Truly, strange things abound. When elders say the world has many corners, it was not an exaggeration. Yes, the world is evil and the corners it has are shelters for spirits and humans. Life is a misery. Many persons have narrated several encounters they had with these spirits. Have you read tales of spirits who visit popular markets at nights or those who cause ghastly or fatal accidents? These spirits are either source of blessings or affliction. But for a 57-year-old who is a native of Otan-Ayegbaju located at Boluwaduro Local Government identified as Olayinka Ajiboye Olagunju, his said encounter with a ‘spirit’ was a source of affliction not blessing.
Lawal Sodiq Adewale reports;
WITHIN NIGERIA reporter left Osogbo, the capital of Osun state on Sunday evening and got to Ilesa roundabout around 5:30pm. This reporter took a bike from the roundabout to Alawada junction which is not far from Ijebu-Ijesa garage. Mr Olagunju’s house is situated at the adjacent of popular ‘nobility stores’ whose owner was reportedly abducted and killed by gunmen some years ago. There is a junction directly opposite a state-owned primary school better known as CAPPA. Mr Olagunju’s house is few metres away from the school.
Coincidentally, this reporter alighted from the bike and walked towards a shop filled with abandoned refridgerators of different sizes belonging to Mr Olagunju. WITHIN NIGERIA reporter trekked a bushy path and eventually sighted a ‘lone, sick and disturbed’ old man sitting quietly on a chair at the front of failing house built in a troubled environment. Looking at the degree of burns he suffered and clear signs of poverty everywhere, I was completely lost in thought as I looked at the malnourished father of five who was inarguably the breadwinner of his family at a particular time before he encountered the said spirit. Are you the journalist? He asked with a sad tone and I was revived by the question. Yes, I responded.
How I was afflicted with degrees of burns by an evil spirit known as ‘Omiran Esa-Odo’ – Mr Olagunju
Describing the day of the incident as his worst day in life, the 57-year-old native of Otan Ayegbaju disclosed that the incident happened along Esa-Odo to Ijebu-Ijesa road in Esa-Odo, an ancient village situated in Obokun Local Government, Osun state.
According to the father of five, the incident happened around 7:30pm on January 11, 2018 when he was returning the fridge back to its owner in Esa-Odo after he has repaired the fridge at his shop in Ilesa.
“I was on my personal motorcycle with my son while returning the fridge. When I got to Esa-Odo entrance not far from a hill popularly called ‘agric’, an evil spirit (Alujonu) came out from a short tree beside the road. The evil spirit who shares ‘same height with an electric pole’ in a flash walked to the middle of the road stopped us just like task officers of motorcycles’ union”.
“The evil spirit has same features with human. The spirit is extremely dark in complexion and tall. As I adjusted my position on bike and looked upward to tell him to go away so that I can continue my journey, the evil spirit commanded ‘fire’ and disappeared. Immediately, there was fire and it was burning from my feet to my ankles. I quickly called my son who was already asleep to wake up and get down from the motorcycle. In the course of running away from the fire, the motorcycle fell on me and fuel escaped from its tank and the burning escalated to my thighs”, he added.
When asked if people or vehicles were moving as at the time of incident, the father of five said there was no movement and the spirit came out of the tree like a human walking out of his house in an attempt to cross the road. He also stated that there was no shrine around the incident area when it happened three years ago.
What I learnt about the evil spirit ‘Omiran Esa-Odo’ – Olagunju
WITHIN NIGERIA reporter asked the 57-year-old man if he has made findings about the incident. The refridgerator repairman said he consulted an elderly person who is a native of Esa-Odo.
According to the 57-year-old man, the elderly told him that the evil spirit is known as Omiran Esa-Odo. They call him Omiran because the evil spirit is tall.
The elderly man also revealed that the evil spirit is not new to them. He further stated that the spirit is known for accidents and affliction on that particular road for years. Every effort to cast him out has proved abortive. When this reporter asked if evildoers can not send the spirit to attack people, he said he does not know.
