Chief Jimoh Badejo, a top member of the Olu Ibeshe in Council in Ikorodu and the Baale of Oluwoye, in this interview with Olalekan Olabulo, bares his mind on the Badoo menace in the Ikorodu community and the accusations against the traditional institution in the town.
For more than a year now, Ibeshe has been in the limelight over killings by Badoo cult members. What led to this?
Yes for about one and a half years now, we had Badoo problems. We have chased Badoo out of our community, and by the grace of God it has become a thing of the past in Ibeshe. I have been the Baale of Oluwoye for nine years now and in that time, I have always known Ibeshe to be very peaceful.
Did the Olubeshe in Council carry out any investigation into the killings?
Sincerely, till now, we have not been able to understand the motive and the people behind the killings. We carried out the necessary investigations and we did not find anything. We don’t know the people behind the dastardly act, but we are happy that it has stopped in Ibeshe .
At a time during the crisis in Ibeshe, there were insinuations that the traditional ruler of the town and some members of his family were part of the group. Did this turn out to be true?
That is a pure lie. The monarch is my Kabiyesi. He is my father and he is my coordinator. The rumours are from his enemies. I can tell you that he doesn’t know anything about Badoo. None of his children is involved in the cult group. We have done our investigations on that.
How about the report that he ran away from the town for a while, and returned thereafter?
That is another lie. The Kabiyesi never ran away from Ibeshe. He was always in the town. There was even a time he was supposed to travel out of the country but he could not do so. He does not sleep outside of Ibeshe. He has no reason to run away.
Now, there appears to be temporary respite for the people of Ibeshe and neighbouring towns as it would seem that the cult members have relocated. How were you able to achieve this?
We did a lot of things. The Kabiyesi called for an inter-religious prayer session, where Christians, Muslims and traditional worshippers were invited to work towards chasing out Badoo from Ibeshe with prayers. We had Oro procession sessions and the Igunnuko and Ogun worshippers, also performed rituals to send Badoo out of Ikorodu. When it was happening only in Ibeshe, people said all kinds of things. However, now they are saying that they should have joined us to battle Badoo then. They have been calling on us to know how we were able to do it and I have told many of them that we chased away Badoo using spiritual powers.
Was there any time the traditional institution was invited, either by the governor or the police and accused of being behind the Badoo cult?
The only time that we were invited – and it was not only the Baale and chiefs from Ibeshe; it included other chiefs and Baales from all over Lagos – was when the commissioner for local government and chieftaincy invited us to Alausa. He said something about reports that the chiefs and their Baales were behind Badoo and we all countered the claim immediately. We told him that the police were in a position to identify the culprits and at the end of the day, the blame was put on the police.
What about the accusations that some influential personalities within and outside Ibeshe are behind the killings?
They also said that other Obas in Ikorodu were behind Badoo. Let me tell you why some residents of Ibeshe are angry with the monarch. There was a day a suspected Badoo member was arrested and brought to the palace. Many of us were there on that day and there was a large crowd. The people were really very angry. They sought permission to kill the suspect in front of the palace and the Oba declined their request. They went berserk and threw stones and other things at us. Some of us were injured. Kabiyesi managed to escape. They vandalised the palace and even the Kabiyesi’s personal house.
What are those measures put in place to prevent further killings by the Badoo cult in Ibeshe?
On daily basis, we have continued to make sacrifice to our gods. I am an Ifa priest. I consult Ifa every day and make divination on what to do for Badoo not to come back to Ibeshe. We make sacrifices and pray against Badoo.
Many people have relocated out of Ibeshe to other parts of Ikorodu as a result of activities of members of the Badoo group. What is your message to them at this time?
Now they can see that Badoo is not peculiar to Ibeshe. Some of them left to other parts of Ikorodu and now they can see what is happening in those places too. Badoo is not a curse on Ibeshe. The police should try and unravel the people behind it.
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