A Novel Written By: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
“No problem…Do you remember anything about him? Anything at all” Mrs. Paseda said investigatively. The mention of Onigba-Iwofa, her hometown had suddenly sparked a personal interest in her. She also remembered that a Senior Lecturer in her place of work at the University; Dr. Morakinyo Olagunsoye had gone on mission field at Onigba-Iwofa.
“I am sorry, I can’t remember anything again” Oyinkan said almost sobbing.
Truly, her mind had gone completely blank. She remembered nothing about Morakinyo again!
By the time Pastor Kalejaye and his entourage left the palace of Oba Folagbade, it was already 4pm. The King was very much at home with Pastor and his wife. They discussed generally on government policies on rural areas and the position of Obaship under the military dispensation. When they moved into discussion about Morakinyo and his wife, Oba Folagbade invited the Pastor, his wife and Morakinyo to the inner chambers of the palace.
“I was equally shocked when our Pastor told me he wanted to get married. He told me such could be done under the laws of your Church” Pastor Kalejaye and his wife smiled.
“Let me confess today, I knew it was wrong. I knew such marriage is not legally binding, null, void and of no effect. My years of experience as a Court Clerk taught me marriages don’t hold that way. But you see Sir, what God used Pastor Morakinyo to deliver us from in this town was enough to blind my senses. I was the one who joined them, even when I knew I was doing the wrong thing. Whatever, he requested, I gave him!!! If he had asked for my wife at that time, I probably would have considered it” Kabiyesi said jokingly, throwing Pastor and his wife into hearty laughter too. Morakinyo also managed to smile, though uneasily.
“So, what will happen to the two of them when she is eventually found” Folagbade asked.
Pastor Kalejaye smiled. He knew the King has asked a question that is very difficult to answer. He needed the wisdom of God to respond at this stage.
“Your Highness, we need God to lead us to solve this knotty and naughty issue. However, one thing is certain. They are not married, both in the sight of man and in the sight of God” The King nodded in agreement.
“What they have been doing all this while is co-habitation” Pastor sighed; he wished he didn’t have to say all these in the presence of the King who is Morakinyo’s convert. He however thought of the implication of the King finding out all these by himself if he tried to keep the truth from him.
“When we get to Ibadan, we shall ask God to teach us what to do concerning their case. Pastor Morakinyo is old enough to get married. I see no reason why he wanted the whole thing done in secret” Pastor Kalejaye said throwing up his hands.
Just before Kabiyesi finished his discussion with Pastor Kalejaye and his wife, the table had been set for a hot meal of pounded yam. The Olori did not make any announcement, neither did she give room for any suspicion that food was being prepared. She only moved in and out of the meeting at different intervals. When she finally returned, she simply came to invite the guests to the palace dining table.
“Daddy Pastor, Mummy Pastor and Pastor Morakinyo, pounded yam is waiting for you. The table is set” Pastor Kalejaye exchanged glances with his wife and smiled. They were caught unawares.
“Olori…When did you start planning for this…? This is nothing but a coup” They all burst into laughter again. “Thank you very much Ma… God will surprise you pleasantly in Jesus name” Pastor Kalejaye prayed as they all rose and moved to the dinning section of the palace.
Mrs. Paseda could not believe her ear when Oyinkansola who had recounted several minute details including her parental background, and involvement with the marine occult world suddenly could not remember the events that took place last in her life. She sensed the presence of evil and stood away from her. She began to speak in aggressive tongues, though barely audible.
The other members of the team joined her as the spoke in tongues in low voices, binding all the forces of evil operating within the vicinity of the ward and the entire hospital. Oyinkan stared blankly at the prayer warriors, wobbled gradually into the bed and slept off. Mrs. Paseda moved closer to her and laid hands on her.
Morakinyo led Pastor Kalejaye and his entourage to the homes of a few remaining members of the church for visitations and prayers. The first place he took them to was the home of the Odewoles. Although the hunter was not around, Eebudola was not willing to entertain the visitors. Her husband had given strict warning against having anything to do with the church.
However when she saw the Senior Pastor, his wife and the entourage, the good natured Africaness in her gave way. She quickly got benches and made them comfortable. Pastor Kalejaye acknowledged and thanked her for all the efforts she had put in so far into the success of the church since it started about six months. He tendered apologies on behalf of the mother Church in Ibadan for their inability to visit them since inception. He promised that things will change henceforth.
The visit to Eebudola wife of Odewole was brief as she gave a rather nonchalant attitude to the words and prayers of Pastor Kalejaye. In fact when the Pastor prayed, she did not close her eyes. While the prayer was going on, Pastor Mrs. had signaled to one of the brothers to get some items from the bus. As soon as the prayers ended, she presented the gift items of food and some canned juice to the family. Eebudola was pleasantly surprised. She was seeing such a big loaf of bread for the first time in her life. She had heard tales of such big loaves from people who travelled to Ibadan and Lagos. Now, without travelling to Lagos or Ibadan, such a loaf has been placed in her hands on a platter of gold.