Why I believed Omiran Esa-Odo was sent to attack me – Father of five
The father of five told WITHIN NIGERIA that he believed that the evil spirit was likely sent to attack him based on noticable developments that happened during the incident.
He explained that immediately he fell down and slightly pushed the motorcycle away, he used nearby leaves with thorns to pull himself away from the motorcycle.
“My son entered the bush to get leaves which he used to stop the fire by hitting the burning part of my body. To my surprise, immediately he stopped the burning fire on my body, the fire on the motorcycle also stopped”, he added.
The refridgerator repairman also disclosed that he has passed the same route several times even at odd hour but he has never recorded any accident or being attacked by an spirit.
The 57-year-old man said the evil spirit wanted to kill him because he was denied several times in the hospital. Several medical practitioners thought I had mental problem while others assumed that I just left psychiatric hospital but I was later taken care of by the doctors after a lot of explanations.
How I was rescued and taken to hospital after the attack – Olagunju
The father of five told WITHIN NIGERIA reporter that he groaned in pains for more than one hour until some armed policemen who were on patrol stopped their vehicle to engage us.
They thought we were robbers and wanted to attack us until they saw me crawling and groaning in pains. They wanted to take me to hospital but I insisted that they should take me home. I told them that I prefer to die in my house and they took me home, he said.
According to Mr. Olagunju, his neighbours took him to two different hospitals where he was rejected twice.
When I narrated how it happened to them, they recommended mental evaluation test for me. They thought I had an accident due to overspeeding and replaced it with the evil spirit tale. I was rejected at Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa before my neighbours took me to Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital, a rather sad man said.
Aftermath of the attack
Describing his pains as immeasurable, the 57-year-old man told WITHIN NIGERIA reporter that he still goes to OAUTH for medical treatment.
He acknowledged that he is improving eventhough the wounds have not healed but he can trek short distance now.
Explaining the financial consequence of the attack, the father of five narrated how difficult it is for the family to survive.
I have not been able to walk for three years now. I have five children who are still teenagers. I can not walk very well not to talk of work. I have been in helpless situation for years. I do not have the money to eat not to talk of buying prescribed drugs to aid my healing process. We are completely hopeless and we are in dire need of financial assistance, he added.
WITHIN NIGERIA reporter interviewed Mr Olagunju’s son who was with him during the said attack. The son confirmed every detail of the story and specifically mentioned that he was asleep when the said spirit appeared to his father. ‘His ankle striked me and I woke up after the fire has already consumed his ankle to feet’, he said.
A VISIT TO ESA-ODO
To confirm the story of Mr Olayinka Ajiboye Olagunju, this reporter left Ilesa for Ijebu-Ijesa where he boarded a commercial bus to Esa-Odo. The distance between Ijebu-Ijesa and Esa-Odo is not really far but potholes and craziness that come with Nigerian drivers frustrated the journey. Esa-Odo is a town of brownroofs and mud houses. Call it a scatterred settlement surrounded by thick forest, you are right. This reporter circumnavigated the village and spoke with some natives about the issue. Surprisingly, a lot of residents were shocked and claimed that they have not heard of it before while few natives confirmed Mr Olagunju’s story with a clause that there is indeed a spirit causing havoc in the town. An attempt to speak with one of the chiefs was futile because he was not in town. He told WITHIN NIGERIA reporter that he needs permission from the overall head of the town and asked us to come back the next day.
CONVERSATION WITH ONE OF THE HIGH CHIEFS IN ESA-ODO
In a telephone interview with WITHIN NIGERIA reporter, High Chief Owolabi Ayodele said through the assistance of holyspirit, he has an idea about the evil spirit called “Omiran Esa-Odo” but through flesh, nobody has ever seen the said spirit except Mr. Olagunju.
When asked if people who have seen it in the past died, High Chief Ayodele said Mr Olagunju is still the first person who have seen the said spirit face to face and did not die because he has Jesus Christ.
According to high chief Ayodele, the said spirit lives and attacks people at the same spot Mr Olagunju was attacked.
