Osirigbongbo the Ijero -Ekiti Warrior

                    ….pound  him with  pestle to  wake – up

                    .…. used bare hands to fight in war

                .………did not die ,went into the ground

         The   statue is  gigantic, intimidating, historical and the hero is  full of incredible character. What the statue is built upon  is as strong as the Warrior  himself. Standing by his side one looks like a dwarf. A curious look at the statue one could see amulets  leather strings (ifunpa) and gourds (ado) tied  on his wrists and legs  . 

  The  Warrior  is holding  animal  horns stuffed with some mysterious concoction or substances laced  with powerful spiritual words of mysticism called  African power (Ase)   . His  pouch is  strapped  across  his shoulder as he  proudly displayed  his   instruments of war  with two hands, they were his weapons :voodo or  juju of which the Yoruba  would call  oogun abenugongo (protruding powerful charm).

His man-mountain statue  s  is frightening, his  words were powerful and wielding the scepter and spiritual authority while his actions were unchallenged able! . His appearance was terrifying as Yoruba would call him the fearsome one   (erujeje).

 He was one of the powerful Yoruba Warriors in the days of old.

              

Ankles decorated with charms

He was the most giant man in the land  of Ijero- Ekiti.No man born of a woman can  look at his face. A  lily- livered cannot look at him twice .The  Warrior   was  enfant terrible.

            A POWERFUL WARRIOR

     According to HRM the Alajero of Ijero, Oba   Joseph Adebayo Adewole ,the man called Osirigbongbo was a mysterious and powerful man, he said     ” the man called Osirigbongbo was always  woken up by beating him  with pestle ( omo odo ). His body was full of juju. In  war , he depended on his juju and  he used bare hands to fight  when his enemies   were  using gun, knives and cutlass as war tools”. He was a combination of mysticism and voodooism. The monarch  added ”he was surely the undisputed mighty man tearing his enemies apart  with his bare hands in  war and then used  their tights as weapon (cudgel )  in war” .What a terrifying statement!

 And  what if  Osirigbongbo suddenly appear and challenge  defacing him? .God forbid!

  No man has ever been feared or respected or loved more than him in the land. That is the life and times of the man called Osiri Gbo N Gbo

 

 Body  decorated with  juju

Alajero said ”His contribution to Ijero community can never be forgotten ”. No wonder his giant statue  is placed at the centre of the town showing him the recognition, appreciation and love  bestowed on him after he had departed centuries ago.

    And the name,Osiri Gbo N Gbo with the description of him with the statue’s size surely showed he was what they called .

         OSIRI-GBO-N-GBO THE WARRIOR

 At the center of the town is a giant statue of one of  those who rescued the town( Ijero) from being conquered by enemies.

      An educationist and one of the community  leaders Joshua Oyewande  Olukolade described  how Osirigbongbo looked like  “the man , Osirigbongbo , according to our forefathers was very, very   giant  with intimidating figure , and his stature  was useful to the town as he used to to help  the town from being plundered. Being a warrior , Osirigbongbo was always ready to rescue the town from being  taken into captivity”.

 Olukolade who is one of the most respectable man in the community and who also serves as the mouthpiece is proud of his community of having such History , he said ” we should appreciate our legends.I love this great town for erecting the statue here to let the unborn children see .”

The monarch described the warrior’s  conquests thus  “On his war exploits ,Osirigbongbo would go to war without war tools .When he gets  to the hottest war zone he would go for   his enemies’ leaders,  used his bare hands to tear them  apart and would use his victims’ torn legs  as a baton fighting the  war”.

                HIS  STRANGE FEEDING HABIT 

     Oba Adewole  said” we were told by our forefathers that Osirigbongbo used to eat  a morsel with the head of a cow .He was said to have  giant muzzle  .He ate a morsel of pounded yam with the head of a cow”.  Another mind-boggling story from the man -mountain warrior!.

               HE ENTERED THE GROUND ALIVE!

        Many strange stories  were told  about him, some said  he  entered the ground at Oke -Agba where he was born AND   did not die , but instructed  his townsmen to call upon him when in crisis . He also instructed them  to use pestle  and  beat the spot where he entered the ground three times  for him to  come out. Unfortunately   some mischievous natives cried wolf three times  when there was no wolf.They raised false alarm  three times and he came out the three times and killed many of them , when he later realised it  was a false alarm, it was too late. Seeing the massacre  he did, he never came up to rescue them again, Yewande said.

         Although the statue is conspicuously  located  in  the center of the town . The location   is used  as a rallying meeting point and of course where town criers make necessary announcement. One thing is still certain, the statue is revered and when there  are problems the man is offered sacrifice to to appease him.

Though the place looked  unkempt as some people offer sacrifices under it , paste advertisement papers on it and defaced it  , yet it is still honoured and revered and offered sacrifices when the need arises.

There should be a POST NO BILL warning  on the fence and the statue should not be defaced. 

And   what if  Osirigbongbo  suddenly appear and challenge those defacing him?.

God forbid.

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Taiwo Abiodun

I am a blogger . taiwoabiodun.com and TAIWOABIODUN.BLOGSPOT.COM

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