IF WITCHES WERE HORSES … Episode 43&44 – Kolade Segun Okeowo

IF WITCHES WERE HORSES – Episode 43

By the time the team got outside of the palace, the crowd of children outside the palace had increased. More children had arrived as word went round that Pastor had returned with plenty of gifts for children. The team had no choice than to distribute some cartons of biscuits, sweets and candies to satisfy the urge of the children with prying eyes. A few adults who had joined the crowd were also given gifts ranging from loaves of bread to different beverages and can drinks.

As the buses moved away from the palace towards the Mission House, the children dispersed into the village bearing the news of Pastor Morakinyo’s arrival. Just as the bus moved into the compound of the parsonage, Natas and Vampiress, two daughters of the River walked across and sat under a tree opposite, to monitor the activities of the new team.

After settling down at the parsonage, the team began with a long prayer session that lasted till around 4pm in the afternoon. Thereafter, they broke fast and ate together as one big happy family. The lunch meant for breaking of the fast had been prepared from Ibadan. While Pastor Joju Dairo, his wife, Morakinyo and Barrister Olaoye ate in the living room, the other brethren shared themselves into the guest room and the passage. Notwithstanding the stress of the journey and the long prayer session, no one showed signs of fatigue but all concentrated on the excitement of the work ahead over the weekend.

The house of Odewole was the first port of call after the lunch. The choice of visiting him and his wife first was not debated at all amongst the leaders of the team. After Morakinyo had explained the roles of Eebudola in the growth of the church and the circumstances that led to her sudden withdrawal from the church, especially following his claim of seeing Oyinkan transform at the riverside; everyone concluded she must be visited first. However, a debate ensued on the issue of what to tell her and husband concerning Oyinkan.

“We have a difficult task in our hands Sirs” Barrister Wole Olaoye started. “If we tell the couple everything that happened, we run the risk of polluting the minds of everyone in this town about the mission…With their immature minds, they cannot fathom how such a thing would happen and it might be difficult for them to ever believe their pastor or any other woman from us again…” Olaoye submitted.

“I agree with you Barrister, but we also must consider the fact that Odewole must have told his wife what he claimed he saw about that woman. Trying to hide from them the reality of what he saw might be counter-productive…I think it’s better I come out and let him know that what he saw is true…or what do you think Pastor Joju” Morakinyo said.

Pastor Joju Dairo smiled and sighed. He shifted closer to the duo of Barrister Olaoye and Morakinyo.

“Brethren, sincerely speaking, this is a matter only the Holy Spirit himself can sort out. Whether we own up or not, we stand the risk of losing this man and his entirely family. To worsen the matter, she is a major influence in the town. If we own up, we have simply opened a door for the devil to play on their minds using our worst weakness. If we deny the obvious, we get them more infuriated and appear to them as liars. Let’s ask that The Lord Himself will take charge and speak to them in the language they best understand. We do not have the right words for this couple…We don’t!” Pastor Joju Dairo said.

Eebudola and her husband, Odewole were at home when the Church bus arrived. They sat on a bench outside the house enjoying the breeze. As soon as Odewole saw Morakinyo step down from the bus, he hissed heavily and turned away. Eebudola, not sure of what to do simply sat on the bench looking askance as if she did not see the visitors.

“Good afternoon Sir, Good afternoon Ma” Morakinyo greeted the couple. Eebudola managed to respond as her husband turned further away from them. Mrs. Shade Dairo began to speak in tongues. Only the leaders came to see the couple. Other members of the team had gone to the church to tidy it up since it has been over a week since any service took place there.

“Welcome Sirs, Welcome Ma” Eebudola responded. She recalled the last visit of the church team and the several gifts they gave her and the family. Although she was not looking forward to another set of gifts, she felt it was good to appreciate their previous large heartedness.

“Pastor, please have your seat” She said as she provided a bench for the visitors. “What of Mummy Pastor… I hope she has been found? We heard she was missing sometimes ago” Eebudola asked as they sat on the bench provided. Morakinyo smiled and sighed. He was not expecting the question that early, so it caught him off balance, but he quickly composed himself and answered the woman.

