The African Religion is not Evil

By Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (GAB)

Well, again this may mean stepping on toes or "shaking some tables". It really doesn't matter. For if we say, we will die and if we don't, we still will be out of this world someday. Another introductory clarification might be to also say that the writer of this article holds onto one of the Abrahamic religions as his faith: Islam (well, that's if your own faith doesn't disqualify me as a Muslim because of this article and previous ones). My advocacy, however, is that we must not discredit what belongs to others just because we want to make ours look good. THE REPRESENTATION OF AFRICAN INDIGENOUS MODES OF WORSHIP AS BARBARIC, ARCHAIC AND UNGODLY IS WHAT I HOPE TO MAKE A CLARIFICATION ON USING "OFO" AND "ORO" as a case. Ofo is incantation in English and oro is the bull roaring festival.

Ofo (incantation) Incantation is the act or process of using formulas, sung or spoken, with occult ceremonies, for the purpose of raising spirits, producing enchantment, or affecting other magical results; enchantment. Research findings have established that ofo can be used for several functions; among which are healing and appeasements. The efficiency of an incantation stems from its evocative power. Therefore, if a traditional medical practitioner invokes the name from the source or the circumstances of the existence of a particular being into a medicine, the curative takes on magical forces. Herbalists recite ofo for different therapeutic functions. If these ways are bad, why are they adapted by Nigerian Christians and Muslims in exalting the Supreme God. When Yoruba Christians say "Agbani l'agba tan, ogbagba tin gba ara adugbo (He that rescues completely. The rescuer that rescues the people of the neighbourhood), this is not a problem; but when the herbalist wakes up and says: iba akoda, iba aseda (I worship the first of creations. I worship the creator of creations), it is immediately a fetish act.

Of all the available oral information on the oro, the one known to non-indigenous worshippers is that it kills. But you may like to be informed that members of the oro cult stops to pray in front of the houses in the neighbourhood and this prayer is rendered for the owner of the house and members of the household. This part is not to be foregrounded by people who do not worship in the traditional way.

I add my voice to the existing voices on the African culture, tradition and religion that our ways are not barbaric and ungodly. The African traditional religion believes in the existence of the Supreme God called Eledumare in Yoruba. We just reach him differently. Let us all live in peace and return peacefully to our Maker. Polish what is yours but don't speak evil of what is others.

We are black but we are not evil!
(c) 2019 Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (GAB)

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