The traditional ruler of Ode community in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State, Sunday Boboye has revealed that his desire to be a feudal lord over his town made him to join the Ogboni fraternity, a sect he has now renounced after 10 years of joining the society.
“I wanted powers to face the mighty and powerful people who have usurped my fathers’ land. To do this, I needed to accept one of the heist titles in the land and which was my family’s royal entitlement. It is the Ajagun (General at war) of Ode land”, the 45-year-old ex-Ogboni chief stated.
Once initiated into the brotherhood, Boboye possessed dreaded powers that not only made him very popular in Ondo State but also made many to fear and tremble before him. But that was before he had a challenging encounter with a Christian recently.
Last weekend, a team of Christians and the reporter were invited to the palace of Boboye in Ode, Ondo state to witness how the former Ogboni chief who rose to the rank of Egan Oke (meaning an elder in the Ogboni fraternity) denounced his membership and burnt all the traditional deities he had served when he was an herbalist.
“I am the traditional head of Ode community. I give glory to God for saving me and making me to be alive today. The lord Jesus has arrested me and saved from evil association with Satan. I was an herbalist, a powerful one for that matter. And I am well known in Ondo State. Everyone respects and fears me as the Ajagun of Ode community. If I decreed that somebody would die tomorrow, that is what will happen. The person will die. If I tell somebody that he would not eat the next day, the person must be prepared because that is what would happen. And if I decreed that someone would not sleep in his house the following night. It also would also happen. I was doing all these using the dark powers bestowed on me by serving the devil. But today, God has taken me out of the darkness”, Boboye declared while denouncing his old association before his people who trooped out to see their once dreaded occult grand master and leader now wining and dining with Christians.
“Many people in Ode are surprised to see me with members of the Lord’s Chosen church and other Christians today and even wearing this apron, because they know who I was. They know about the tremendous power I wielded as grandmaster in occult kingdom.
“My father, Pa Boboye Oluwasegun has been a pastor in The Apostolic Church for sometime. He had tried on many occasions to lead me to Christ but I have been turning deaf ears to him. This is why we used to quarrel sometimes. Whenever, I organized the Egungun festival, yam festival or Osun or Ogun festivals my father used to quarrel with me and asked me to drop the worship of ancestral gods but I turned deaf ears to him because the ancestral gods were giving me powers.
“Whenever he invited me for a programme in his church I used to attend but he doesn’t come for my festivals because he doesn’t like it. This is because the festivals are meant to celebrate and appease the ancestral gods. During the ceremonies, I used to kill cows, fowls and serve some images of the ancestral gods with the blood of the slain animals.
“ I used to invite members of my Ogboni fraternity, members of the community and the media to partake in them. The festivals were very elaborate ceremonies that usually become the talk of the town months after. Many pastors and Christians have preached to me but I didn’t change my ways because I didn’t think Jesus Christ could give me the powers I need to conquer my enemies who want our land”, he added.
While narrating the incident that led to his conversion to Christianity, Boboye said: “In January, an unusual Christian from The Lord’s Chosen church who had come to buy some pieces of land from me, challenged me on the gods I was serving. I had boasted to him that I had remained safe, taking over all our ancestral land from our enemies all these years because the gods of my fathers have been protecting me. But the man told me that the only most powerful, who can protect me surely is Jesus Christ. He further advised me to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour but I said that couldn’t happen because I couldn’t lose the tremendous powers I have. The man then told me that if I refused to accept Christ and serve the true living God, God would arrest me one day and bring me to Him. I told him to tell his God to bring me to Him if He likes.”
The argument turned out to be Boboye’s undoing as what happened afterwards not only shocked him but also turned his life in the opposite direction.
In his words “It wasn’t up to a month after that encounter, I got roped in a robbery case. The Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the police in Akure invited me. So, I drove down there with my wife. Before that day, whenever I have a case with the police, I don’t spend more than five minutes before solving it because I’m very popular with the police in the state. This is because if they bring any charge against me and I say this is what I want, they must accept but that night they refused. It was a rude shock to me. Before, the policemen feared me, because I could pronounce a curse on them and they would be dismissed, but that night things turned suddenly against me. The police threw me into the cell and the next morning, my driver was brought to me. I was asked if I knew him and I said he is my driver. The police then said that I was being arrested on the suspicion that I sent the boy to rob.