“Oh thank you so much Iya Derombi…actually, she was not missing. She only needed to travel urgently and could not wait to inform me. Unfortunately, she was involved in an accident… and later went to be with The Lord”

“Haaa!!!” Eeebudola almost screamed. Odewole turned to the guests for the first time when he heard the news of the woman’s passage. He looked at Morakinyo and shook his head pitiably.

“Sorry O… Pastor. May God forgive her sins and accept her O!!!” Odewole said as he drew nearer. The news about the death of Oyinkan was to him a pleasant one. For him, he had no qualms with Morakinyo but his wife. Before the coming of Oyinkan, he was already giving the thoughts of joining the church a space in his heart until the incident at River Ahobiose, which exposed Hagatha to his esoteric-induced eyes.

It was after the incident that he banned his wife and only surviving son from attending the church. With the demise of the woman, Odewole was already entertaining thoughts of permitting Eebudola’s return to the church.

“Pastor, has she been buried?” Odewole asked.

Surprised at the question, Morakinyo paused and asked “You mean my wife?” He wondered why Odewole wanted to know if Oyinkan had been buried.

‘Was there something deeper that went on between them while she was here?’ Morakinyo had started thinking wild about possible reasons Odewole wants to know if she had been buried or not.

“Yes Pastor” Odewole’s response jolted Morakinyo out of his thoughts.

“Oh she had been buried almost immediately, you know she was young and there was no use keeping her body for long. We have buried her already…Thank you for your concern”

“Haa. Thank God Pastor. Thank you” Odewole said and sighed.

His warped thoughts had made some terrible calculations. With the scales he picked on the day he saw Hagatha transform at the river Ahobiose, he could become one of the most powerful hunters in the world! His grandfather who taught him all kinds of esoteric rituals had also educated him on the potency of holding such scales in ones left hand while touching the dead body of the marine agent from whom the scale had fallen.

If Oyinkan had not been buried, all he needed was to request for an opportunity to see her dead body and touch any part of her with his right hand while holding one of the scales in his left hand. Her body would have vibrated and transferred a strange and unusual power into him. The power would have enabled him to see and command any wild animal from over ten kilometers. The animal would on its own volition walk towards him and become hypnotized immediately, thus he can capture it alive!

“Pastor, God will stand with you in these trying times O” Eebudola managed to speak since. She already had some strings of tears in her eyes. Although, the death of the woman was also good some news to her, the humaneness and feminine compassion in her gave way to the tears. She remembered the strength and dillegence with which the woman worked with her husband while she was with him at Onigba-Iwofa. Eebudola had a tough time in believing Odewole’s report about Oyinkan until the night he was almost killed mysteriously by beings attired like the Pastor’s wife he saw at River Ahobiose.

“God bless you Baba Odewole…Mama Deromnbi, I greet you also…” Barrister Olaoye took over. “I bring greetings from the Senior Pastor and his wife. We were together here last week. He sends his regards and asked us to pray for your entire family on his behalf. He also asked that we thank you most sincerely on behalf of Pastor Morakinyo who has not stopped making reference to the support you gave him while you were with us in the church”

Barrister Olaoye paused and watched the reactions of the couple. While Eebudola appeared happy and interested, Odewole was simply blank. His face was not only expressionless; he also appeared to be disinterested still. Barrister Olaoye continued notwithstanding.

“By the grace of God, Pastor Morakinyo will be away from Onigba-Iwofa for the next six months. Part of the reasons is to allow him attend Pastors school in order to increase his education and knowledge in the work of God”

Again, Odewole appeared interested again; his countenance changed and looked at Olaoye expectantly for more information. Deep in his heart, Odewole wanted to know more about Jesus. Right from the night when the marine agents attacked him and his wife shouted the name of Jesus, he had secretly longed to have more information about Jesus. He knew the implication of that night’s incident. If not for his wife who came in at the right time and shouted the name of Jesus, he would have died. He had heard stories of powerful occult men who had been killed in their sleep by counter forces such as the marine spirit agents. So, he knew his wife rescued him from a most brutal death that night.

