index contact us Guestbook News Sources Advertise with us Corruptcracy Hypnotherapy Send Articies Jokes Poems Religion
Benin kingdom Historical Sites Edo Heritage sites Edo_state_Recreational Parks Other tourist sites Tourist Advice Tourist Information Edo People Location Edo state weather Edo festival Edo Religion Were to stay What to eat Shopping Moving around Edo Medias Telecommunication
Edo Women
 

IKPOTÓA, ISUNFIA

Bookmark and Share

There were other and rather similar methods of achieving good riddance of-a man of ISUSU (troublesome man), a wizard, a man suspected of evil juju or medicine etc.

First IKPOTÓA means purification of the earth. It might be because of frequent death or alleged impending epidemic that an oracle was consulted the village square by the whole community. At this IKHUEBO, the native doctor decreed that the ground had been fouled and must be purified. In serious cases particularly at Eguare the purification needed anything from an animal to a human head. A man chosen for this, actually a slave had a chicken. and palm fronds tied to his waist, and a stout rope tied round his neck Starting from one end of the village he was dragged by means of the rope tied along the round, and fully alive, with much excitement and recitation or prayer all urging the departed spirits and any interested members of the world beyond to accept the sacrificed victims and remove their evil eyes from their village. By the time they got to the usual dumping grounds for sacrificed victims (IZOBO), the unfortunate man was dead, if he was lucky. In certain places such victims became the property of known bodies. For example in Ebelle all proceeds of Ikpotoa became property of the Onojie of even before that territorial unit became extinct

ISUNFIA : Which meant absolute banishment is not much different from  ANONLEN UBI KUA. In this case the angry people following do not go into the bother of sweeping, since the unfortunate man dragged on the ground automatically did all the necessary sweeping.
After trial and judgment at the square, sentence of ISUNFIA was passed on the accused, usually an evil-minded one. Ojomen (palm fronds) were tied round his waist; the head of a dog, a whole rabbit (the two signifying ISUSU - trouble or unrest) - a chicken, and a tortoise were tied to the fronds with all dragging along the ground. The Igene and Egbonughele came him drumming and jeering. As he was drummed out of the village in utter disgrace, his footprints were swept off by the Ojomen and junks which raised dust after him.

Long after the white man came into Esan land these more severe punitive measure were still practiced all over Esan. For example round about 1906, woman called Ojolo was strongly suspected of witchcraft at Ihunmidumum IIIeh. Ikhalo the renowned native doctor of the village, who was looking after the sick son of Eigbe, convinced the community that Ojolo was the cause of the child’s illness. Despite the fact that the child recovered, the unfortunate woman was publicly disgraced and drummed off the i11age. Even in the Whiteman’s era at the beginning of this century, no one, however daring, would risk returning to the village where his or her footprints had been swept off, since any other mishap ever, would be placed at his or her door.

These ’crimes’ with the punishment they invited were in the main figments of immigration mere allegations. A good number have disappeared with the advent of the Whiteman but many, still far too many, are still a scourge in the villages, causing hatred, disaffection, confusion and unhappiness. A man, who while he was gravely iii, said things he was not responsible for, was forever surrounded with the. Odium of adultery or witchcraft: a man, another had confessed as a wizard is looked upon as such for the rest of his life. Many times after such confession, the patient still dies but the family, the village etc. is left in disarray and hatred, brothers divided against themselves, husbands against wives! The way out, only a stringent application of the laws of libel and defamation of character can efface these wicked allegations iii our life time.

Before leaving this subject I will describe an incident that occurred on the 23rd of September, 1993. I had been away on an assignment as the Hon. Secretary of Health and Social Services. I returned on l5th September at the end of my tenure. As usual with me every Thursday I went to attend to my people at Okojie Welfare Centre Ugboha On this Thursday. A young man was called in and he told me he had been ill for some twelve days with high fever and cough. He could not breathe and he could not sleep. On examination he was very pale, anxious and dysphonic even at rest. It was a. case of bilateral Lobar Pneumonia and it was surprising how he had survived for so long. I carefully explained his condition, advised immediate admission and warned him he could die with no further warning and if he died his people would say as usual it is his sins that caused his death. He thanked me and said he was going to report to his people what I had said. On getting to my house I told my brothers about this man and they informed me that very morning they were all summoned to come and see the sick man who pleaded .that what he needed was for them to arrange divination to know what caused his illness. He was told I would be visiting later in the day and he should come and see me first, hence he carne, for all along, he had refused to go to the hospital.

Fortunately on the second day he appeared at Zuma Memorial Hospital Irrua and by the fifth day he had brightened up and could talk rationally. That. Morning the Nurses reported the relations had come to say they had found what he had done wrong: he reported to the family that his N120 (one hundred and twenty naira) had been stolen whereas he lost nothing, bringing false accusation against members of his family. Secondly he accused a brother of having hands in his child that died. And everyone involved cursed. They had come to remove him so that he could atone for his grievous sins before he died in the hospital. When they got to the ward they were astonished to find him sitting up and freely chatting with them. They came to thank me for if he had died the family could have been disgraced and for years the odium of his sins would have endured.

This was a lucky break for had he been confronted with these accusations at home he would have been forced to admit them.

Comment Box is loading comments...


Benin Kingdom & Edo State tourism Edo Women
Edo Royalty Photos