Ajeala is a name of a deity somewhere in Imo state. Ejeala was the deity used to enthrone Nkwo Market and till today remains a Market in that very spot. Ejeala has its Shrine right there. There stands a tree called Ukpaka Egbutu mma. Legends say if you cut it blood comes out. I don't know how true this part of the story is, as I know that naturally, Ukpaka tree brings out a reddish or purple-like color when cut open.
How was Ejeala created? A young man was kidnapped from a certain place. After the necessary rituals, the young man was tied upside down right on that Ukpaka tree. Ge stayed there for days without food. An old woman told me how that very boy used to beg them ji akpu while they are coming back from mmiri. The boy will eat and it will come out of his nose. He died there and Ejeala was created.
Recently, people have had to rebuild Ejeala and started worshipping him as our fathers did in the olden days. Yes, this is their right as I am a proponent of freedom of worship. But what you can't hide from our people is the history of how most of these deities were created. Many involved human sacrifices.
Whenever these things are written or said, some people become sad and antagonistic. They start attacking you. These are people that are angry that the Nigería government removed history from our schools. These are people that enjoy giving you historical details of the atrocities of Christianity in the middle age era. But when things about traditional religion are said they come out to fight. When you talk about the evils of some traditionalists, they will quickly tell you that some pastors are patronizing them. Are you for real? So because some of those pastors are patronizing them, then it is no more a crime? Both the pastor going to Dibia to acquire powers and the Dibia giving him that power is evil and deceptive crimînals. They are in bed in evil.
The only reason most of the overzealous traditional religious adherents are denying that twins were ever killed in Igbo land is that they know for sure it will be attributed to traditional religion. So it is better to deny it and tag it as a lie from Britain against our people. But they know they are telling lies, as research proves it. Even some old people among us can attest to this. I lived with my grandmother and I asked her about it. She told me many real stories about it. She confirmed it happened and told me about a stubborn mother that ran away with her twins leaving everything behind, instead of allowing her babies to die.
Some of them have also customized the name Omenala and used it to represent religion. This is a dub-ious move made by the front liners of traditional religion. They want the gullible people to think that for one to embrace Igbo culture, one needs to embrace traditional religion. This is simply being mischievous and playing on weak-minded people. But the truth is that the killing of twins was made a religious thing and traditional religion was at the center of it, including the Osu caste system. Omenala is a name ndi Igbo use to describe Igbo culture and not religion. The way of worship is a part of this Omenala, just like a way of marriage is part of it.
We can't build a society with lies or deny facts simply because we want to appear good. We must understand that there is no religion without a dirty past.
How I wish that some people will accept to open up about how the deities in their communities were created so that some ignorant people will read and understand.
I am looking at many of these traditionalists and I am yet to see any difference from their overzealous Christian pastors who embraced lies and distortion. Those that waged war against our innocent culture and tradition in the name of the Church. They tell you what you want to hear and some of these traditionalists picked from where they stopped.
You can choose to fight and not debate and learn.
Elochukwu Ohagi Official, Philosopher, Teacher, And Activist, 2022.
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