A certain Mrs Amaka Gody Owerri North LGA of Imo State, came back from market and discovered an object in front of her apartment. Taking a cursory look at the object, she could not easily comprehend what elements that composed the round ball -like shaped object.
To be on a safer side, Udoka, a Catholic, dashed into her house, grabbed her holy water and anointed oil. Getting back to the object, Udoka, who is a member of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, knelt down, poured large quantity of the holy water and anointed oil on the object, with both hands demonstratively raised up, and fervently rebuked all attacks designed against her and her family.
She shouted. She invoked almost all the verses in the Bible that have to do with counter attack against demons and evil spirits. In fact, eye witnesses confirm that Udoka prayed for more than an hour.
After her prayers, Udoka was approached by bewildered neighbours who, being perplexed, asked her to explain what has just happened. Udoka was unambiguous in her answer. She said, “I never knew who is after me and my household. I saw a piece of juju neatly tied and dropped at my threshold. In fact, they want to paralyze my family. I will not allow it. I cannot allow them to ruin my life”.
Udoka was still speaking when a little boy of about 10 or 12 shouted on top of his voice and said: “No, no, no. It is not true. We did not plant any juju anywhere. We prepared the object. It is made of nylon, pieces of cloth and the rope we used in holding the objects in a round shape form. It is not juju”.
The import is that the object Udoka wasted more than an hour praying and pouring both holy water and anointed oil on was just an item little boys used as a football, not juju!
Yet, juju exits. Former Super Eagles, Adegboye Onigbinde, believes juju exits in football. He narrated that in 1976, when Shooting Stars of Ibadan played Tonerre Kalala of Cameroon in the final of the CAP Winners Cup now CAF Cup, the supporters club of Shooting Stars led by their leader, Baba Eran, came to him and demanded four key players of the opponents. He in turn demanded to know what they wanted to do with the names, they informed him that they wanted to “hypnotize” them and make them impotent for the game of the day.
Onigbinde revealed that he directed them to a well known sports journalist as he never knew any of the opponent’s players. They eventually got what they wanted. True to their thought, four players ofTonerre Kalala were stretchered out during warm up and Shooting won the game comprehensively.
Both Emeka Ezeugo and Taribo West had in the past confirmed that they had participated in juju practices during their active days in football, particularly in Super Eagles. Both men gave vivid account of how they travelled to various places in Africa in search of formidable and reliable charms for football glory.
Even among traders in the market, different versions of how these artisans employ charms for the purposes of attracting more customers than the others are told in plain languages. In Igbo parlance, it is called “ogwu ahala”. It means the power of one trader to attract or entice customers to his shop or business comer. In Yoruba culture, this practice is known as “awure”. As a matter of fact, the public sphere is awash with both meaningful and baseless allegations from traders who allege that their fellow traders used charms or juju either to boost their businesses or bewitch the others businesses for them to collapse. The juju stories and their dirty details are quite irritating.
Probably, the insinuation that some men of God otherwise known as pastors as well as Catholic priests make use of charms to perform miracles is very shameful. According to Uzoukwu Nnanna of Ishi Gate in Umuahia, Abia State, “My brother, I can tell you that some so called men of God patronize native doctors to get powers for miracle performance. This is because, most of them are not really called by God. They are there to make money. The ministry is no loner to save souls but to serve for commercial survival. I am talking from experience because I was once involved. You know, the harsh economic development in the country has forced many to be doing all manner of criminal activities for survival and the pastors are among”.
Perhaps, it may not ring a bell if it is stated that women of easy virtues rank among the biggest investors in juju and charms. This is because, since those who take them home are not their true friends even as their identities remain undisclosed, the ladies therefore need what is called within the prostitutes as “security, defence, insurance or protection”. Not only for security reasons, so have the prostitutes also employed juju to attract customers while standing on the road. Sometimes, they wear the charms as amulets on the waists or necks or as rings on their fingers. The essence of this, as one of them told this reporter, is to be prepared in case any prospective customer wants to use them for ritual, then the charms will give them sign.
Then, why do police promote juju? A police officer who doesn’t want his name in print said “not all of us know what juju is all about. I am a Christian and I believe in the power of prayers. And there are many in the force like me. However, I know many of our people use charms. Some tie it on their neck or waist. Others use red label on their ruffles. It is a serious matter. Put together, the idea is for them to ensure their safety”.
In actual sense, does juju work? Many said yes. It works. Others said. No. It doesn’t work.