Couple Abscond Over Forceful Initiation Into Ifa Priesthood, Threat To Life

ABEOKUTA – A family of four, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Adeola Akinwunmi have disappeared into thin air following the refusal of the wife to be inducted as Ifa worshipper priestess.

THE ENCOUNTER NEWS gathered that, the wife, Mrs. Akinwunmi Adeola Kabirat was born into a family where Ifa traditional religious belief is firmly established.

Checks by our reporter revealed that, the wife’s mother, who is an ardent Ifa worshipper must ensure her first daughter succeeded her as the Ifa priestess after her demise.

Crisis started for the Akinwunmi family in 2020 when the wife, Adeola approached her mother to renounce her involvement in the annual worship and celebration of Ifa deity as a converted Christian.

Police inspecting scene of vandalized property of the couple by the assailants

The annual Ifa celebration is a yearly festival where all sons and daughters and their spouses must return home to pay homage and offer sacrifice to the Ifa deity as a pledge.

The decision of Mrs. Akinwunmi to choose Christianity did not augur well with the traditional chief priests which according to them is a taboo for reigning Chief Priestess not have a successor from her family lineage.

Narrating her ordeal in a petition dated to the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, the victim accused three traditional chiefs of the community, the Oluwo Ifa, the Inlado and Apena of threatening to hypnotize and attack her spiritually if she failed to retrace her step.

She explained that, on 2nd August, 2021, the three chiefs visited her residence at No 7, Oloke Meji street, Ibara, GRA, Abeokuta with a threat from her mother she should come back into the family religion or face repercussions.

She added that, on October 8, 2021, another four unknown hefty men with charms around their necks and wrists attacked her business centre with demand to renounce her allegiance to the Christianity religion.

Police inspecting scene of vandalized property of the couple by the assailants

She said, “On this encounter, they all told me they had a message for me from my mother who is the Chief Ifa Priestess. I asked what was the message, and they told me that my mother asked me to retrace my steps back into the family religion which is the worship of Ifa deity, or else, I will face serious repercussions. There and then, I told them that I have made up my mind and that I am now a Christian and my religious conviction is towards the Christian religion. They were disappointed by my response, but they vowed to teach me a lesson.

“On 8th October, 2021, I was accosted by four hefty men with charms around their necks and wrists. They made incantations and asked me to follow them to the Ifa oracle worship shrine. I refused and told them that I am now a Christian and I will not step into a shrine of any deity. There and then, they took some objects in form of whips and did use them to strike me several times and asked m to renounce my allegiance to the Christian religion. I felt so uncomfortable and seemingly unconscious with this torture that I almost passed out.

“After regaining consciousness, however, I told them I have made up my mind never to be an Ifa priestess. After beating me and terrorizing me with their charms and harmless they left.”

Mrs. Akinwunmi further stressed that, her situation was compounded when on November 15, 2021, her husband’s poultry farm was burgled and burnt by unknown men suspected to be working for her tormentors.

Similarly, on 8th December, 2021 in a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State dated May 21, 2022 she said the Ifa priest brought masquerade into her church service and chased the congregation say with charms.

She said the case was reported to the community head, one Chief Odegbami Alaba, but nothing positive came out it.

She explained further that, when she thought everything was over, another attack was launched at her residence where her belongings were destroyed while some were carted away.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Akinwunmi’s mother who was an Ifa priest is dead and the daughter has fled with her family to an unknown location for the fear of being forcefully initiated into her mother’s position as Ifa Chief Priestess.

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