However, each time he remembered the case of the Pastor’s wife, he got confused the more and wondered how the woman could be involved in the marine occult world and still be married to a powerful Pastor like Morakinyo. Now, Oyinkan is dead and her husband is being transferred from Onigba-Iwofa. His face lightened.

Barrister Olaoye went on to introduce Pastor Joju Dairo and his wife to Odewole and his wife. He explained the tenure of their stay and other necessary information. Gifts, including ankara textiles and foodstuffs among other things were given to the Odewole family again.

Before leaving, Eebudola and her husband promised to return to the church. Eebudola advised that visitation be made to some other former members of the church. She volunteered to join in leading the team to the houses of such people if it could wait till the following day. The leaders thanked them profusely and agreed to postpone the visitation to allow Eebudola an opportunity to join. The leaders returned to the church where the other brethren were waiting after cleaning the inside and premises of the building.

That night the Special Marine Agents under the Katangua River region held its first meeting since the death of Princess Hagatha, The Queen of the Coast had been so devastated that she could not call a meeting of her agents. Never in the history of her region had a thing like that happened before: A Princess of the marine Kingdom operating on level 999 marching into the gates of Heaven, escorted by the likes of Mercyone, Favourone and Graceone.

The Queen of the Coast had watched with horror the scene at the hospital as the angels led Hagatha out of the physical realm. She screamed and went haywire as she and a few of her aides watched. She scattered the palace and angrily got her sword carefully kept in a scabbard behind her throne chair. In that rage of anger, she literally flew through the palace and severed the heads of four of the male agents and two female agents. Blood gushed around the palace as the agents lay in a pool of their own blood, writhing in pains as they passed out one after the other. No one dared say a word.

Manchuria, her personal aide stood still and refused to look towards the dead bodies on the floor. She feared her emotions may betray her, so she gazed towards the seabed as if watching out for any intrusion against her boss. In the few weeks she took over as the personal aide to the Queen, she had seen several deaths in the palace and all generated from the crisis following the defection of Princess Hagatha.

The Queen of the Coast was immediately summoned to a meeting of the Grand Council of Spiritual Wickedness in High Places chaired by Lucifer himself. The meeting was conveyed in emergency to review the operations of The Queen of the Coast operating in the Kantagua Region. The attention of Lucifer was drawn to the region following the death of Hagatha and her glorious departure to Heaven.

Defection of agents to the camp of the Son of the Owner although unsettles Lucifer, it hardly moves him as much as an agent stepping into the precincts of Heaven. For Lucifer, any of his agents who defects to the side of the Lord Jesus can always be enticed back over the days, weeks, months, years or even decades. Patiently, he waits for such agents to backslide and strike almost immediately after. The mission is to deny such defected agents the slightest opportunity of getting into Heaven.

The case of Hagatha was well reported in the Kingdom of Darkness and became a reference point. A defected agent marched into Heaven!!! It was a bitter pill for Lucifer and a deep hurt! Such event hardly occurs, but when it does, fire bellows from his entire body smoldering any of his officers within 1000 metres’ radius around him. The roars of anger that followed on those occasions engulfs the whole of hell and causing the fire and sufferings of dwellers to increase over a thousand times.

When the meeting started, the Queen of the Coast was on her knees. She had been tied up like an animal and placed in the center of the meeting hall awaiting the arrival of Lucifer. Fear was written on the faces of all the Grand Masters who attended the meeting. The anger of Lucifer was unpredictable. He could arrive the meeting and order every one of them demoted because of what had happened at the Katangua region. He could also order everyone killed by any painful means he chooses, yet no one dared to be absent from such a meeting.

As he approached the meeting from about a thousand metres ahead with his large retinue of commandeers and aides, the whole of the Grand Council rose and started a loud hailing of their master; Lucifer.

“Hail The Lord Lucifer…!!! Hail The Lord Lucifer…!!! Hail The Lord Lucifer…!!!”

