This strange story might sound formulated but it is true! Nine teenagers confessed to belonging to some witchcraft cults in Ijelu-Ekiti, a sleepy community in the Oye Local government Area of Ekiti State, some few weeks ago is just the gospel truth. Daily Sun confirmed this on a visit to the community recently.
The drama leading to the confession by the kid witches started when a serious quarrel broke out among some primary four pupils of the Ijelu-Ekiti Anglican Primary School. Like a fairy tale, the girls began to recount gory details of how they had used secret powers to wreak havoc on the lives of their relatives in order to have their pounds of flesh from the victims who had offended them one way or the other.
The story started with a girl, Seun, one of the strong members of the cult. According to Madam Comfort Jokotola Omodara, Seun was living with her as a house help until she allegedly found out the girl steals from her and decided to send her packing: “ Seun was just about 10 years old when I accepted her from her mother so she could be staying with me and helping me in some house chores and selling. But after a while, I discovered she used to steal from me. She used to steal my money, food and other things. I got annoyed and asked her mother to take her back. This is a girl I was feeding and sponsoring her education.”
However, as things turned out later, Omodara was to pay a huge price for sending her away:
“A few weeks after I sent Seun packing, I was at my farm where I make palm oil. I wanted as usual, to lift up a bowl of hot palm oil when my feet slipped and the hot oil poured on me, burning my entire left side. It was an unusual thing because for over 20 years that I have mastered the act of palm oil making, I have never experienced such accident. If I had not been rushed immediately to the hospital, I would have been no more now.”
The story off course did not end there. She thought what happened at her palm oil farm was mere accident until when the quarrel among the primary four pupils broke out. Seun was confronted by one of her mates in the coven, who said to her:
“We all knew how you almost killed the mother of our monarch’s youngest wife by bewitching her to pour boiling oil on her self in her farm. You had reported her to the coven and wanted us to punish her for sending you packing from her house after she discovered you stole from her!”
That was when Omodara allegedly knew the cause of the strange incident in her oil palm plantation. Omodara’s daughter and youngest wife of the Eleju of Ijelu-Ekiti, Ajayi Esther Bola Ajayi, claimed that what happened to her mother at her Ekun (local palm oil factory) was an attack:
“A few weeks after that incident, eight pupils of the primary school in this community had a quarrel. To everyone’s chagrin, they began to expose one another’s secrets as members of a witches’ coven. Seun had confessed that she reported my mother to her mates so she could be punished for sending her away.
“The girls are still living in this town. The oldest of them is just about 12. When that happened, the girls were brought to the palace and they each explained details of their membership of the coven. They started with what caused rancour among them. It was about ranking.
“One of them was said to have complained bitterly about the position they gave her. She had frowned at the placement of some others who met her at the coven above her. She particularly confessed about one Basirat among them who was given a rapid promotion because she had ‘donated’ her father for sharing in the coven. There was also, Dupe who whose rank was promptly moved far up for ‘donating’ her blood brother to the coven.”
Asked what step was taken by the palace over the strange development, Olori Esther said: “Those who understand the powers of the witches said we have to ‘ro-ile.’ This means we have to appease them because they have powers over fire, the road and have caused deaths of many. The palace invited their parents and asked them to bring some things to be used to carry out the ritual of appeasement in order to ward off any evil. With that done, right now, there is no problem in the land.
“We have never experienced such strange thing in this community. It was the first ever. Even the elders said that they have never seen such in this town in their lifetime.”
On the events that preceded the strange confessions by the girls, she said: “Around February 206, a cleric whose name we want to protect had prayed for this town. He asked the Kabiyesi to buy some salt and prayed on it. He had asked everyone in the community to take out of the salt home. He predicted that in few months time, secrets of some evil doers would be exposed.
“About two days after the strange event, the same pastor came back to tell us what he had predicted had happened. He warned that no one should beat the girls or maltreat them. He said there would be more shocking confessions from others.
“He said the elderly ones among them who are hiding now, would still be exposed and that they just pushed the babes among them forward to see how we would react. The pastor said no one should discriminate against the girls or excommunicate them. He also conducted prayers of deliverance for them and prayed for the community.”
Daily Sun spoke with Seun. She admitted being a member of the said cult but denied bewitching Omodara:
“Many of those speaking against us are bad people. They just hate us. I never stole anything from Madam Comfort. It is true some people offended us and it is true some of our members are not happy with others. Those who offended us have to be punished and that is why they were so punished. I do not have anything more to say.”
Efforts to take photographs of the kids were resisted be the Elejelu of Ijelu, Oba Adetoyinbo Isaac Ajayi, saying they were too young to be so exposed to the public:
“I don’t want anything that would destabilize my community. We have done enough by confirming the report you heard which brought you here. We have also allowed you to speak with elderly people directly affected. Please do not go further on this matter.” The monarch equally did not allow the use of his picture.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Alberto Adeyemi, who described it as quite strange, said: “The matter has not been reported to us. But we will find out about the development and get back to the Press.”