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Traditional rulers urge government to engage traditionalists to combat insecurity

Some traditional rulers and chiefs in Badagry, Lagos State, are advocating the deployment of traditionalists or animists to tackle insecurity.

[FILES] Bandits

Some traditional rulers and chiefs in Badagry, Lagos State, are advocating the deployment of traditionalists or animists to tackle insecurity.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry on Monday, they said all government needed to do was to give the traditionalists the go-ahead and some stipend and they would stamp out insecurity.

“We engaged traditionalists to ensure the protection of Badagry and environs in the past. We encouraged them with some stipends to boost their morale.

“Since creation, the ancient town of Badagry has not encountered external attacks or insecurity.

“We have certain traditional rites that we perform every three months to ward off evil,’’ Chief Michael Akappo, the traditional ruler of Awarjigoh quarters in Badagry said.

He explained that there are some deities Badagry people inherited from their ancestors and are still being worshipped to date.

“We have `Zangbeto’ as our guiding spirit and this has been protecting us every night in all communities within Badagry.

“If any bad thing is about to happen in the land, once we invoke the spirit of `Zangbeto’, it will chase away the evil coming to us,’’ he said.

Also speaking with NAN, Chief Tunde Giro, the Depegan of Badagry confirmed that traditionalists have mystical powers to ward off external attacks or insecurity.

“In 1970, there was a planned attack on Badagry by some people but they were mystically stopped at Mowo, a community near Badagry.

“Those people went back from Mowo Town; we still have the power to date.

“We consult Ifa oracle and it tells us relevant sacrifices to make to appease the gods of the land for peace to reign,’’ he said.

Chief Giro also confirmed that Badagry people believed in `Zangbeto’ as their guiding spirit against evil attacks.

“Zangbeto is so powerful that if strangers come to settle in Badagry with evil motives, such people will expose themselves.

“Recently, we heard rumors of a possible attack on Badagry Town, we went to invoke the spirit of `Zangbeto’ and since then it has been guarding us,’’ he said.

Giro appealed to the government to invite traditionalists to combat insecurity in the country.

Also, Chief Abiodun Patinvo, the traditional ruler of the Iya-Afin community in Badagry urged the government to seek the help of traditional rulers and chiefs to call on traditionalists to tackle insecurity.

“In the olden days, when a drummer leaves his drum in the night, another person who is invisible will pick it up and start beating the drum.

“If the government wants to know the misery behind the talking drum, they should seek the help of traditional rulers and chiefs; they will tell them.

“Government should provide money for traditionalists to make necessary sacrifices to appease the gods of the land to chase evil away from the country.

“There is what is called `Sigidi’ in Yoruba land, `Sigidi’ is a small statue or effigy made of clay or wood and is used to harm enemies through a frightening ritual.

“We can use `Sigidi’ to fight insurgency and banditry if government empowers traditionalists,’’ Patinvo stressed.