They continued the chanting as he proceeded into the meeting hall. The whole of his body had different musical instruments producing an uncoordinated cacophony of sound as he moved on. Human blood was freely thrown at his feet as he marched confidently into the arena. Each time the Grand Council of Spiritual Wickedness meets, fresh human blood was used as fuel. As the meeting progresses, accidents, murders, genocides and other bloodletting vices are perpetrated all over the world to ensure a consistent and constant flow of blood for the meeting. As a rule, the flow of fresh bold must not cease.

At such times, only the elects are exempted!

Until he finally sat on his throne made of human skulls, the chanting of “Hail The Lord Lucifer…!” continued. He stood from the throne suddenly and marched forcefully towards The Queen of the Coast and stared menacingly at her. Silence reigned everywhere. Everyone expected the worst.

Where she knelt, The Queen of the Coast shivered with great trepidation. She looked up behind her and saw the lineup of undertaker demons who were waiting to dispose of her the moment Lucifer gave the command. Disposing off the carcass of such offenders was no big deal to the undertaker demons. At every meeting of the Grand Council of Spiritual Wickedness in High Places, hundreds of corpses of erring agents and leaders are disposed.

From his throne, Lucifer released a loud and angry roar. As he roared, a mighty fire erupted from his mouth consuming a complete line up of guards across the meeting arena. They died instantly. No one dared move again…The height of his anger usually comes with the flames of fire that consumes whenever he starts the meeting. Everybody knew some deaths will occur, but no one knows the angle or direction Lucifer will choose to kill from.

“Your last chance is given!!!” He roared, looking menacingly at the direction of the poor Queen of the Coast who kept glued to the floor shaking like a leaf carried by torrents of a fast moving river.

“All eyes on your territory!!! No more excuses!!!… I will take no more excuses” Lucifer roared again!

Within seconds, he had disappeared from the meeting venue…He had given his judgment and moved on for another to and fro assignment. He hardly stays long during meetings. He attends hundreds of meetings in a day, giving his aides an impression of omnipresence just as the Owner.

From the floor where she stayed glued, the Queen of the Coast lifted her body gradually and tried to listen for further instructions from Lucifer, but he was gone. She rose from the arena of the meeting determined to become more ferocious and mean in her assignments. She knew the last chance means the last chance with Lucifer, so she must produce results.

Therefore, when she addressed her aides at the Palace of the Katangua sea region, she meant every word she spoke!!!

“The Onigba-Iwofa mission must be renewed with vigour and determination!!!”

IF WITCHES WERE HORSES – EPISODE 44

Within seconds, he had disappeared from the meeting venue…He had given his judgment and moved on for another to and fro assignment. He hardly stays long during meetings. He attends hundreds of meetings in a day, giving his aides an impression of omnipresence just as the Owner.

From the floor where she stayed glued, the Queen of the Coast lifted her body gradually and tried to listen for further instructions from Lucifer, but he was gone. She rose from the arena of the meeting determined to become more ferocious and mean in her assignments. She knew the last chance means the last chance with Lucifer, so she must produce results.

Therefore, when she addressed her aides at the Palace of the Katangua sea region, she meant every word she spoke!!!

“The Onigba-Iwofa mission must be renewed with vigour and determination!!!”

The service at the Onigba-Iwofa church on Sunday took a new dimension. The confirmed news about the death of the Pastor’s wife had spread like a wildfire. From all the nooks and crannies of the town came former members of the church who had abandoned the church for one reason or the other.

“Let’s go today at least in the honour of the dead!!!” Ilelomia told Mojoyin, her friend. “That woman was very nice to all the women in this town…A very generous woman she was…”

“Very generous indeed…. only that…” Mojoyin chuckled as she said the last words.

“Only that what…?” Ilelomia enquired from her friend.

“Walls have ears, come closer” Mojoyin quickly drew Ilelomia closer without waiting for her consent “I heard the woman was a water witch before she died”

Ilelomia jumped away from her. “Heeeeh…!!! Mojoyin the wife of Badipe ooooo!!! Now I am convinced that you have traces of uncured madness in your generations!!! How can the wife of a pastor be a witch!!!”

“See who is talking… the other day, were you not the one who heard some strange nonsense from ‘one of the friends of the one of the wives of one of the men loyal to the late Chief Priest’”

The two friends burst in to laughter and rolled on each other as they began making preparations to attend the service.

