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.

Stones that ‘become’ kings

                      ………..   Nobody can count the stones

                    ………The stones are sacred

 

These Chiefs are explaining some points  about the  sacred stones

                                CAN YOU COUNT?

Are  you a good mathematician or a good Accountant who can count and get an accurate answer to figures? .If you are sure of yourself then don’t be disappointed when  you fail this simple arithmetic. If you are very sure of yourself then come to Ijero- Ekiti to make effort and count the number of these stones in the above brick fence,

  Outside  His Royal Majesty Oba Joseph Adebayo Adewole  the Alajero of Ijero’s  palace is a sacred place where hundreds of   stones are  neatly kept in a circle  and guarded by concrete  wall with sharp and pointed  irons to protect the stones.

Looking at these stones one may be curious to ask  over 1001 questions , ”what importance  are these  stones?.Are they precious stones?. What are these stones doing here?.Why are they  here and for how long have they been here? . What could have been the reason for  ”dumping” them  here?. Are they gold?”

                                       SACRED STONES

 In Ijero -Ekiti this place has become a sacred place thus it has become a Tourist  attraction Center . It is  sacred . It is  kept neat always .Speaking with the   monarch , the Alajero of Ijero  who doubles as the traditional ruler and head of the community , he said ‘‘ each stone represents a king that had passed away and that is how it has been from time immemorial”, he continued  ,” nobody can count the number of the stones and while counting the number of these  stones you get confused , and that   is mysterious’‘  .

He continued ”If you start  counting the stones one, two, three you would miss it and will never be able to finish counting them as you would get confused”.

 

He continued   ”if you go back  and start  counting again you will get confused no matter how smart or brilliant you are. No man in this town knows the number of the stones deposited here”, he said beating his chest but quickly added ”It is only the Oloris   (wives of the Monarch) and the monarch himself  that know  the number ”.

He explained further as he emphasized on  the ”holiness” of the place , he said ”the place is a sacred place and one must not go into the place, or throw things or rubbish into the place, whoever does that would see its repercussion. No one ever tries  it”, he said with all seriousness.

           A  STONE REPRESENTS A DEAD MONARCH

Still on the stones , the king said  ”the sacred place where we keep these stones started long time ago when our forefathers were not educated , so whenever a king dies the community would place a stone there”. So if you want to know how many kings that had passed away you will have to count the number of stones there. Despite our civilization , education and modern world we refused to jettison the idea”.

When  contacted  , Mr. Yewande  Joshua Olukolade who is  a native of the town  with  two Master degrees  confirmed  the story . When reminded that the town is among the few towns in Nigeria who can boast of at least five graduates from each household   but still using the stone age method  to record their monarchs’ deaths   Olukolade  disagreed, he said ” it is true we are educated but we cherish our culture and tradition  our forefathers left behind.We met them doing it and we shall continue irrespective of our education.

However , the monarch who is a lover of tradition and culture said   ”When I pass away too a stone would be placed  there, and that would be my own stone”.

These stones represent the number of the departed Kings in Ijero-Ekiti.