Sunday 26 February 2023


The brave hunters, namely Bọ́ni, Igíṣubú, Alegbàtà, Lọ́kọ́, Gbandan and Ọlọmọ were also greeted by the eerie and ominous sound of apparitions circling the exact spot of the ancient palace which now lies in ruins in the middle of a thick forest. The appearance of the beings confirms that they are not of common sight. Never had an incongruous array of deformity been found in cluster like that. The hunters were about to take to their heels, but one of them decided to test how the materiality of arrow will whoosh through the immateriality of these phantasmagorical beings. More, Aláàfin may not be magnanimous this time to accept the story of brave hunters who took to their heels without putting up a fight, irrespective of who the adversary was. Many heads lie at Mogun for the same cowardice.

Then, there was a thwish sound as the arrow was released. A whoosh sound as the arrow flew and cut the air! A thunk sound as the arrow, though missing its target, hit the palm-tree behind one of  the apparitions! The dimunitive ethereal being touched the back of his neck to clean the mark a fly that just flew past him left, scratching him in midflight. His hand met warm blood! Horrified, he instinctively looked at the direction of where what missed him by hair-length came from. Lo and behold, three huge men in war dress, with another three sharp arrows directed at him! He let out a deafening yell of his life that reverberated through the night like an animal in the throes of death.

"Yéè! Yéè! Yéè! Ẹ gbà mí o," rented the air. Other "apparitions" did not wait to see what has happened. They flunged themselves into the bush path in an attempt to escape. They lumbered along the path, being of diverse deformity. But what could scuttle an already dead beings? Or how can the material arrow scatter beings that have no material bodies. Anyways, a surprise was waiting for them at the other side too.

Having been to war several times and learnt the art of Yoruba war and strategies, the hunters had divided themselves into two groups: the adúródoguns and the adènàdoguns. So, the "apparitions", even with their gift of telepathy, teleportation and clairvoyance combined, were surprised to meet another three readily drawn arrows pointed at them at the other end of the road. They let out a wail in unison. "Ẹ dákun ẹ má ta'fà sì wa, a kìí ṣe ọ̀rọ̀," they chorused, sweating like a caged monkey and visibly shaken. The hunters, reasoning that immortal beings should not be afraid of arrows to the point of wetting the backs of their legs, asked them who were behind the gimmick.

It was there that they revealed to the hunters that the plan was hatched by noble men and chiefs of Ọ̀yọ́ to dissuade Aláàfin Abipa not to relocate Ọ̀yọ́ to the defunct site. Who is more noble then? The king who wants his ancestral homeland back or the nobles and chiefs who would rather preserve the kingship of Ọ̀yọ́ from total collapse, even at the expense of loosing the ancestral home to marauding tribe who will stop at nothing to implant their new found religion? If you think of the glory repopulating Ọ̀yọ́ back will bring, then you will follow the king. If you think of frequent wars this could bring and lives that will be lost, you will side with the chiefs and nobles. Is life preservation more important to heritage preservation? What is the meaning of life if there is nothing to be proud of in it? Sensing that this is the crossroad Èṣù likes to play his tricks, the human hunters bounded the "ethereal apparitions" up, and led them to Ọ̀yọ́ Igboho the same night. Let the king decides. May Esu not trick anyone into taking decision behind Aláàfin.

The next day was a weekly meeting of Jakuta. After the necessary rites and proceedings, the chiefs retired to the banquet hall to be entertained as usual with good music, pounded yam, assorted meat and palm wine. Alaafin Abipa was in attendance too, and his chief servant ordered that palm wine be served. What happened next will surprise you.

- Bode Oje

"At night, they roamed about the hill, hooting and cooing with lighted torches in hand, and they were taken for the spirits of the hill refusing them readmission to Ọ̀yọ́."

- Samue Johnson, 1976. History of the Yorùbás: From the Earliest Time to the Beginning of the British Protectorate. Lagos: CSS Bookshops. p. 165.

Watch out!!!

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