‘The said spirit has destroyed several cars in that spot but we never knew he’s responsible for it. Not all victims suffer burns, some people died in the accidents. People who quickly abandon their vehicles and run away from the accident scene suffer burns, he added.
High Chief Ayodele narrated how one of the prominent sons of the land who was then an ambassador suffered same fate at the spot.
“He came from Lagos to Esa-Odo. He assumed that the vehicle (Ijapa) was overused when flames started oozing out from the bonnet. Although he did not see the spirit but abandoned the car and fled the scene. Mr Olagunju would not have seen the said spirit too if he does not have the spirit of God. Victims of Omiran Esa-Odo’s evil plots do not see him”, Chief Ayodele said.
Speaking further on the matter, Chief Ayodele said they have been tackling the said spirit through prayers and intercessions.
I am one of Esa-Odo intercessors. We pray for the upliftment of the village and progress of natives and residents too. We pray once in a month. We have seen vision of the said spirit entering residential houses but we can not pin it anywhere because it is a spirit. Infact, there is possibility that Kabiesi have not seen it but the said spirit is in charge of evil actions in the land. We have not gone to bed over the matter, he said.
Chief Ayodele said he believes Mr Olagunju’s story and trusts him too.
‘I have been his customer for years. He is truthful to persons and God. Mere looking at him, you would see that he is someone that fears God. I believe his story 100%’, he added.
When asked if he knows about other people besides Mr Olagunju who have had an encounter with the said spirit, Chief Ayodele said the chairman of Esa-Odo Intercessor have had an encounter with the said spirit.
The chairman was in a trance and he noticed that the said spirit wants to enter his house and forcefully closed door at him which prevented him from entering the house. He was the first person to tell us about the said spirit before Mr Olagunju’s incident, he added.
When asked if Omiran Esa-Odo is a diety or just wandering spirit who is probably angry that the people of Esa-Odo do not worship him again, Chief Ayodele said Omiran Esa-Odo is just a spirit not a diety and there was never a time the people worshipped him. He is just a wandering spirit not a diety.
When asked if the said spirit is in charge of some people who uses it to attack perceived enemies, Chief Ayodele said it is likely possible. Eventhough the said spirit lives at that spot, we could not do anything because we do not know where he lives in particular.
Confirming Mr Olagunju’s story, Chief Ayodele said truly they normally cut trees under the cables to avoid disconnection of light but spirits can live anywhere. We will be happy if he leaves the town after cutting the trees.
When asked if there was a repetition of such incident after Mr Olagunju’s one, Chief Ayodele said they have not recorded any but the last incident that occured before Mr Olagunju’s one was 15 years ago.
WITHIN NIGERIA reporter advised Chief Ayodele that the town should appease the said spirit and make provisions for his desires but he argued that making provisions for such gives room for evil to thrive. Being a christain who believed in the crucifixation and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we should condemn such move, he added.
When asked if Mr Olagunju informed the leaders of Esa-Odo about his predicament, Chief Ayodele said he told him and he took the matter to the intercessors who in turn prayed for him and I believe he is recovering.
We did not take him to the village because we believe there is no spirit causing havoc or wreck in a particular town that has no custodian or controller. We believe that if we bring him to the village and these supposed controllers see him, he will experience another worse attack. This matter can only be handled through prayers by intercessors and we are praying already, he added.
Dismissing claims that the spirit was sent by some natives who are fridge repairmen to attack Mr Olagunju, Chief Owolabi Ayodele said the last fridge repairman who is a native of the town died in Lagos 15 years.
The town is small. The population is not large. Few people use fridge and we even receive him with open arms whenever he comes to Esa-Odo twice in a year. I doubt if there is an association of fridge repairmen in this town. We will continue to pray for Mr Olagunju and seek for God’s protection against the evil spirit, “Omiran Esa-Odo”, he concluded.
Truly, the world has many corners. Let us not move carelessly. Let us watch and pray. This world is indeed a mystery.
Lawal Sodiq Adewale is an editor and investigative journalist at WITHIN NIGERIA NEWSPAPER