Solagbade Popoola killed Obaluaye and I! (Part 8)


Abigail was going through tough times then, and I hadn’t seen her since 2011 or 2012 until sometime this year in Ota but from a distance. Her name really is Bukola

  • Bukol(a) > (A)bigail

Sometime in February or March 20156 Solagbade held a meeting of the ICIR in his compound and I was attended by many babalawos and iyanifas, perhaps over a hundred. Having become is president a few weeks earlier, he formally received the staff of office during the meeting. He encouraged Clyde and I to attend, so we sat at a corner observing everything while I did my best with translations for him. When refreshments were being served I made to get some food and water for us but he asked me to remain seated by him as those serving them would get to us. Segun who is a son of Iya Segun and one of Solagbade’s goons was serving pure water sachets but he refused to give us any even though he walked right past us thrice with my arms outstretched. Clyde was shocked with his mouth agape at this level of petty attitude that Segun was shamelessly displaying. No food got to us. When the meeting was over I went to the kitchen to get some food for Clyde and hopefully myself from the women there who had been doing the cooking.

I was able to get for Clyde what the guests and staff of the Ile Ifa got, but for myself I was chided, first by an iyalorisha nicknamed Eji Ogbe and then by Iya Ayo, and then given something else. They said they couldn’t serve me like the others and eat what they ate, that I had to come there to get something and that I liked to behave like a stranger instead of one of them. The truth is I never felt fully accepted there but like there were efforts, subtle or not, to trample on me. And the message these women were passing was that they wanted me to bow to them. As usual, I kept quiet and did not complain, and Clyde took note. Such ill behavior was the order of the day in that compound which was a dog-eat-dog world where thefts were common and all sorts of characters frequented and resided.

Fadeke had experienced such of which I’ll give an example and for which she never wanted o come back to Nigeria. One day she wanted to eat some rice with a can of “Geisha” which consists of some ready to eat tomato sauce and fish. She paid for it but by the time the plate was brought to her in her room all the fish was gone! She got just the rice and sauce. Also, she had paid Solagbade for her feeding expenses for the duration of her stay but one of his wives known as Iya Iyabo who had been given this task of handling this was still collecting money from her for same. This woman travels a lot to her hometown in Togo, and Bankole would later inform me that she undertakes this trip whenever she steals some money and would only return when the angst against her would have cooled.

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