Covid-19: Don’t Ignore Traditional, Spiritual Solutions To Curtail Spread, Traditionalists Tell Buhari, Governors

Secretary General of Traditional Religion Worshippers’ Association of Oyo State (TRWASSO), Chief Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode (PhD)

As governments, groups, professionals, agencies and experts continue to search for remedies to curtail the spread of the deadly Coronavirus also known as Covid-19, traditional religious adherents have urged governments at all levels to consider the use of traditional and spiritual remedies in the containment of the deadly disease.

The traditionalists urged President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors, not to ignore traditional and spiritual solutions in the battle against the killer disease.

Secretary General of Traditional Religion Worshippers’ Association of Oyo State (TRWASSO), Chief Fayemi Fatunde Fakayode (PhD), in a statement made available to Journalists on Monday, said that the use of modern medicine should not been seen as the only solution to the deadly Coronavirus.

Fayemi who issued the statement on behalf of traditional religious adherents in the state, maintained that the same approach by our forefathers can be employed to tackle the disease while the spiritual solutions should not be ignored and should instead be handled by the community spiritual leaders.

Fayemi who is the Founder of Ijo Imole Olodumare, Alade Town in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital noted that to rescue the world from the crisis of Coronavirus, it behoves everybody with the knowledge of the remedies to come forward.

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He added that this is the main reason, traditionalists in the state are coming out to contribute their own quota in the containment of the deadly Coronavirus in the country.

As parts of measures to curtail the spread of Coronavirus from the traditional perspective, Fayemi recommended that “people should squeeze ẹ̀fọ́ yánrin (wild lettuce) and ẹ̀fọ́ ewúro (bitter leaves) in palm wine and employ responsibly moderate consumption of it. It can also be rubbed on the body as sanitizer. Also, daily consumption of gúgúrú (Popcorn) is recommended”.

Fayemi who suggested that palm wine consumption is very advantageous in this period, added that some items of great symbolic connotations like Akòko leaves and Tàǹgíìrì pod can be put at the entrance and inside the house respectively to repel the Ajogun, noting that the kind of food that Yoruba spirituality advise in this period of time is corn related.

“To rescue the world from this crisis of Corona Virus, it behoves everybody with the knowledge of the remedies to come forward. Nowadays, the same approach by our forefathers can be employed. While the spiritual solutions should not be ignored and should instead be handled by the community spiritual leaders, It is here recommended that for prevention and cure of corona virus, people should squeeze ẹ̀fọ́ yánrin (wild lettuce) and ẹ̀fọ́ ewúro (bitter leaves) in palm wine and employ responsibly moderate consumption of it. It can also be rubbed on the body as sanitizer. Also, daily consumption of gúgúrú (Popcorn) is recommended.

“Another approach from Yoruba tradition is to squeeze ẹ̀fọ́ yánrin (wild lettuce) and ẹ̀fọ́ ewúro (bitter leaves) inside palm wine and use it to rub the body as well as drinking part of it. Nowadays, some people substitute alcohol (gin and spirit) for palm wine. Palm wine consumption is very advantageous in this period. In Yoruba land, during this time of epidemic, our ancestors drank palm wine and placed a bowl of palm wine in front of the house. Who knows? Maybe the virus causing the epidemic is more attractive to palm wine and will get trapped in the bowl of palm tree juice.

“Some items of great symbolic connotations like akòko leaves and Tàǹgíìrì pod can be put at the entrance and inside the house respectively to repel the ajogun. The kind of food that Yoruba Spirituality advise in this period of time is corn related. It can be boiled corn called ègbo or popcorn called gúgúrú. Back to the weapon at work now, though nobody for now could emphatically tell the components, the implications could make one conclude that each race has way of doing things with materials in line with her culture and environment.

“It is pertinent to note that in those days, there were also antidotes for this kind of ajogun called virus either it is natural or a biological weapon. The antidotes were used for both preventive and curative measures then. Oral history has it that the antidotes were always effective. The antidotes might be in form of incision, sanitizer or soap to bath, shea butter to rub the body, water to drink or powder to lick which can be likened to the modern day injection, soap, cream, syrup or capsules/tablets respectively.

“At times, in Yoruba Spirituality, repelling this kind of Ajogun would involve rituals like divinations, sacrifices and appeasement of the natural forces and Divinities like Ọbalúayé/Sànpọ̀nná, Èṣù and Òrò. Sànpọ̀nná is believed to have control over all unseen ajogun and as a result prevent or rid off any kind of epidemic. Èṣù is capable of defending every boundary against any ajogun that might want to spread from another territory.

“Hence, the work of Èṣù is to restrict such virus to the very geographical location it started till it gets annihilated. Ritual of Orò could be employed because, it is believed that the voice of Orò is capable of repelling evil forces like this unseen ajogun. The efficacy of the application of Orò voice could be felt when one sees every obstacles moving away just because of the voice of siren. Unfortunately, in Yoruba land today, some Muslims and Christians want Orò rituals eradicated for allegation of “gender bias”.

“A virus is described as an infective agent that is too small to be seen. By implication, it means that the agent is invisible to the naked human eye. Though the invisibility persists, the virus could be seen only by high resolution electron microscope. This virus could be said to be one of the ajogun mentioned in Yoruba Spirituality. The ajogun are said to be unseen but Ifá, the Scripture, is silent about the size. Therefore, no assurance that it is too small to be seen, though Elénìní as one of the ajogun is said to be smaller to the Divinities but could destroy them excluding Ọ̀rúnmìlà. However, the Yoruba Spirituality claims that though, the ajogun cannot be seen with naked human eye, people with spiritual or inner eyes can sight the ajogun clearly. The inner eyes could be likened to the high resolution electron microscope.

“If Corona Virus is a natural infective agent, we can liken it to the “ajogun” that come from celestial world to the terrestrial space for a purpose either favorable or unfavorable to the human race. That means, it is not too strange to the Yoruba people who are versed in their Spirituality.  And the solution might be the usual approach employed by the ancestors. If Corona Virus is a biological weapon invented as an instrument of war by a World power as alleged by people, I think such knowledge is not limited to a single land.

“In Yoruba land, our fathers had/have similar weapons. For instance, I remember there is something like “Òogun ti a fi n fi Igbona ba Ota ja” (preparation to fight enemies with epidemic). For this, the composition may be certain number of grains of corn with some herbs to be kept in the blood of a male deer for certain number of days.

“To use this against the opposing community might be secretly pouring it down in that community.  Unfortunately, many people who were in custody of the scientific knowledge died without passing it down because of abuse and even where they wanted to pass down the information, the generation who were supposed to receive it have developed hatred against any kind of Yoruba science and technology. That is because, people have been made to see anything rooted in Ifá/Òrìṣà science and technology as nothing but evil. The few people who have this knowledge today either got incomplete information from the gone fathers or are unable to get the materials which have gone into extinction for lack of preservation. Producing such technology in Yoruba land is nearly in total extinction let alone improving on it to compete with modern science and technology”.

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