I belong to a cult group and consulting native doctors is part of what we do to remain in power.
Because, power, you see, is the ultimate when you are in a cult group. You need power so that the people in the other groups will fear you. Once you have it they will not mess with you, they will respect you.
When we were going to join a cult group, there were some initiation rites that we had to do. I can’t begin to tell you everything because as you know, every cult has its own initiation rites and these are not things we tell people on the outside, like you now, a woman, you cannot know how we do our things, it’s impossible.
Yes, we do blood initiation but it is not that we drink human blood, like they say on television, that one is for the big boys. I think o, ehen because even us, we don’t know for sure, we are just guessing, that is why it is called ‘initiation’, you can only know if you belong, if you don’t, you can only guess and when you belong, you don’t tell.
For us awon boys, we cut ourselves, taste each other’s blood and pledge to stand by one another, there are other things involved but I just told you that to let you know that when you are initiated, you are bound by blood, you don’t talk. Awo ni, it’s a secret, you don’t expose.
When you belong to our ‘brotherhood’, we protect you, you have our logo, our sign, that people will use to identify you. I won’t tell you too much about that one but it is there. When you go out for operation, we are there to shield you. So being a part of the cult group has benefits, you will not suffer, you will not be hungry, you have a band of brothers who are there for you.
So how did the baba get beheaded?
I don’t know who did the job but I know the baba deserved it. He was a liar. Can you imagine an old man, lying to us, an man old enough to be our father. He was the herbalist we always used before we went for operations.
Some of us believe in the traditions of our fathers, we believe in using ‘aajo’ to help ourselves so that during operations, we are successful, that is why we employed Baba Iboode to help us with protection.
To have a successful operation is not only to escape police wahala. It also means to operate without anybody dying from gunshot, to operate and do clean job.
Nobody wants to die during any operation, that was why we employed Baba to give us protection. And you know, our operations are many, sometimes we raid people in their homes, on the road, especially during heavy traffic. We do business everywhere and where we do business, other cult groups must not go there!
I won’t lie to you, I don’t really know who beheaded Baba Iboode because me, I was caught three months ago in a gun battle with police when we went to raid one street in Mushin. That Baba was a liar! Despite all the night rituals, the incisions on our bodies, we call it gbere, the charms he gave us, police still came and we were caught!
The first time, two of our members died when police raided the road as they were operating in traffic; police came and scattered us, chased us and shot some of us; even some of our people on okada that were carrying stolen items to our hideout, Police chased them and caught them! Two of my guys died in that raid.
The second one was the one they caught me; see bullet wound on my leg. Baba had promised us that we will not be caught. Look at me in leg cuffs. Is that one charm? And this Baba, we always gave to him from what we got during operations, we shared with him but I think maybe he was secretly working with police because his charms were not working. Haba we had been caught twice! The others have laid low, because I still get information from my guys outside.
When I heard that Baba had been beheaded, I knew it would be the hand work of our members. I don’t know who did it exactly, so don’t get me in trouble but several of our people are already here in prison. Some of us are still on the run but the others are ‘piping low.’ And there are plenty others that so many people don’t even know belong to the cult.
You asked me about one yeye baba, I say he deserved to be beheaded and may he die a thousand deaths in hell!
(series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)