form of a monologue of two hours thirty minutes from her in which she kept boasting against us and told us plainly that she wanted my father to regard her as his mother whom he must serve. If my mother was alive and/or I had a sister she would not have the chance to wreak havoc in our lives. According to Otura Irete my mother is my chief protector.
The tenants still did not want to leave us alone and I kept going to Solagbade for an urgent solution as my father’s health was failing – his eyesight was deteriorating and he was having difficulty in getting up, controlling his bladder and in walking – but for some reason he told us that their expulsion via such would become a recurring event. While saying this, I stole a quick glance at the Ojugbona and saw that he was smirking. As I made to leave, Ifa inspired Solagbadeto invite me for an Ifa training course he was organizing and hosting which was to begin the next month and which I accepted. But my father was not too pleased with it as his sister was harassing us in our own home coupled with increasing vitriol from those tenants. He also knew intuitively that fraudsters were there and warned me to be careful.
During the seminar, I met Amos Dyson who is the Oluwo of an Ifa temple in Los Angeles and he told me during a chat that his itefa “was the best investment I ever made”. I was very happy to hear this as I had been praying for my own opportunity to tefa as well. When the seminar was over, we were eventually able to expel her but not without threats from her, and when I informed Solagbade about her expulsion but he then tried to react as if he knew that was the eventual outcome. His body language during the split second before his reaction and during his reaction gave him away, and I kept this to mind and spoke no further about it.
Then at the beginning of March 2013 someone did something terrible to my father that resulted in his inability to urinate or defeacate, and it was quite terrible. Eventually, my father agreed to get baptized, that is, to te’fa, and I discussed with Solagbade about this who agreed to baptize the two of us and at a discount. At that time, his eyesight had been deteriorating seriously due to what an optician called baby cataract and his blood pressure for some years had been fluctuating between 180 and 230 mmHg. He was also getting lame since 2011 as he was experiencing difficulty in getting up from a sitting position and in walking and his bladder control was failing, especially during sleep at night. And since we moved to Ota lots of crows (the pied crow Corvus albus that has a white nape and breast and is native to this part of the world) which are used by witches in Ota would land on our roof of aluminum roofing sheets walking all over it and making lots of noise for like thirty minutes at a time or longer. During such episodes my father’s heart would be seriously affected although I was not aware until last year.
During the itefa, the white robe that my father was given had some blood stains (of a sacrificial animal) on it as he was not bathed well enough to wash them off. My father could not use his arms well because of the pain he was going through. In fact his movement was akin to that of a toddler. The young babalawos who were bathing him then left him and asked me who had just finished to do the bathing. I didn’t know the blood stains required some level of scrubbing to wash off so I didn’t handle that task well and upon noticing the stains on his white robe by daybreak I felt bad and resolved to do all in my power to take care of him. Coincidentally, the babalawos told me that according to my odu I needed to take care of my father and home, and that the ailment affecting him was mentioned in his odu Ogbe Alara as a “ribs disease” for which the ebo was offered immediately. Also, according to the odus that was cast on the third and seventh days one of his friends was the culprit and five women had been contending seriously against him. I already knew four of them were his former sisters and he had been informed about this a number of times in the past, and I would later find out the identity of the fifth. A pair of shorts that belonged to him disappeared during the seven days of the ceremony, and our odidere (parrot) feathers were retrieved.
