My Ritualistic Encounter

I am a trader and run a nice little shop in Ibadan, Oyo state. I love what I do as it allows me to interact with people and provide their basic needs. I also love my customers and they love me too. One evening, I closed as usual and got into a taxi just like every other day I've been in business. Destination was home after a long haggling day. Just as the taxi took off, when I noticed that the taxi made a wrong turn. We all inquired why, his excuse was to avoid traffic jam. All of a sudden we were in a dark corner on this strange route, what I saw in front of me was a gourd. This was probably to make us all sleep, be unconscious or perhaps to do whatever he says. For some inexplicable reasons, the gourd did not work on me, I was awake, sane, normal and conscious of all that was happening. I even had the presence of mind to switch off my phone without being noticed. Yeah! We were in the hands of Ritualists, that was my silent utterance. After a while, I saw 'Welcome to Gbongan'. What?! Osun state! I live and trade in Bodija and was just going home to my children and to perform more wifely duties. He then turned towards a bushy and quiet path. We were taken to a poorly constructed underground, somewhere in the middle of no where in some hinterlands. I can remember seeing 'Aja-Ile'. Where in the world is that? We were ordered out of the taxi, some bigger forces in me kept me strong and calm as I saw a woman in labour actually giving birth. There was a mortar and pestle nearby. I do not even want to imagine what was about to happen. I heard some pounding afterwards, I could not look, but heard the baby scream and then went silence. What in the world was going on? Seeing this, one of the women from my taxi screamed and collapsed. She was massacred instantly. They then took the next woman away as we were three and left only me with the horror going on. I remained still even with my soul searing. A young man giving order walked towards me and asked if I had with me twenty-five thousand Naira to pay for my life. I quickly counted the money on me and it was exactly that amount - the day's proceed from the store. I handed it over to him and he told me to follow the taxi man that brought us. I was then told to lie down flat in the car. I took the opportunity to send a phone message to my children to pray for me and told them my whereabouts. I switched off the phone again. At about 5 a.m., the young man and the taxi driver came into the car and drove off. Not until we were out of that town that they told me to sit up and then told me why I got rescued. I was told to keep praying and worshiping my God the way I've been doing, that they couldn't do much with me since the gourd did not work on me. And if I am not released, their overall boss would not let me go or even kill me. I would just be kept in captivity, in some gory chamber. He also told me he is in his twenties and a graduate of one of the first generation universities in Nigeria. A graduate? We got back to Ibadan around 6 a.m. and I could not even find my way home. I was disoriented and maybe hallucinating. I found someone and muttered something and my address. He drove me home and collected my contacts to keep tabs on me and my welfare. Nigerians are not all bad after all. I rushed into the waiting arms of my husband, children, neighbours and friends. I then performed ablution, prayed and started thanking Almighty Allah for His mercy and grace upon me. What a Benevolent and Merciful God Allah is. Alhamdulillahi Robil-al-ameen. Prayer they say is the sword of all believers. Allah says "If my servant walk up to me, I will rush to him"(Hadith Qudsi). That is to tell you that Allah (SWT) is very close to those that worship Him. All of my twenty years of tahajjud and service to Allah saved me on this fateful day. I have also realised that there is plan, time and purpose for everyone of us and nothing can take that away. Not armed robbers or ritualists or some spiritual stuff. I am re-dedicating myself to Allah (SWT) and everything I do is to worship and uplift His name. There is nothing more to do.

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