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Yoruba Ifa Priest Urges use of African Indigenous Spirituality against Terrorists in Nigeria

Renowned Yoruba Ifa priest, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, has emphasized the urgent need for political and security stakeholders in the South-West to employ spiritual protection measures against the escalating threats posed by bandits and criminal elements targeting the region’s traditional institutions.

Speaking at a summit convened by Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, attended by approximately 200 traditional rulers, Elebuibon reiterated the imperative of addressing the menace of banditry, particularly within forested areas.

The recent abductions and killings of two Ekiti monarchs – Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola, and Elesun of Esun Ekiti, Oba David Ogunsakin – as well as the tragic demise of Oba Segun Aremu-Cole of Koro town in Kwara state, highlight the gravity of the situation. Elebuibon lamented these acts of violence, stressing that in the past, Yoruba monarchs were safeguarded through traditional means, deterring any attempts by bandits to challenge their authority.

Asserting the significance of indigenous security practices, Elebuibon urged Yoruba monarchs to embrace their cultural heritage, particularly in invoking spiritual protection within their domains. He emphasized that the ongoing efforts towards establishing state police by the Federal Government should complement, rather than replace, traditional methods of security. Drawing on Yoruba traditions, he elaborated on the multifaceted approach to security, which encompasses spiritual practices, practical strategies, and community resilience.

In elucidating Yoruba cultural practices related to security, Elebuibon referenced the establishment of markets near palaces, where the presence of Esu Oja symbolized both economic protection and spiritual safeguarding. He also highlighted the significance of Ogun Ojalu, sacred spots traditionally located around palaces, requiring annual appeasement rituals during times of both peace and conflict.

Notably, he noted the importance of adherence to tradition, exemplified by rituals such as those observed during the annual Ifa festival in Osogbo.

IMAGE: City people magazine

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