He did get better and was quite upbeat when we returned home, and I would occasionally take his Ifa with me back to Solagbade’s compound whenever there was any need to propitiate Ifa in the process of presenting three or four of the sacrificial offerings (ebo) as prescribed in Ogbe Alara. But this seemed inconvenient as the risk of spillage of contents during the shuttles was high, so I opted to keep them in the Ile-Ifa at Solagbade’s compound for a while which I observed that many others had also been doing. I paid for these ebo, one of which involved the inclusion of a knife but had to rush home to cater for him. Unsurprisingly, at the exact moments they were being offered his sisters were calling his phone numbers several times thus exposing themselves (the purpose of such calls is to return their evil hands to where they had been removed). That night I again went to Solagbade’s place to find out any update and the person I had paid took me around the grove where the altars were to show me proof that the jobs had been carried out. But he did not see any trace of the ebo with the knife and gave up searching for it. Alas, his condition worsened and we had to rush him first to a private hospital in Ota where he had been having medical check-ups for a while. While there, a female psychologist who had been deceitfully preaching Christianity to me, along with a female nurse mischievously carried out without authorization and qualification a procedure that seriously worsened his condition. A catheter was to be inserted into his urogenital tract with the hope of reaching the bladder to extract urine. These women did it forcefully and without the required gel, and my father who could not talk was in utter pain all night and till the afternoon of the third day (6 April 2014) due to the internal bleeding. Then we sought to have him transferred to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) where he was rejected, and then to Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), then Federal Medical Centre Ebute-Metta, then Gbagada General Hospital all in Lagos State but the story was the same. That day felt quite dreadful.
The first three hospitals rejected him because the acuteness of his condition, that of the fourth was due to absence of space and an overstretched emergence ward. But there was another factor. All the while a babalawo named Kehinde Cosmas Bodunrin from Osi-Ekiti who is married to Tayo one of his sisters was phoning and asking for updates. Given that he’s a babalawo I had naively hoped that he was helping us not knowing that he was telling those women the updates. But when I considered the rejections I decided to ignore him from then on and a doctor at Gbagada General Hospital suggested we try General Hospital (Odan) Lagos which is the reference hospital of all reference hospitals in Lagos. And he was admitted after about 2 hours of waiting for bed space in the emergency ward which became available upon the death of one or two patients. The next time Kehinde called I thought of giving him the benefit of doubt so I let him know our location and asked him to keep it secret. To my consternation Toyin arrived and when I returned from the hospital pharmacy where I had gone to get some things I found her pouring some liquid from a bottle into his mouth with a neighbouring patient warning her in vain to desist. A babalawo had warned my dad to beware of such and her she was doing it by taking advantage of his weak body (such women poison their victims thus in dreams and even when fully awake; an acquaintance who’s also a babalawo would later tell me that he always prays never to be sick because it is during such weakness that witches would try all they can to finish one). Two other sisters Tayo and Funmi then arrived but were expelled from that ward due to their shameless arrogance. They issued severe threats at me which was not the first time.
Upon stabilization he was transferred to another ward where his body regressed to at times a vegetative state and he could not move his limbs. Whenever there was any sign of improvement it would be followed by a regression. Those three sisters came around again and again, openly causing trouble and eventually bringing Moji with them. And the doctors were at a loss as to the delay in regaining mobility. His kidneys were failing too. Another issue then cropped up in the form of sores on his buttocks and feet the skin was peeling. The skin of his buttocks peeled up to a large extent but when they eventually began healing a portion of his left arm began peeling too. He got a blood transfusion but the hospital staff involved in this did not use mine as agreed and which was totally compatible and safe when tested but used the blood of another instead (for Ogbe Alara the best donor is Otura Irete). All the while I was in touch with Solagbade and when it looked like it was almost over for my father,Solagbade consulted Ifa for him and Ifa revealed Obara Ika with ire aiku (longeivity). One of the messages of this odu is that there were a lot of enemies fighting him. Solagbade bore the expenses of the prescribed ebo for which I’m still grateful. His kidneys resurrected and began working well again. He also began moving his arms just a bit, and the doctors began expressing real hope. But he was being fed corn pap which is a taboo of Obara Ika as I would painfully learn over a year later.
There was more nuisances though from some of the nurses and a young doctor who seemed like a blockhead. They were preaching Christianity to me but not to the Muslims around, and the nurses and female relatives of other patients were also harassing us via witchcraft. Then his case suddenly retrogressed overnight and I called Solagbade as usual but he neither picked nor returned my calls. I also called Bankole one of his sons got the same response. We had been abandoned again (we have had a history of being forsaken at crucial moments by fellow people only for Ela to intervene. One of such was when my father was abandoned at birth for quite a while as everybody around had taken his mother away in search of a way to get the placenta expelled). In the early afternoon of 5 May 2016 I had to go get some blood tests done for him within the hospital but after about twenty minutes there was a mighty thunderstorm and after about 2 hours when I was able to return I found out that he had passed away during those twenty minutes – the storm was the sign that he had arrived at orun (cf. the story in Ogbe Alara of igunugun’s arrival in orun).
