For Madam Yinka Olawande , 50, it is a cry of freedom as she says she is now free from her man ( names withheld) who she alleged has been under his ‘spell’ for sometime .
In full rage the palm wine seller , Madam Yinka Olawande , 50, unwrapped the dark – colored object that looks like animal horn, displayed it for all to see and with voice raised screamed “I am now free from his bondage”. She was bitter as she was sweating profusely while speaking with this reporter.
How we met
Asked how he met the man in question , the woman said “the man is my man friend. He toasted me some years ago before I got married but I didn’t accept his proposal . We met again when I lost my husband few years ago and since I did not want to stay / live alone I therefore accepted and had him as my ‘Man friend’ living with him as husband and wife. In fact when my son had problem with the National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA ) and I needed financial assistance was when I met him”.
Living in Confusion
Madam Yinka said she has not been enjoying living with her lover as he has been unfair and not treating her well not knowing she was under a spell, juju . On how she knew he has been controlling her with juju , she said “I would just wake up and go to his doorstep to wait for him no matter the hour he comes back and I will be guarding his house like a dog waiting for him, I could not eat without seeing him and even when he beats me I would still go there , it was not ordinary “.
She continued “He will lock me outside till about 11pm and he’ll be out there chasing women , he was once married to a police officer who left him seven years ago. I thought his old age will make him to be responsible and a better person but I was wrong, he is around 65 years of age.
“Whenever he mentions my name I’ll become restless , following him like a dog but since I have retrieved this object from him my eyes have cleared .Our relationship is about two years old now”.
How the bubble burst
According to Yinka , it all happened when he locked her outside last year and when she discovered this strange object suspected to be juju in his car where he kept it ,she said ” it is called ‘afose’, and immediately I saw it I seized it, then my eyes became cleared . I saw this object wrapped and hidden in his car and seized it. When I told him I have discovered his secret,he became jittery .Now , I no longer stay at his doorstep .I am relieved ” , she cried out.
Power of dream
According to Yinka , she dreamt about the strange object which was revealed to him by God, she said ” God gave me power of dream and it always come to pass. I dreamt that I saw this object in my dream. God showed it to me in my dream, I don’t do juju. My dream always come to pass. That was why I abandoned my lucrative transport business I was doing from Owo/ Kaduna/ Kano, when I dreamt that I was involved in a motor accident and my limbs were amputated, I then stopped the business and now selling palm wine. My dreams always come to pass.”, she declared.
” I had wanted to report him at the King’s palace but refrained by people. Now he is sending people to come and beg me to return it but I will not.I want the whole world to see and know it , since he has vowed to destroy me”, she said.
When this reporter contacted the man ( names withheld ) in question to tell his own side of the story , he was furious, stammering , as he showed this reporter the scar inflicted on his head by the woman , and also marks on the doorpost on how the woman vandalized his door,
He said ” this woman is stubborn, very stubborn. She used iron rod to hit me on my head( he showed his head to this reporter) . Let her continue telling everybody .I didn’t steal, I am a boxer but ……She is not the only one I have , I am married to a soldier, Police officer and a senior typist at FMC but this woman has been stubborn. I didn’t know that is how she is when I married her. I thought she would be able to take care of me , those who are not as rich as I am have many wives , I have a house in Ibadan, Owo ..let her go to court I am ready for her ” .
On the object she claimed she saw in his car, the man said she is the one who knows where she saw it and it is not compulsory to marry her, he said .
What is Ase?
TaIwo Abiodun went to town to research on what ‘Ase ‘ is
A young boy met a septuagenarian man in rags with foul odour in the bus , and made jest of him of the odour but the old man kept mute but kept on shaking his head .Later he brought out an object suspected to be animal horn filled with some substances and chanted incantations on it. After this, the old man quickly alighted at the next bus stop. Immediately he left, the young man started laughing like hyena .He came down from the bus and started jabbing the air with his fists and at the same time kicking the empty air with his legs until he reduced his clothes into shreds. The rest , as they say, is history .
Another episode happened years ago as a Police woman popularly known as ‘Iya Toyin ‘ living at Lawanson went insane in Lagos . Her story was widely circulated .She was said to be very strict arresting traffic offenders , she was unpardonable and whenever they prostrate to beg her she would accuse the driver of trying to peep at her private part . She was said to have been cursed and in the end went gaga. It all happened in the early 80s.
” Iya Toyin went to Abeokuta to arrest young girls wearing ‘bikini’ wears , that was where she was cursed. I remember her vividly”, a woman who lives in Ogun state declared and a man who lives in Akure corroborated the story , both the interviewees are in their late 70s .
A woman ( names withheld ) woke up one morning and chanted incantations asking her son to return home after 25 years of sojourn in the USA. The son eventually returned home but with unsound mind .
Another episode is that of a Police officer who after collecting bribe from a driver somersaulted several times then climbed the NEPA pole and capped it all as he went ahead to hold on to the high tension wire .That was how he ended his life. Another police officer who was cursed was saluting all NEPA poles he saw till he died few years ago”.