Bambino, wife of Gunwaola, led a delegation of the women from Awofolaju to the service. The news had streamed to them late on Saturday evening that the pastor’s wife was confirmed dead. The women numbering about seventeen wept as they filed into the church that morning extolling the kind virtues of Oyinkan and her ability to mingle easily with them. Morakinyo welcomed them and consoled them assuring them that she had gone to Heaven to be with the Lord.

Pastor Joju Dairo was introduced to the whole church before he preached a powerful sermon titled: Resurrection of the Saints. He assured the congregation that they will meet Oyinkan, their pastor’s wife again if they are able to make it to Heaven where there will be no more death.

He thereafter made an altar call and virtually everyone in the congregation stepped out to give their lives to Jesus. Morakinyo smiled pleasantly as he slightly opened his eye and saw Eebudola and Odewole amongst the new converts. He breathed a sigh of relief and prayed silently for Pastor Joju Dairo.

“Lord Jesus, please help him to succeed where I failed…” He prayed silently. Stream of tears were already running down his cheeks as he watched Pastor Joju Dairo pray for the new converts.

Suddenly, a loud noise erupted from the back of the church. Morakinyo was jolted from his prayer mood and tried to see what was going on from the back of the congregation. From the altar, he could see clearly. Labudanu, the notorious mad man in Onigba-Iwofa was stepping into the church, appearing remorseful and seemingly conscious of his environment. He stared strangely at the congregants and checked himself pitiably as he continuously marched to the altar.

Pastor Joju Dairo was already speaking in tongues calmly. Morakinyo stood and began to pace around the altar. Labudanu kept marching towards the altar with a solemn piety. He stood still as he got to the front of the altar and began to weep. He knelt and continued to weep.

A thunderous shout of hallelujah greeted his latest action, drawing the attention of the neighbourhood. Within minutes, the church had become filled up completely. Others, especially young ones climbed the windows and perched to catch a glimpse of the spectacle! Labudanu, the most notorious mad man in Onigba-Iwofa has been healed.

Pastor Joju Dairo beckoned to Morakinyo and Barrister Olaoye to join him in praying for Labudanu. As they prayed for him, Labudanu kept weeping like a baby. From where he sat, Oba Folagbade also had started shedding some tears. Labudanu was his first cousin.

According to grapevine sources, Labudanu was a young Major in the Nigerian army when he suddenly became mad. He was a veteran of the 1967 Civil War, an officer of The Third Marine Commando headed by the then Lt. Colonel Olusegun Obasanjo, who later became the Nigerian Head of State. He had been posted to the Army Paymaster Office in Lagos due to the wounds he sustained during the civil war at Obodonta near Owerri.

The wound left him limping on his left leg. While at the Paymaster Office, he was said to have discovered a massive fraud of funds running into hundreds of thousands of naira meant for the pension and resettlement scheme for The Civil War veterans. He threatened to blow the whistle.

He actually made attempts to report the perpetrators. However, one day, he was said to have started firing imaginary guns at the air right in the barracks of The Ikeja Cantonment, his official residence. At first, his colleagues thought he was making mockery of the Biafrans, but when he continued to ‘shoot’ at every human being entering the cantonment; he was bundled into a car and taken the military hospital at Oshodi.

After spending several months in the hospital without getting any better, his family was advised to take him back home. All efforts to cure him had proved abortive. After spending his entire gratuity and other entitlements from the military on the mental ailment, his family gave up all hopes on him. He had since remained in that condition at Onigba-Iwofa, shooting imaginary enemies and hunting rats around houses.

The Queen gave Folagbade a soft jerk to remind him he is in the public. She leaned close to him and said “Kabiyesi, please comport yourself”

Oba Folagabde quickly drew an handkerchief out of his robe and cleared his face. Just then, Morakinyo and Barrister Olaoye led Labudanu out of the church towards the church bus. Taking him out from the church was a herculean task as everyone wanted to catch a close glimpse of the renewed Labudanu.

Outside the church, more spectators had gathered to confirm the news of the miracle. As Labudanu was being taken to the bus, shouts of ‘Hallelujah’ rented the air. Inside the church, songs of praise continued as the people danced and rejoiced the more for the great things their eyes had seen.