I was sad but didn’t shed a tear because I knew his story here was not over and that he’ll soon be back. I later learned that that is also a message of Obara Ika. He was hospitalized for a total of thirty-three days, and passed away just seven weeks after being baptized. The latter was indicative that something was amiss. After leaving the hospital I went to Solagbade’s place and he said that at about the time I called he had boarded a plane during which all his phone contacts were wiped off. I didn’t believe, and his body language convinced me not, but I kept quiet and kept it in mind. During my father’s last days, I did have a dream in which some persons deceived me into thinking they wanted to pray for me, but instead they rubbed something on my head and the next thing was a big blow for which I screamed and then awakened. I had thought it was for something positive but would later learn that it was a very malicious attack from Solagbade’s camp intended to make me most gullible, slow and incapable of learning.
And this month (June 2016) I decided to ask Ifa if the ewure (she-goat) used for the ebo was killed, and Ifa’s response was yes. I asked more than once. This is very significant because a sacrificial animal is not killed for ebo if death is involved, as killing opens the way for the client to depart from this world. This implies that Solagbade has my father’s blood on his hands, that he facilitated the death of and killed Obaluaye my father!
The tenants and openly jubilated upon hearing the news and many entered the premises in serious jubilation. From that time some more female neighbours openly began dumping refuse around the premises and to yab and curse me, saying that I was exhibiting pride for not going to bow before them to greet them after returning from the hospital. Toyin, Moji, Tayo and Funmi then tried hard to prevent the burial from taking place in Ijagba located in his hometown of Sagamu if at all. One of their aims was to prevent his posterity from contesting for any crown as he is from the Koyelu-Liyangu ruling house which is one of the ruling houses that can produce the Akarigbo of Remoland. They tried to unrealistically inflate the cost of the burial and insisted that I take no part in its planning and execution. Toyin and one of her sons named Akin tried spreading a lie that before my father’s transition an Oba had been contending with him over the land where he built his house so in order to secure it the burial should take place there. They also stole most of the monies that their brothers had sent for the burial and tried accusing me of being the thief even though none of it was sent to me, and so on. All these backfired but they continued issuing threats at me. In Sagamu, Toyin tried to cause problems with getting a burial plot at a cemetery. She failed to secure a hall as agreed for the reception so an open field had to be rented in the ensuing emergency. There were other nasty things they did, and then they insisted on coming straight to my home immediately after the burial to take care of me.
Basola, a step-brother of my dad did well for us during the preparation and organization of the burial. In the 4th age, he had also helped me, although he wasn’t related then, and he is mentioned in 1 Kings 2:7 as Barzillai the Gileadite.
- (Basola > Ba(r)zilla(i)
My father and I have however never stopped being in touch as he has been showing me what to do, giving me instructions, tasks and teaching me Ifa. A little over a year after the burial he sent me to Sagamu where I discovered that there was no name on the grave and its tiling was uncompleted even though a certain distant step relative who calls himself Engineer Taiwo had been fully paid for these. Toyin and her sisters also refused to hand over the official documents pertaining to the acquisition of the burial ground. Funke Okunoren who is a daughter of David Solarin Desalu aka DSD (son of David Soyebo Darlington aka DSD from Koyelu-Erinwole ruling house) and a friend of the current Akarigbo Oba Sonariwo and his Otunba has been their mentor. In her last conversation with my dad which was over the phone threatened to cut him off for not seeing her to give her obeisance. During another time that I went there again, in February 2016, he eventually led me to discover that they had connived with one Baba Sodipe who handles the financial transactions for the cemetery in question to prevent me from getting a copy of the receipt of the payment for the burial plot. I went through the receipt booklets but found none associated with it. Their aim has always been to embarrass and cut off my father totally.