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2 years of Otoge: Lessons from Odu Ogundabede, Obara meji and Ogbeosa

 

By Abdulrasheed Akogun

How time flies, it is exactly 2 years the Otoge crusaders were ushered into power to administer the affairs of the decades long, good governance hungry people of Kwara State.

In this 2 years, analysts, opinion moulders, political elites amongst others have been sharply divided on the gains or otherwise of the movement that supplanted the deposed Saraki dynasty.

While opinion is a constitutionally guaranteed right, fact are sacrosanct and colourless. Be that as it may, as one of the prominent players in the Otoge movement, I have chosen to rather than do a sectoral dissection of the gains or lack of it in the last 2 years, take solace in IFA corpus.

In that light, I’ll be airing my view about the last 2 years with Odu IFA Ogunda ogbe (Ogundabede), Obara meji and Ogbe Osa as an allegory to try make sense of prevailing realities.

These 3 Odus will be relied upon to advice the warring groups in the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Executive Governor of the State Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, the immediate past senate president Dr. Bukola Saraki and his political divide and above all, the supporters of the 3 and indeed the society at large.

According to IFA corpus, which the Yorubas see and espouses as a divine ordination and communication with the world by a supreme, unseen and vague being, just like the adherents of other religious sects.

ODU ogundabede tells us about betrayer, liars, dishonesty, deceit, covetousness etc, while 

Eriwo ya. Aya gbo. Aya to. Aya je

I I

I I

I I

I II

Ogunda on the right and Ogbe on the left is Ogunda Ogbe alias Ogundabede. It is the odu of thieves and liars. So the odu is saluted Olori ole! Chief of thieves!

The tortoise (Alabahun or Ijapa) is the animal character in Yoruba folklore that makes a living by deceiving, tricking and manipulating others. So, the odu is also that of Alabahun the trickster. The tortoise (Alabahun) is always going to have another one on you after the last time. 

So the tortoise before setting out to trick people and getting away with it, had offered ebo which is why you never hear a story in Yoruba folklore where Alabahun the tortoise was ever outsmarted by anyone.

Ase.

Ogundabede is a potent odu that reminds us that, when all the jive talking is done, there will be tangible consequences for dishonesty. In one instance of this verse, Orunmila was away when the Oba had a problem. Elegba was in the shrine when the palace officials arrived. He promised the king that he would go consult Ifa in Orunmila’s absence. 

When Elegba arrived at the palace and cast Ifa, it was Ogundabede that emerged. Elegba identified the problem exactly. But then, he decided to be tricky. He told the Oba that the sacrifice was a particular woman who braided hair in the king’s market. The guards wasted no time to go get her. At that exact moment, however, the hair braider remembered something she needed to complete the job she was working on. She asked the woman in the stall next to her to hold the hair for one minute, while she went to fetch the missing item. 

The guards arrived and immediately grabbed the woman who appeared to be braiding hair. They took her to the palace, tied up and ready to sacrifice. Just then, Orunmila returned. When Elegba heard the people greeting him, ABORU ABOYE, he hid himself in the palace shrine. And although he could not see what was happening, he giggling with glee. Why? You see, the woman who braids hair in the market is Orunmila’s mother. Orunmila looked at the woman and recognized her but was so confused. He asked, so it was Elegba who performed the divination and named the sacrifice? Yes, baba, they responded. Very well, said Orunmila, let us complete the sacrifice. 

Elegba listened as Orunmila chanted melodiously. Orunmila asked Ifa, shall we decapitate her? Shall we cut her in half? Or shall we just cut her hair? Elegba was confused because Orunmila’s voice never even quivered. How could he be so callous about sacrificing his own mother? When Orunmila repeated the question again, Elegba peeked around the corner to see what was going on. What he saw was enough to make a sane man instantly crazy! The woman to be sacrificed was not Orunmila’s mother at all. Instead, it was Elegba’s mother!!! When Orunmila repeated the question a third time, Shall we decapitate her? Shall we cut her in half? Or shall we just cut her hair? Elegba leaped from his hiding place and shouted, Just cut her hair! Just a bit of her hair! Just cut her hair.

