A community leader, the Oyewoga of Ode Irele in Ondo State, Moses Enimade, has confirmed that the “mystery” behind a strange and unknown killer disease that has ravaged a town in Ondo state, killing at least 14 people, is a punishment for the “sacrilege” committed against Molokun, the local deity in the area.
Mr. Enimade, who is next in command to the Oba, Cornelius Olanrewaju-Lebi, said yesterday in Irele that some stubborn youths broke into the inner room of the Molokun shrine on April 15, adding that Molokun is a deity of the land.
“Only the Chief Priest and High Chief Gboguron are qualified to enter the shrine.”
The chief said that the youths entered the shrine and made away with traditional items in a bid to acquire extra-ordinary powers and engage in money ritual.
“They were not qualified to enter the (shrine). They had to face the death penalty.”
The Oyewoga said he could not remember the last time Molokun or any other gods had to strike like this in the area.
According to him, there is no community or town without its own culture and tradition, saying that what happened in Irele was the judgment of the gods on the youths.
“Even the Kabiesi himself is not permitted to enter the Molokun Shrine’s inner room except the Chief Priest and High Chief Gboguron. Sacrifice must be performed before they can enter.
“Because these youths want to be rich at all costs, they entered the sacred place and made away with traditional items and 20 of them have died as a result of their desperate acts,” he said. “We have to appease the gods or else many will still die and we have to bury them according to tradition. Their corpses belong to the gods and will be exhumed if buried by their families.”
No fewer than 14 people have died of severe headaches and blindness in the town recently. He victims have tested negative to Ebola, the deadly and incurable virus that killed thousands across West Africa, including Nigeria.
Mr. Enimade debunked the rumour that the deaths were caused by strange disease or Ebola virus quoting from Proverbs 29:1 in the Bible which say: “He that had been reproved and hardened his neck shall suddenly be destroyed without remedy; so youths of nowadays must be careful.”
Some residents appealed to the chief priest to make the necessary atonement to avert calamity in the town. They said news of the deaths had given the town and state a bad name. [myad]