Olaiya Igwe’s Ritualistic Worship: The Matters Arising

By Oke Aruleba @ Deprof



Olaiya Igwe
Olaiya Igwe.

The social media space has been awash with an avalanche of satiric comments about the video clip of Olaiya Igwe’s nude worship by the seaside in order to evocatively secure victory for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential flag bearer in 2023 election.

Some critics, by no little degree, had described the manner of Igwe’s worship as weird while others opined that Igwe merited an unrestricted lampoon for his nude prayer session that bordered on crass ignorance, hypocrisy and self-centredness.

Africans are deeply spiritual beings whose traditional religions have been relegated to the background with the advent of the westerners via their religions and ways of life.

The African cosmogony acknowledges the existence of a Supreme Being(Olodumare/Olorun/God) and other lesser deities who assist the Supreme Being in discharging some delegated activities. In the same order of events, exist the Human Spirit ( dead ancestors) and the Nature Spirit such as rivers, mountains, seas, trees, all endowed with life force devoid of physical forms.

Each spirit plays vital roles in the cosmic order of events and in human lives.

The act of ritualistic worship is an integral aspect of the African culture.
The poet persona in Christopher Okigbo’s ” The Passage” performs an act of traditional worship naked and bare footed when he says:

“Before you, Mother Idoto,
Naked I stand,
Before your watery presence,
….under your power wait,
On bare foot ….
Out of the Depth my cry
Give ear and hearken. ”

At this juncture, it is worthy to note that the thespian(Igwe’s)act of ritualistic worship by the Seaside channelled to “Olokun”, the Seagoddess is a highly spiritual and archetypal reenactment of the deep African worship because it aptly utilized the concept of “sacred time and space”, to ensure total victory at the 2023 presidential polls on behalf of his benefactor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

No doubt, Igwe’s ritualistic evocative is emblematic of the traditional man’s quest for spiritual fulfillment and victory. It is not only a mystery which is fathomable to the spiritually deep-seated individuals, but also an imitative supplication of Okigbo’s Mother Idoto’s experience.

Put succinctly, Igwe’s esoteric evocative dissipated a high quantum of its spiritual potency of his supplication to “Olokun”, the Seagoddess because it is common knowledge that the Physical is overtly controlled by the Spiritual.

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One may be tempted to ask the rationale behind Igwe’s making the nude evocative public?

The answers to this boggling question are not farfetched:

The spiritual import of any nude and barefoot ritualistic worship lies in its efficacy because in African cosmogony, it is believed that a bare worshipper is highly consecrated and closest to his Source thereby making his supplications unhindered by terrestrial and suprasensible forces.

Put simply, if Olaiya’s praying for his benefactor is perceived to be appropriate, why must he be naked?
It is believed that the naturals connect better and more effectively to the spirituals.
The importance of naked and barefoot ritualistic worship is domiciled in its potency because it is believed that such sacred prayers are unhindered by terrestrial and suprasensible forces.
The Yoruba’s call it “Ihoho Omoluabi”, which loosely translates to being the way you were born. This natural appearance during this type of prayers makes you more visible and appreciated by the spirits whom through you channel your rituals to the Supreme “Olodumare”.

To whom much is given, much is expected the maxim says: Igwe surely must have imbibed a useful lesson from the biblical story of the 10 lepers of which only one returned to register his gratitude.

Olaiya Igwe’s reason peradventure, might be hinged on the appreciative ground that Tinubu rescued him from the claws of death some years ago when the celebrated Thespian was down with neprolithiasis(kidney stone).

On a positive note, it is no hype to say that the ritualistic worship video credited to Igwe is more of a movie scene artistically adorned with verisimilitude and other cinematic effects to sift lewdness and phallic motifs.

Save this grateful Thespian (Olaiya Igwe) from the unwarranted trauma of the Pilory since his was on a journey of gratitude.

Dr Oke Aruleba is a member of Tinubu/Southwest Media Veterans Support Group
He can be reached at [email protected]

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