Suddenly, Oyinkansola opened her eyes and sat up again. She looked around confusingly as if she had slept for a long time. She stared at Mrs. Paseda and said “What did you ask me that time?”
Mrs. Paseda raised her hand in a sign of ‘Hallelujah’
By the time Morakinyo had taken Pastor Kalejaye and his team around, about ten families had been visited. Each of the families visited were prayed for and given various incentives ranging from loaves of bread, beverages and can drinks. Pastor Mrs. Kalejaye, a no stranger to mission field experience had loaded the bus with all goodies before they left Ibadan.
When they returned to the parsonage later in the evening, Pastor Kalejaye announced they would spend the night in a vigil. No one complained. Even nine year old Akinlolu volunteered to join. However Pastor Kalejaye permitted a period of rest till 10pm when the vigil started.
As the Onigba-Iwofa team was having a vigil, another session of night prayers went on in the home of Mrs. Paseda. The revelations by Oyinkansola were not only scary but equally disturbing. Before the team left her in the hospital, she was able to re-call her experiences with Morakinyo and mentioned names.
Shocked by the information given by Oyinkan, Mrs. Paseda had begun to make contacts on how to reach Dr. Olagunsoye. One of the members of her team had volunteered to reach out to a Pastor in the Church where Morakinyo attends with a view to getting in touch with him as soon as possible. In her confession, Oyinkan had requested to meet Morakinyo urgently to seek his forgiveness.
The team prayers led by Mrs. Paseda centered on the life of Oyinkan, the patient in the hospital who had just given her life to Christ. Just before they left the hospital, Mrs. Paseda had led her to Christ and she gave information concerning her relations in Ayenuro near Lokoja in Kwara State.
The process of leading her to Christ earlier in the day was very emotional and touching. Mrs. Paseda had extended a hand to her to join for prayers after saying the sinners’ confession. She grabbed both hands and held on tightly to it as Paseda prayed for her. She wept almost uncontrollably throughout the prayers. Even after the prayers, she refused to let go of the hands but drew Mrs. Paseda closer to herself for a deep embrace that lasted for almost two minutes.
As the team set to leave her, she waved at them with teary eyes and said “Please come tomorrow”
“We will come. Stay blessed. The Lord be with you” Mrs. Paseda said with assurance.
The vigil at Onigba-Iwofa started on a good note with a session of worship and praises. All the brethren who came with Pastor Kalejaye from Ibadan were involved. Only Mummy and Akinlolu were excused to rest. The prayers revolved around the eventual deliverance of Morakinyo from the powers of possession and oppression. As the prayers progressed, Pastor Kalejaye called for a break. He sat and gave Morakinyo some instructions.
“As we prayed, I received a direction from The Holy Spirit. The Sprit of The Lord said to me ‘remove every image of Hagatha from this house’ Brother Morakinyo, who is Hagatha?” Pastor Said.
Morakinyo ran his hand over his head and stared blankly “Hagatha…? I have never heard that before. There is no Hagatha here”
“But that is what the Spirit of The Lord told me. I heard him clearly…He said ‘remove every image of Hagatha from this house’ The Lord cant be wrong”
A long silence reigned as Pastor Kalejaye began to speak in tongues silently. “Remove every image of Hagatha from this house” Pastor Kalejaye muttered to himself “God you are great”
Suddenly, Lanre remembered something.
“Praise The Lord Sir” Lanre interrupted Pastor Kalejaye’s thoughts.
“Hallellujah” Everyone chorused.
“Yes Lanre. You have something to say?” Pastor Kalejaye asked.
“Yes Daddy…I know who Hagatha is!” Lanre sounded like a bombshell. He spoke so confidently that everyone was eager to listen to him.
“Yes go on Lanre, we are all ears….Who is Hagatha?”
“Uncle Morakinyo’s wife is Hagatha” A pin drop silence followed Lanre’s declaration. Morakinyo fell heavily into the sofa. Although, Lanre had told him some things before the coming of Pastor Kalejaye and his team, he merely listened to Lanre for courtesy sake. Now the pieces are coming together. The disappearance of Oyinkan at the coming of Lanre was enough reason to believe the allegations by Lanre. Morakinyo was already sobbing again though silently.
“When I was in the teaching hospital, she appeared to me as strange personality and declared to me her name was not Betty but Hagatha. The picture over there is hers. I have no doubt she is the Hagatha God spoke to Daddy about” Lanre explained boldly and effortlessly.
