A United State of America (USA,) based Nigerian, Ilori Folayan Ajayi has called on government and well meaning individuals to save his family from been forcefully initiated into cultism.
Ajayi, who hailed from a family with deep roots in African traditional religion in Igbojaro village in Akure, Ondo State, South West of Nigeria, explained how a combination of pressure and threats have made life unbearable for him and members of his immediate family on the matter .
In a statement made available to newsmen in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, Ajayi explained that trouble started when he was identified as the rightful and natural candidate for the vacant ‘Atoloogun deity’ stool after the demise of his father.
Ajayi disclosed that he was left with no option than to cry out since his people had sustained pressure and harassment on his immediate family members.
According to him,”I have been suffering in silence since the demise of my father in 2013. The subtle intimidations that came shortly after my father passed on that I should take over as Priest of the family deity against my personal conviction however escalated around June 2018 after I arrived back home in Nigeria from a prolonged leave in the United States of America.”
“Being the first male and the only educated child in an idol worshiping, polygamous family of 14 children is no child’s play. I was born into the Atoloogun family where my father as was my grandfather was the keeper of a feared deity in the area.
“Customarily, the first male child of the family takes over the leadership of the worship of the deity which has hugely contributed to the family’s rejection of western education and the resultant high level of illiteracy. I was however fortunate to be raised by my maternal uncle, late Mr. Fatoyinbo who was a teacher, which gave me access to education and Christianity.”
“I possess a Higher National Diploma in Accountancy and had worked in several blue-chip organisations in Banking as well as Oil and Gas sectors before obtaining a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in 2007 at the University of Wales, Newport and now University of South Wales.
“Regrettably, before I came back from the UK, my father had become the head worshiper of the family deity following the death of my grandfather being the first male child of his father.
“The first hint of the problem reared its ugly head shortly after I came back home from the UK in 2009 to take up an appointment as the Finance and Administration Manager of an organisation when a sort of delegation led by my father as chief priest, ‘officially’ informed me that I should commence preparation in order to be ready to take over the leadership of the cult when my father dies.
“They also demanded that I should circumcise my two female children in conformity with the traditional beliefs of the family while my wife must be urgently initiated into the deity worship (a demand they had earlier made during my traditional wedding in 1999 which I thought was a joke).”
“Of course, I refused all their demand and that was when the threats really started. The threat which exacerbated with the death of my father in 2013, reached an alarming proportion in 2015 with all sorts of diabolical attempts on my wellbeing and my immediate family. The argument was that I must fill the vacuum created by the demise of my father to forestall a possible wrath of the deity which is absolutely against my convictions.”
“The situation has become so unbearable that I sometimes flinch at my shadow. I travelled to the United States in February, 2018 to spend my accumulated leave and take time away from the pressure of the family over their deity and stayed for four months. On my return home in June, the pressure increased rather than decrease. I am losing weight and my sanity is at stake.”
“I pray something happens fast for the sake of my family, I don’t want to live like this but I cannot worship an idol.
“Until there is proper implementation of all the laws enacted to protect the innocent people in the society, lawlessness would continue to be the order of the day.”