Mystery: 100-year-old tree falls, kills 4, stands erect 24hrs after - OLAMORE
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Mystery: 100-year-old tree falls, kills 4, stands erect 24hrs after

Is it science or mysticism? Resident of a community in Oyo town of Oyo State are still in shock after a tree said to be about 100 years old fell during a rain storm, killed four people and resurrected the following day, standing erect. SOLA ADEYEMO in Ibadan reports that the site has become a pilgrimage centre for some traditionalists and other worshippers

By all standards, it was considered a normal rainfall on Monday, October 4, 2021 around 6.45 p.m. That was until a stormy breeze later hit a 100-year old Odan tree planted by a late Sango (god of iron) worshipper and threw residents of Sabo in Isale Oyo, Oyo Town, into panic.

The tree was uprooted, fell and killed four persons. The age-long, big, and hydra-branched fibrous-rooted tree, which had been performing umbrella role to many people in the area, got shaken during the stormy rain, shed some leaves and later got uprooted, leaving its yawning base gazing at the bewildered residents, with the branches blocking the nearby un-tarred road.

A woman, who wanted to buy meat from a beef seller beside the tree, was unlucky as she and a child of hers were trapped.

The meat seller miraculously escaped with injuries but a student of the Federal College of Education, SPED (Special) lost her life.

While revealing the identity of the only injured person, who was later hospitalized as Saliu of Olubodun Compound, Sakutu area, two of the sons of the late Chief Adeleke (Baba Sango who planted the tree) Mumini and Babatunde Adeleke, gave the identities of the dead ones as: Bose Taiwo of Yaye Compound, Koso; Onifade Kafilat (the SPED student living at Niresa, Sabo; Abdul-Yekin Aduroti-Allah of Niresa Sabo; and the 13-year old Dare of Aigbin, Sakutu- all in Oyo Town.

Bodies of the dead were later recovered after four sawyers had tried in vain to cut the branches until the fifth had them cut down. To many people, the tree was possessed by some spirits as the Saw machines being used were switching off until the last one effectively worked after some propitiation was allegedly performed.

To heighten the tone of mysticism associated with the falling tree, at about the same 6.40 p.m on Tuesday, the now stumpy tree which had already been clipped of its stems and branches, suddenly shook and in a twinkle of an eye, it stretched, rose and sat upright exactly where it got uprooted.

A keen look at the base of the tree did not show any sign it had earlier been uprooted. Since the news of the ‘resurrection’ of the Odan tree broke out, a mammoth crowd of people had started milling around the tree, idolizing and worshipping it.

It was a Mecca of sort on Wednesday when Sunday Telegraph visited. To forestall any untoward acts from visitors to the scene, elders and leaders of the area cordoned off the scene with wooden fence.

Nevertheless, some socalled white garment ‘Aladura’ adherents had turned the tree to a shrine as they wrapped the wooden fence with white cloth while some had poured salt on the trunk of the tree.

Many people, including students were climbing the trunk of the tree and men of the Western Security Network, “Amotekun”, had a hectic time controlling the crowd.

A traditionalist, Madam Mogbonjubola Moyosore of Elepe Iseke Compound, Oyo, who also believes in the mysticism of the tree, and Olugbenga Adeleke of Yaaye Compound when spoken to by Sunday Telegraph said that “everything that has happened here is a manifestation of the power of God. But some people have tried to turn the tree to a worship place, spreading white cloths around it.

Some were spreading salt on it and licking it. Some dropping bananas on it, but our people had to drive them away with canes”.

A man, who refused to mention his name but read mysterious meaning to the incident even said: “with the falling and rising again of this tree, some people must have been freed from bondage while many would be lamenting now that their captives have been set free”.

The Sabo Market Chairman, Pa Akeeb Alarape, who is in his early 90s, also confirmed the mystery about the tree, saying that: “I was a little boy when we used to trek to our village, passing beside the young tree then. Baba Sango planted it in front of his house.

It will be up to about 100 years old now. I believe God has with this happening shown His mysterious power to us with the way the tree fell and rose up again”.

In his account when visited in his palace, the Alago of Ago Oja Land, Chief Ganiyu Ajiboye Busari, said that the fall and rise of the tree was a mystery and mythical one, adding that the tree had been beneficial to the people for ages based on the spiritual power that late Baba Sango must have infused in the tree.

“Oun ti agbalagba fi nje eko, abe ewe lo wa”, he said, meaning that elders don’t reveal the secrets in their actions. However, one of the sons of late Baba Sango Adeleke, Mr Munmini, countered Alago Oja’s submission, saying: “I was not surprised at what happened. I cautioned those cutting the branches of the tree that people around should be driven away because the tree would return to its base.

I told them that the load on top of the tree which held it lying down was being relieved as the branches were being clipped off. I told them that the load in the base of the tree would eventually pull the tree back when the upper part becomes much lighter.

After the branches had been cut, the tree started making a cricking sound. I noticed that there was a little space through which people were squeezing themselves to watch, and so, I used some planks to block that entrance, lest it trap them whenever the heavy base returns.

Around 6.20 p.m, the tree just rose and sat back. I knew it would be like that because if it had remained as it was when it fell, it would not have been able to rise again. It was the load on its head that had been removed that made the heavy base to draw it backwards.

It was not associated with any mythical power since nobody was performing any sacrifice on the tree before. But we thank God that it did not trap anybody again”, Munmini said.

The other son of Baba Sango, Mr Babatunde, also said that he saw it on the Facebook that someone said he removed a pot from a part of the felled tree. He explained that, “Our late mother many years ago put a pot beside the tree.

She was always pouring water in it so that passers-by who might be thirsty could scoop water from it and drink.

After many years, the creepers that grew from the branches encumbered the pot and so it was no longer visible. It was the pot that had been swallowed by the trunk of the now very big tree that the Facebook man said he removed from the tree.

There is no mystery at all about the tree. Our father did not do anything supernatural to the tree till he died”, he said.

Conversely, the Media Assistant to the Alaafin of Oyo, who spoke on behalf of the monarch, Bode Durojaye, confirmed the strange incident, saying that “apart from the fact that Alaafin, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, sent emissaries to the place on Monday to commiserate with the bereaved, because some people died when the tree fell. We are not yet sure of the number that died.

Some were injured and hospitalized. To show his concern after some emissaries had been sent there, Baba also went there on Wednesday to commiserate with relatives of the victims and promised to offer necessary traditional propitiation to forestall future occurrence”.

These series of opinions have therefore created a clash between mysticism and science, which future developments will soon unravel

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