“Thank you Jesus. Thank you for shedding light on our path” Pastor said and bowed as if he prayed. When he lifted his head, he looked in the direction of the hung pictures of Morakinyo and Oyinkan on the wall. “Bring those pictures for me”
One of the brothers from Ibadan stepped close to the pictures, removed them from the wall and handed them over to Pastor Kalejaye.
“What other items belong to her in this house” Pastor Kalejaye asked Morakinyo.
“Her clothes, books and other personal belongings” Morakinyo explained tiredly. He was getting completely confused and angry with himself. Exhaustion was clearly written on his face.
“Please bring them. Everything that belongs to her”
Morakinyo stood immediately and beckoned to the Head of Evangelism Team to join in assisting him. In a short while, two travelling bags stuffed with clothes, shoes and books were brought out to the living room.
“We will set all these on fire outside. Let’s go” Pastor Kalejaye said and stood immediately.
Outside, the parsonage, the items had been set on the ground, ready to be burnt when the Evangelism Director moved close to Pastor Kalejaye and whispered to his ears.
“Daddy, burning her properties could lead to a legal tussle if she comes around to accuse us of willful damage and forceful confiscation of property. We might be guilty of both since we do not have her consent to do this. I suggest we move all her items with us to Ibadan for safe keep. We are in order since we have the consent of her man to move them” The Evangelism Director advised.
“I see…Thank you” Pastor Kalejaye sighed deeply and considered what The Evangelism Director said. Pastor Kalejaye doesn’t toy with legal advises especially coming from the Director of Evangelism who was not only a lawyer but a brilliant one for that matter. Pastor Kalejaye, though very tolerant of opinions from his ministers have many reasons to trust the judgment of Wole Olaoye.
Barrister Wole Olaoye, though a director of Evangelism, was a lawyer of no mean reputation. He was a civil rights activist and human rights lawyer. Eight years ago as a young Lawyer, he had represented the Gani Fawehinmi Chambers in Lagos during the case of popular President of The National Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS) Comrade Segun Okeowo who led a massive nationwide students’ protest; code named ALI MUST GO.
Barrister Wole Olaoye had single-handedly argued against and got the 43-day illegal military detention of the Students’ Union Leader by the Military administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo quashed by the court. He also secured the immediate release of the heavily bearded Comrade Segun Okeowo from detention.
Pastor Kalejaye immediately ordered the bags to be removed into the church bus while they await Morakinyo who went to get kerosene. Soon Morakinyo returned with the kerosene but Pastor explained to him that the kerosene would no longer be needed.
The pictures were set on fire. Suddenly, as the pictures burnt, the shrieking screams of a woman’s voice came directly from the picture. The voice was clearly audible though not loud. Morakinyo could recognize the voice. It was the voice of Oyinkansola; his wife. Morakinyo sank to the ground and fainted. The shock and fear was visible on the faces of the brethren except Pastor Kalejaye and Barrister Wole Olaoye. Immediately, Pastor Kalejaye ordered that Morakinyo be carried into the parsonage.
Inside, Mummy Kalejaye had woken and joined the team in the living room. Morakinyo was there on the floor stretched out. The brethren were fanning him and spraying water on his face.
The Strike Team from the Pythons’ Confraternity comprising of its four deadliest members made it to Felele Rab at exactly 11pm. The car used, had a military plate number. The Capone had provided one of his father’s private vehicles. He removed the official army plate number from an official car and attached it to the car used for the Felele Rab operation. From Akure to Ibadan, the car enjoyed free movement and got salutes from police and military men along the road and at all the check points. No one dared to question the movement of a senior military officer, no matter the time of the day.
The vigilante check point into the Felele Rab was very strong with solid barrier of iron bars and rods placed across the road to form a blockade. The men on duty were men of the dreaded Agbekoya group. They were armed to the teeth with local charms and fortifications. As the Benz 200 car approached the gate, the security men sprang to their feet and moved towards it for questioning. The gate normally closes at 10pm, so they were not expecting any car to be at the gate by 11.00pm.
Ade Tiger who drove the car slowed down as he approached the gate and switched off the full light. The Vigilante men turned their powerful torch to the car. Suddenly, the head of the team identified the military plate number, he quickly gave signal to his men to allow the vehicle pass since it was a military vehicle. He also gave a salute to the occupant of the car.
“That is the ADC to Governor Oladayo Popoola. He has a girlfriend he comes to see at night on the last street…Ekun!!! He is a very generous man. He is a Major” The head of the Vigilante Team announced proudly.
The car parked in front of the Durotoye’s house while the occupant surveyed the house from the other side of the road. The lights in the house were completely turned off.
“That makes the job easier” Sad Man, Head of the Hit Squad spoke for the first time since they entered Ibadan.
To be continued in Episode 34