The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, has said that there was traditional medicine capable of combating the raging pestilence that has taken the world to a standstill called COVID-19.
He made this known on Tuesday while presenting to the public a book written on the late Yoruba music genre of Apala, Ayinla Wahidi, popularly called Ayinla Omowura, in his Oyo palace.
The book, entitled Ayinla Omowura: Life and Times of an Apala Legend, was written by syndicated columnist and former Special Adviser on Media to two former governors, Dr. Festus Adedayo.
While recommending the book for public reading, as one that dwelt on the culture, language and traditional music of the Yoruba people, Oba Adeyemi also called for a return to what he called “the roots” to be able to fashion indigenous solutions to the problems as Africa, be they health or otherwise.
According to the foremost monarch, Yoruba traditional medicine, in times past, treated all manner of diseases, ranging from smallpox, diabetes, hay fever and traditional herbalists were capable of sending people on message by telepathy, wondering whether those powers had left the people.
“There were no sicknesses or diseases under the surface of the earth that our forefathers were not capable of healing. I know that those powers are still potent and are present in us today,” he said.
Alaafin cited a native herbalist in Oyo who passed on not too long ago who he said specialized in conjuring out snake poisons from the bodies of the victims.
“The man would call out the poison in the snake and conjure the snake responsible for the sting wherever it was. The snake would be made to swallow its own venom,” he said, maintaining that modern medicine did not have that potency.
He however said that the traditional medicine practitioners were circumspect about displaying their abilities so as not to run foul of governmental laws and bureaucratic bottlenecks involved in proclaiming cure for ailments in the world today.
Oba Adeyemi, who told the few people gathered in the palace that he read the 537-page book in barely three days, commended the author for dwelling on a subject that many writers thought was a barren land, maintaining that, by writing the book, Adedayo had brought to the fore the need for writers to document the strides of icons of Yorubaland for posterity.
Earlier, while presenting the book to the Alaafin, Dr. Adedayo told the Alaafin that he wrote the book as a contribution to the huge literature on Yoruba history and culture.
Adedayo also said that the book was written to send a message to people at various cadres of life of the need to be mindful of their actions and inactions, stressing that Omowura would probably have lived longer if he took into consideration his societal position before engaging in a barroom fight that led to his untimely death.
He also told the audience which comprised mainly of Alaafin and palace aides that COVID-19 prevented him from having a formal launch of the book but that as a mark of respect for the duo of the Alake of Egbaland, king of Ayinla Omowura’s hometown of Abeokuta and the Alaafin, who he said was a custodian of Yoruba culture, he had to present the book to them but maintained that the lockdown in Ogun State prevented him from reaching the Alake.