Tension has gripped the people of Odolua Quarters in Temidire, Ile-Oluji local government area of Ondo State, following the refusal of a lawyer, Mr. Tunde Ebenezer Omobobami, to present himself for the necessary traditional rites for his installation as the Chief Priest of the Ogun cult in the community.
LEADERSHIP learnt that due to Omobobami’s disappearance, the lawyer’s extended family members and other people in the community have become apprehensive and agitated because of the consequences of his disobedience to the Ogun cult leaders.
The leaders of the Ogun cult in the area had recently served the Lagos-based lawyer, who has now fled his home in the Iju area of the state, a notice to prepare to lead other devotees during the annual festival scheduled for August this year or risk dire consequences.
He is reportedly billed to replace his late father, who was the Ogun chief priest in Odolua Quarters of Ile-Oluji.
The cult leaders had said that Omobobami should urgently return home to undergo the necessary rituals for his installation as the chief priest to enable him lead other devotees of Ogun in the town during the forthcoming annual festival or face the full weight of traditional sanctions for his disobedience.
The lawyer had only recently raised the alarm, alleging that his relations wanted him dead for refusing to make himself available for installation as the chief priest of Ogun in his hometown, having become a church deacon and a committed Christian.
Omobobami, who claimed that unidentified agents of the cult had been on the trail of his family, had also disclosed that he had petitioned the police, who had yet to take any action on the matter.
He said he and his family members had since faced persistent threats and attempted attacks from the agents of the cult group, forcing them to change residence a couple of times.
LEADERSHIP, however, gathered that leaders of the Ogun cult in the town had met once again over the fleeing lawyer’s case and had decided to impose on him and his family members “the maximum traditional sanctions,” vowing to use every power and means in their possession to deal with him for disobeying the tradition of the town. The Ogun cult leaders allegedly threatened to invoke the wrath of the fiery god of iron, Ogun on the fleeing lawyer.
A member of the Omobobami extended family, Pa Ogunwale Aikulola, said that the Ogun cult leaders had for the second time in recent months communicated their decision on the fleeing lawyer to his kinsmen, warning that they viewed the matter seriously.
But the septuagenarian refused to identify the Ogun cult leaders and adherents, saying he had to be “careful,” appealing to them to temper “traditional justice” with mercy by sparing Omobobami and members of his extended family the sanctions and wrath of the god of iron.
He said, “They have warned that they would deal with our son, the lawyer, with all of their powers for disobeying tradition. They vowed that they would not allow the tradition to slip into oblivion. They vowed to make this country unbearable and hot for him and his family.
“They said since he was born into it, they would not allow him to abandon the cult in the name of any other religion, especially since the god himself has nominated him.
“They reminded us that refusing to lead the Ogun cult is punishable by death because the god does not spare anyone who fails to do his wish. They said that he has nowhere he can run to in this country, warning that we should also know that Ogun worshippers and adherents are all over Nigeria and so he (lawyer) can’t escape the wrath of the god.”
All attempts to speak with leaders of the Ogun cult in the community on the matter were unsuccessful, as nobody was ready to identify them, for fear of possible reprisal.