….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?.