Within thirty minutes, the team that went with Labudanu had returned from the Mission House. He had taken his bathe and his hair had quickly been shaven. He wore a cloth belonging to Morakinyo. A thunderous ovation welcomed the return of Labudanu to the church. Once Pastor Joju Dairo had announced to them that Labudanu will soon be back, they all insisted on waiting to see the brand new man who was a mad man some minutes ago.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Major Olabode Olabowale Rtd., a great son of the land whom the devil had put under bondage until a few moments ago” The voice of Morakinyo rang happily and loudly on the microphone.

Another round of dancing and praise worship ensued. Morakinyo used the opportunity of the joyful mood to announce that Pastor Joju Dairo and his wife will take over from him as the pastor of the church for the next six months. The wild jubilation that greeted the announcement was louder than before. Many remembered that it was while Pastor Joju Dairo ministered that Labudanu encountered the miracle. They quickly concluded that the new Pastor was a miracle worker!!!

Natas and Vampiress saw everything from afar. They could not come near the vicinity of the Church. Powerone and Greatone were standing at alert. They seem to have increased in stature and grown much more muscular than the last time the Daughters of the River had an encounter with them.

“Staying away from them is wise…The experiences of the last few weeks in the hands of these terrible creatures has left me stiff scared” Natas told Vampiress.

“Really, but why, with all the powers conferred upon us by the forces of Lucifer, we should not be scared of them” Vampiress said arrogantly. Natas simply stared at Vampires in a ‘you fool’ manner and burst in to a loud laughter.

“Vampiress, you are a new comer and learner here, so stay behind and watch before you leap. I have more than enough experience in this job to know where to go and where not to go in this territory” Natas explained.

“But the Queen of the Coast told us Lucifer said we can do and undo whenever we are sent on special assignments like this… Are you saying either of them lied?”

“You will soon learn…keep watching” Natas said and fastened her gaze on the events at the church, 200 metres away. Vampiress looked at Natas with hatred and vexation. She felt like pushing her over and taking over the leadership of the team from her. She stood there calculating and thinking of what to do.

The celebration in the church continued over the miraculous recovery of Major Olabode Olabowale, Rtd. aka Labudanu. For another one hour, the service continued with more people responding to the altar call and giving their lives to Jesus. Within minutes, crates of cold 7Up drinks and cartons of biscuits had been brought into the church on the order of the king, Oba Folagbade. Once the service was over, the serving of drinks and biscuits started, to celebrate the miraculous healing of major Olabode.

“When I said we should come here at least in the honour of the dead, did you not say I had a smelly mouth!!!” Ilelomia told Mojoyin, her friend sarcastically. “See how you would have made us miss this wonder…”

“Most especially, the cold bottle of 7Up and biscuits!!!” Mojoyin burst into deep hearty laughter “I know, that is what excited you most in all of what happened here today… You glutton!!!”

“Swear…swear it is not the same with you. When last did you have access to drink 7Up like this… tell me?” Ilelomia asked. The two stared at each other and burst into laughter again.

The testimony of Major Olabode went beyond Onigba-Iwofa very quickly. The women from Awofolaju who came with Bambino took the news back with them as they returned home. They stopped by on the villages along the route to announce the deliverance of Labudanu whose notoriety went beyond the boundaries of Onigba-Iwofa since he normally trekked to Awofalaju, Aponbiede and seven other villages around Onigba-Iwofa on his daily ‘routine parade’.

By the time the evangelical team arrived the Mission House with Major Olabode, another crowd had gathered in front of the house waiting for the ‘man of the moment’ Relations and immediate family of Major Olabode were part of the crowd who had waited in front of the Pastor’s house when they got wind of what had happened at the church. They were on their way to the church when they got information that the service was already over and the pastors were bringing Major Labode home, so they waited at the parsonage.

As soon as Major Labode stepped down from the bus in his new clothes and looking well and clean shaven, a loud noise rented the air. A woman from the crowd broke through the human wall and jumped at Major Labudanu. She began to cry most pathetically as she clung to Major Olabode on the neck.