About two years ago , this writer witnessed a handsome young man at Lagos/ Abeokuta toll gate , the man in question was at a petrol station jumping from one top of a car bonnet to another , later he started hitting his head against the wall. The on-lookers claimed he must have been cursed .
Professor Rowland Abiodun in his book” Yoruba Art and Language , Seeking The African in African Art , he wrote Ase : The Empowered Word Must come to Pass ” …Both Ase and epe operate by identifying the targeted subjects by their original or primordial name(s) and calling ( pe) them The Yoruba believe that they must answer or respond ( Je or dahun) that is they must obey the caller. Thus Ase and epe can be likened to ” potent and effective traditional medicinal preparations which respond like flint -ignited -fire ” that is commonly known as a- jé- bí iná.”
According to Abiodun ” Ase is effective ; it triggers a powerful response even when its workings may not be fully and immediately comprehended.”
Akoje Olayemi Omolaja the Oluwo of Aborigine Ogboni Fraternity and Babalawo said ‘Ase’ is ayajo , which is sent to whoever is to be attacked and acts fast , it is because of its fastness act that it is being used .It is also involuntarily used as epe ( curse) .And it is difficult to recall, he said some of the items used are horns of antelope , cow, ram , goat.
High Chief Mukaila Awodumila the Ogwabumara of Owo Kingdom described Ase as a spiritual command that whatever you commanded the victim to do he will do it through incantations and can be used on a tree to dry up such is called ‘ abojowo’ ( goes with sunset) , some are time- related , another is generational or a family curse”.
Awodumila added ” Ase could be placed on tongue or lips .In most cases it is used when one is offended .Ase is never used for any good thing. It has repercussion on the sender”.
Another Babalawo , Nuru Yisa Momoh said “there are two types of Ase viz: the wicked and the good prayerful one . He distinguished ” the wicked one acts fast which is the one that we curse with and it works faster while the other one is for prayer which can take seven or 14 days or three or seven months to work and in this case you have to exercise patience “.
Chief Christianah Famulagun said “Afose, Ase and epe are the same thing but they are different from ape ( compulsory home call) for Afose or Ase or epe you will stand at a place and lace it upon the person but for ape the sender will be walking up and down calling the name of the victim be forced home , commanding him to do whatever he is instructed to do and that is what the man in the story above used”.
She explained further ” ape is a compulsory call or forced home call, this is used to recall those who travelled abroad for many years and don’t want to come back home again or have forgotten home . When ape is used , the user will be walking up and down calling the name of the victim while the targeted victim become restless .He would without caution and without any luggage return home ” Famolagun added “but many of those recalled like this will never be normal again because he was spiritually recalled ,so he would come back home empty – handed and whenever he remembers that he left somewhere he would be yearning to go back to retrieve his belongings , but will never be a normal person again, for he was under supernatural control .
The Olunaun of Unaun , Oba Olanrewaju Abegunde described Ase as a potent and irreversible curse, he said ” it is better not to be cursed than to be cursed. Curse is epe in Yoruba land , and that is why anointed men of God like Pastors, prophets, Babalawos and monarchs always exercise patience and must not get angry anyhow for their curse is highly potent”.
Olanipekun Adebeye said he is a Christian , he argued that curse is also in the Bible, used by Christians , he said ” the psalms in the Bible are full of prayers for loved ones and curses meant for enemies .Yes, I can tell you that the Holy Bible has portions for blessings and curses. Jesus used ‘ Ase ‘ when he cursed the fig tree.He also use Ase known as power of the word when he told Simon Peter to throw his net into the river and he caught fishes .He also told Peter that he would deny him three times before the cock crows. What of Judas Iscariot whom Jesus said ‘ Curse be to that man that will betray son of man, in the end Judas committed suicide”.
A Muslim Cleric, Ahmed Musliu Soibu Libayan claims there are some verses like Ase in the Holy Koran,he said ” All the verses of Koran have Ase , if you go to Suratu Yashin , Suratu Kaf and many other verses . Ase is from Allah and it is used to appeal to Allah for anything .The bad Ase is what does not go along with Allah’s wishes like curses , demands from Esu. Ase is used for curse which is worse than juju, because it was appeal to Allah we have two Ase, one is an appeal to Allah and the other is for our enemies .We should stay with God and not curse with it , because it is a generational curse on families”, he advised.
Can it be revoked ?
When one is cursed it can be revoked depending on the type of Ase for we have strong and weak Ase said Famulagun. “Ase will not affect the person invoked it upon if he is not guilty of what he is accused of that is why we said it has a target, it can also be reversed if there is a powerful Babalawo or a Man of God that will revoke it ,that is why we say we use curse to fight curse( epe la fi nwe epe danu) “.
Chief Mayomi Awoniyi Obabiire, the village head of Ago Påànù said Ase , Afose, epeand ape are the same and it depends on their usage .He adds that Ase does not fight an innocent person , “it has target, and it goes to its target, it does not fight anyhow”.
Some Pastors, Muslim Clerics and Babalawos contacted agreed that its only through prayer and fasting , rituals as and sacrifices that Àse can be revoked.