This year’s Osun Osogbo festival has just ended. The annual ritual which started in 1370 is the celebration of the river goddess Osun; whom the Osogbo citizens claim has faithfully been keeping her covenant with their forefathers. The celebration is a two-week programme that involves rituals, masquerading and other social and traditional activities. The worshipers believe this goddess gives them peace, children, protection, healing, etc. The festival has since turned to a mega event, attracting visitors from different parts of the world. The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has also enlisted the Osun grove as a world heritage site. The festival holds in the last week of August and begins with the clearing of the traditional paths and ends with a young virgin from the royal family leading an often rowdy procession to the shrine at the Osun grove, carrying the sacred Osun calabash that contains the articles to worship the river goddess.
Now, a river goddess is a mermaid; a female spirit that lives and operates from the water, river, sea, etc. The male counterpart is called merman. In deliverance parlance, we refer to these as marine spirits or ‘mammy water’. Though, I don’t want to pretend that we can fully discuss the activities of these spirits here, but there are few basic things we must immediately know before we continue our discussion. The mermaid and merman spirits are demonic entities. Demons are evil, wicked, unclean, foul and satanic spirits. And like other evil spirits they passionately hate human beings and detest man having any form of relationship with the God Almighty.
These spirits who are part of the principalities, powers and rulers of the kingdom of darkness are on different levels of authorities and have two basic objectives. One is to directly cause havoc to man and they do this through possession, affliction, inflicting sicknesses, disappointments, madness, infertility, backwardness, curses, untimely deaths, depression, suicide, failure, unexplainable marital problems through the operation of the ‘spirit husbands and wives’, Ogbanje, Abiku, etc, on people. We always minister to the victims of these demons in deliverance sessions. They sometimes cause accidents on our roads, waters and air, and also initiate terrible, bloody and dangerous sacrifices to sustain covenants with them. Most of the mysterious disappearances of people and ritual killings can always be traced to the activities of these demons and their worshipers. They periodically demand for human and blood sacrifices. True!
Then, their other objective (which is the ultimate) is to divert man’s attention from God Almighty; the creator of heavens and earth. And they subtly and systematically do this by pretending to love, care, protect and provide for man. These you can see from the people who get their wealth, protection, influence, business empires, promotions, positions, etc, from these sources. I have personally met such people; some seeking for a way of escape. Or haven’t you also heard musician, Satanists declaring that they got their inspirations from the water spirits or from Satan? Yes, you can get some of these things from there. Have you forgotten that the Devil promised Jesus the world and all the glory if He would just bow and worship him? Truly, so many have bowed to these demon spirits and they actually got some of these temporal things in exchange for their souls and peace, but that does not remove the fact that those things came from the Devil; whose ultimate aim is to deceive, steal, kill and to destroy. And I hope you already know that there is no free gift from the Satan. I have elucidated in my books.
Now, what will make an individual, community or a state to still worship these demon spirits, mermaids, mermen, goddesses or any other idol in this modern age and with the rapid spread of the gospel? And must idolatry always be linked with the promotion of culture and tourism in this part of the world? Why are our governments and corporate bodies promoting idolatry (and nudity in the case of some beauty pageants), and other satanic activities instead of channeling those resources to developmental and godly projects? Is it every tradition and culture that we must preserve? Why would you still find this kind of large cult followership for a demon in a country that is reputed to be having the largest church, the largest single Christian gathering and some of the most powerful men of God in the world today? Is Osun state actually named after this female demon principality?
Where were the believers when the choice of this name was made or are they part of her worshipers? Can it still be changed? What influence is this spirit having over the citizens and the affairs of the state? What effect will these powerful rituals and sacrifices have on the lives of those innocent young virgins that are forced to carry the dreaded Osun calabash and lead the procession to the mermaid’s shrine at every grand finale of this ritual? Do the worshipers of this mermaid at Osogbo know that they are into idol worshiping that will not fail to attract God’s punishment and heavy generational curses upon their land, children and children children? We will continue next week. God bless!
by Gabriel Agbo