“Who is she?” Morakinyo whispered to Eebudola who stood beside him. She had followed the bus from the church to the parsonage to assist in the welfare of Major Labode.

“Ah, Pastor, that is his wife… Ever since the misfortune befell her husband she had refused to abandon him. Many times, she cooks food and goes to give it to him wherever he is…She is a good woman” Eebudola told Morakinyo.

“I see” said Morakinyo looking at the woman with pity as she clung to her husband. She wept and continued to hug her husband as she burst into a local song using her deep Oyo ascent. Before long, the whole crowd joined her, turning the Mission House into another crusade and revival ground of some sort.

When the team set to leave Onigba-Iwofa on Sunday afternoon, another huge crowd gathered to bid them farewell. Prominent amongst them was Major Olabode and his wife who joined the throng of people to wish the team journey mercies back to Ibadan. Pastor Joju Dairo and his wife stayed behind to continue the work.

As the vehicles eased their way out of the parsonage, a loud noise of “Hallelujah” rented the air. Children and adults alike waved frantically at the buses. They had lined up along the road leading to the parsonage. Major Labode stood beside Pastor Joju Dairo and his wife, waving at the team as the buses carried them out of the Mission House and moved slowly towards the palace en-route Ibadan. Some children ran after the buses still shouting “Hallelujah” as they gathered speed. Soon, the children began to return one after the other towards the Mission House. It had become obvious they were on a wild goose chase.

Major Labode turned his gaze at Pastor Joju Dairo again and burst into tears. Pastor Joju Dairo quickly drew him closer and embraced him tightly. Mrs. Labode too was weeping freely. She recalled the day her husband was brought into Onigba-Iwofa by his colleagues in the army after he had been discharged from the Military Hospital in Oshodi, Lagos on the grounds that his case was beyond medical science.

The four officers, who brought him, led him from the military jeep into the house where his wife, mother and a few other family members were waiting to receive him. He smiled sheepishly at everyone including his aged mother who wept throughout. The military men left almost immediately after dropping a few drugs and a cheque for #16,287.50k, the total sum of his severance package from the military. As the men stepped out of the house, Major Olabode stood up and gave salutes to them. He did not stop the salutes until an hour after they had left.

The struggle to get him back started immediately. Fortunately, the cheque was written in the name of his wife. The Army Paymaster General had graciously waived all protocols in respect of the cheque and asked that it be written immediately in the name of his next of kin from army records.

The money was spent within three months on the health of Major Olabode.

The first to be consulted was Baba Jamolaya-bi-Eru who boasted he would heal Olabode in a matter of days. He requested for several sacrificial items including a cow. By the time the family concluded the sacrifices, more than nine thousand naira had been spent, yet his condition grew worse. Thereafter, Jamolaya requested that Olabode be moved into his compound for proper monitoring. Completely confused and unsure of what to do next, the family agreed and moved the young Major into Jamolaya’s house.

Unknown to the family, Jamolaya had merely turned Olabode into a slave of some sort, using him to pound his several medicinal concoctions while he remained under lock and chains. The situation came to an ugly climax when a maternal uncle insisted on seeing Olabode at Jamolaya’s enclosure within his compound.

The uncle, who came from Ibadan found Labode in the most despicable condition. He looked emaciated and lean. From all indications he was poorly fed, yet Jamolaya collected a monthly stipend of five hundred naira for his upkeep! Uncle Fadele got angry and removed Labode from Jamolaya’s house that same day to the bewilderment of Jamolaya!

Enraged, the old man cursed and threatened fire and brimstone. He pronounced that Labode will never be healed except upon his dead body!!! From then, Labode’s condition grew worse, he became uncontrollable and violent. From the long sheepish and blank smiles, he began shrieking loud laughters and completely awkward behaviours.

Two days after he was returned from Jamolaya’s enclave, he broke from the family house and never came back!!!

As Mrs. Labode recalled the past, she cried the more and increased the torrent of tears!!! She remembered that Jamolaya had said her husband will never be healed except at his death! About six months ago, Jamolaya passed on!!!