“My driver denied robbing anybody but the policemen beat the hell out of the two of us and threw us into the cell again. The next morning I was taken to the court and from there I was sent back to prison. And that was when a long nightmare began for me. I was detained and refused bail for over five months but God Himself visited me in the prison.
“A prison mate named Dagas, who was jailed for being a deadly thug but had become a Christian convert in prison, preached to me and I was touched. One day, I had a powerful dream after praying with Dagas. I saw my dad by my bed in prison. He asked me if all the ancestral gods I was serving have saved me. He told me that he was the one who brought me to the prison.
He gave me a Yoruba Bible and asked me to first read Psalm 119: 68 which reads: ‘before I was afflicted, I had gone astray’.
He asked if I knew the meaning of the passage but I said no, he then asked me again to read verse 71 of same chapter, which says: ‘But it is better for me that He chastised me so that I might know the right way.’
When I woke up from the dream, I was afraid and woke up the boy who had prayed with me. When I told him about the dream, he praised God and said that my being imprisoned was God’s design to save me. Dagas said that it wasn’t my father who appeared in my dream but God himself.
“The brother urged me to continue to pray to God to deliver me from the prison.
What later convinced me the more was that mytravails then were God’s design was that on May 23, the same man of the Lord’s Chosen church visited me in the prison and prayed with me. After the prayers he told me that God was about to deliver me from the prison because He has shown me enough that He is the almighty.
“Barely a week after the visit, the same judge who had been refusing me bail, rejected several sureties and all that, miraculously granted me bail.”
However, Boboye has countless regrets for being an Ogboni chief. According to him, he has committed terrible sins with the dark powers the ancestral gods he served gave him. Recalling his 10-year foray into the dark world, he said: “I had all the ancestral gods in Yoruba cosmology. I had Sango, Ogun, Osanyin, Iya Ogbo, and Osun among others. Whenever I wanted to go and fight on land issues, I used to kill dogs for Ogun to appease him to give me victory. I also appeased other gods with their demands, but they failed me, they didn’t tell me I would have a serious case before it happened and when it happened they couldn’t save me except God.
Now that I have accepted Christ, I have peace of mind, I’m no longer afraid of anybody. In fact, before anything would happen to me, God would have revealed it to me in details in a vision. I will burn all the shrines I built for these small gods and denounce them publicly”.
And Boboye did exactly that, he threw the images and other fetish materials into the front of his palace and was set to burn them all. But before he did that, he explained in details, what he was using the images of the gods for during his time as herbalist and Ogboni leader.
Boboye took members of the church to his power room where he kept molded images of different deities in Yoruba cosmology. The first, a repulsive image of the head of an old woman, he referred to as Iya Aye or Iya Ogbo, otherwise called the earth’s mother or the Ogbonis’ mother.
“All the witches meet at the her place. But she is a molded image. If there is a puzzle to be resolved, we visit her and present the issue, the witches then respond to us and make it look like she did so”, he explained.
He then pointed to another small molded image, which he called Sigidi. “We use Sigidi whenever we want to attack someone with a spiritual arrow. We christen the Sigidi after the person to be attacked so that the Sigidi would represent the victim spiritually. We then launch the arrow at the Sigidi in order to hit the victim. And after the attack, we wash off the victim’s name on Sigidi so that we can use it to represent another person in the future.”
“This is one of the charms I used to bury in a controversial land so that I can stop the opponent dragging the land with us”; Boboye said pointing to yet another fetish item that looked like a rotten head of an animal. He said the item is an antelope’s head. “If the victim on whose land the head is buried, steps on this, he would suddenly have his legs and other parts swollen and that would eventually lead to his death.”
Read the full story on The Sun.