This is so appropriate for our times. So many people are all about false witness on each other. The frauds and defending themselves and the truth is not heard, while truth sayers are labeled and blackmailed into silence or acceptance.

This ese Ifa of Ogunda Bede has always been my most favorite verse for it tells me of the absolute visionary position of Orunmila and more.

It speaks of the profoundness of being in the beginning of destiny of human kind and how this relationship defines who Orunmila is but more who we are as children of these great and magnanimous being. It speaks of spiritual cunning and cleaver movement to show the dexterity of the mind of Ifa; the voice of Olodumare.

It speaks of the history lessons that are still unfolding as we speak and think. It speaks of the great need for our community to demand excellence from its priest and more from themselves. It speaks of us understanding that we were as Orunmila was an Ancestral force and our Heaven is the womb of our great Mothers. 

Our theology should teach us and allow us to be able to meditate on the wisdom of our Elders of Orun and make substantive change in our thinking process and how to apply this knowledge to our lives. If each person reading these lines could but see the mystical and powerful paradigm shift that is taking place right now and how if we do not see past our immediate foibles and insecurities we will remain in obscurity for another 7 generations.

Obara meji  on the other hand talks about people of double personality, lack of confidence and uncertain situation and in most cases, behavior contrary to our  real habit or natural way of life, it is associated with people of dual personalities and artistry life. 

Odu Obara Meji speaks of two or dual personality traits which may not involves any act of subordination or dishonesty, unfaithfulness or stealing, or any other tricks behaviour.

Obara meji, may be suffering from personality disorder, that is, aggressive with family but good with strangers. He may be outspoken at home but discreet when seeing others for the first time or when meeting a new guy or paranoid when meeting new people.

The spirit of sexual immoralities and dishonesty is the power behind Ogundabede. The spirit of self dissatisfaction and worthlessness  are the spirit of Ogundabede .

Ogbeosa

Eriwo ya. Aya gbo. Aya to. Aya je.

Fila ododo o lalope Ege ni won fi fe Bi aaya ba n se ori biriya E je o maa se ori biriya Bi inaki ba n se ori biriya E je o maa se ori biriya e loBi obo ba n se ori gidigbogbo E je o maa se ori gidigbogbo Bi obo ba n dun kaakokaako E je o maa dun kaakokaako e lo A difa fun Orunmila Baba o pana amura run sususu bi isu Aye ko efe o Aye ko eya Edu pana ote runGbogbo awo to regbe, e wale

The red cap cannot be used for long It is just for conspicuous outfit If the ape is doing in its way Let him continue doing in its way If the gorilla is doing in its way Let him be doing it If the monkey is doing in its way Let it be like that If the monkey is screaming in its way It should be allowed to scream like that Ifa revelation to Orunmila When he will extinguish the fire of quarrel.The world does not profit over quarrel rift does not benefit the world. 

The liar dies and dies in a forest of fire. The wicked dies and dies on a sun-scorched savannah. But the righteous dies and dies peacefully, leaning back against a water jar decorated with jewels.

A world where there was no peace. A world where there was no harmony. They were advised to sacrifice. But only the righteous remained to practice sacrifice.

So speak the truth; do justice. Be kind and do not do evil. Truth travels on a narrow path. But the wicked wander on a wide road

Speak truth; do justice. Do justice and speak truth. For one who is righteous is supported by the Divine.

This Odu of Ogbe Osa is the epitome of deliberation concerning O’tito O’dodo, speak the facts and do good always, have good intentions for all.  

Ifa says in this rendering, nor can you harbor evil thoughts against others and you must pray for their change of mind as well as your own. You must pray for your enemies and mean it.

When in times like these we get directives that says from the above that one must pray for their enemies and mean it as well as pray for the changes of the mind of your enemies as well as your own; sometimes you think all hell naw!

However, if we’re ever going to change the world within ourselves and the world outside of ourselves, we have to change the narrative first within ourselves.

We hear all of the positive things about change and forgiveness.

Abdulrasheed Akogun is a media practitioner, he writes from Ilorin.

(Note, the transliterations were sourced and not independently done by the writer)

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