The Olubara of Ibara in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oba Jacob Omolade, has recalled the battle he fought to remain a Christian on throne.
He said he threatened to abandon the throne when some chiefs decided he should join a cult.
In an interview in ‘Saturday PUNCH’, Oba Omolade, who has spent 30 years on the throne, said:
“Immediately after I was coronated, the chiefs called me and said I was halfway done with the rites and that what was remaining was inducting me into a cult, but I said no because my father was a practising Christian and I wanted to follow the path, because the benefits of being a religious person are there, not necessarily as a Christian. Even if you are a Muslim, you will honour your God. We are talking about the same God. Who knows who will get to heaven? We should be thinking about the people. So, when they told me (to join the cult), I refused, and then when the pressure was becoming too much, I wanted to abandon the process. I packed my belongings and I told my wife that we were returning to Lagos, because I can’t serve any other god.
“They told me to my face that I wouldn’t live two years on the throne, but I ignored them. I started fasting and praying, and the reverend in my church came to my house in the evening. So, we broke the fast together. We succeeded and they left me alone. I was not threatened by their actions because I know such is life; you either cross the river or you sink in it, and I fought because God was with me, and here I am today.
“I have spent 30 years on this throne, and I am still ruling because my life is not in the hands of anybody. God created me and will take me away when the time comes. I flouted the order(to join the cult) and I thank God that I am here today.
“In the past when an oba died, his hands and legs were cut off. The occultists would take one of his legs and bury it in one of the roads that lead to the town and the other leg at another road that enters the town, and possibly, the head is buried in the palace. But the government stopped it and said we should stop being barbaric and that we should now allow our obas to be buried according to their religious preference. Looking at how the Alaafin (of Oyo) was buried, I was surprised. He was brought out, the Muslims prayed for him and then he was taken for interment. Such wouldn’t have happened in the past and now things are changing, but we still have cultists among us.
“I have told some of my chiefs and warned that anybody who cuts my body when I am gone or plays any foul game on me will follow me. I have been telling them and they know that I am serious about it. When I am dead, I want to be taken to the public cemetery. I have bought the space; the grave has been dug; my wife’s own is not far from my own, so I have dug my own and some of my people have seen it. Some of them know and I have told them to take me to the church and pray for me; whether my prayer will be answered or not is nobody’s problem, because, if I do well on this earth, it will be well with me and I have been telling them that anybody who plays any foul game on me will follow me and I am serious about it. The law (about monarchs’ burial) has been passed and signed. So, I am safe now. That was the handiwork of the Awujale of Ijebu land, myself and two other persons. All the cutting (of human parts) is emptiness. The one that matters is the spirit and the spirit has returned to its creator, all that will remain is a rented dress, not the physical dress. I mean the flesh, which will perish in the ground when the corpse is buried.”