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God Was Always There For Me


She was the ‘notorious’ and no-nonsense policewoman most Lagos Danfo drivers feared the most, in the late sixties and early seventies. Her name resonates across the Lagos metropolis like wildfire as errant bus drivers fidget at the sight of Iya Toyin. For three months, she and her team brought sanity to the chaotic traffic congestion in Lagos and at the same time drew many enemies. At one time, her traducers had rumoured she died a tragic death due to her ‘high handedness’ after her retirement.
Interestingly, one of her sons is currently the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 2, AIG Adeleye Oyebade.
Seraph News duo of OMOLOLU OLUBODE & TINUOLA OSHUNTOKUN caught up with the former Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), Mary Iyabode Oyebade, (nee Akintona), a proud seraph who had devoted the latter days of her life to the service of the Lord.


Excerpts:
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am Mary Iyabode Oyebade, nee Akintona. My husband introduced me to the Police Force. I was a teacher, when I was young. My sister, Folorunso Akintona, gave birth to a child. She had the naming ceremony at Idogo in Igbo Olobi, where my father was the Bale. When I heard about the naming
ceremony, I left my grandmother at the railway station at Agbesi to Idogo to attend the naming ceremony. As soon as I saw the newly born beautiful baby, I sought permission from my mother to follow my sister and the baby to Ebute Igbo Oro when they were returning home. My mother
approved my request.
When we got to Ebute Igbo Oro, I told my aunt that I’m 19 years old, I’m already an adult, my grandmother did not allow me to go to school because my right hand cannot reach my left hear,
when stretched over my head. She kept me in the farm to plant different crops. My aunt said I will go to school. She took me to a nearby N.A. School to meet the school’s headmaster, one Mr Ibikunle, who had promised to fix me in that school. My sister, being the wife of an influential & successful
trader around the area wields a lot of influence at Ebute Igbo Oro, Ilaro in Ogun State. But when Mr Ibikunle saw me for the first time, he almost reneged on his promise. He said I was too old to be admitted. As God would have it, his wife insisted I must be admitted even when her husband said
no. It became an issue between both of them. Eventually. The wife won and she took me to one of the classes in the school.

How old were you then?
I was 19 years old.


Which secondary school did you attend?

Oro Ago in Kwara State.


When & where were you born?
I was born on 25th May, 1929 at Igbo Olobi, Idogo Railway station, in Ogun State.

When did you get marry?
1958.

How did you meet your husband who you call your daddy?
Constant sexual harassment from men, made me run away from Ebute Igbo Oro to Idogo, where I started schooling again at Methodist school. The male teachers at this school were also making love advances at me & my mother had warned me to avoid going to bed with men which she said will
result into unwanted pregnancy. This made me repulse men like snakes. I reported the harassment of the teachers to my mother. She came around to warn them but that did not stop them. So, I took another flight to Abeokuta.

How did baba Oyebade came into the picture?
When I got to Abeokuta, baba Oyebade’s house was a stone throw from the house of one of my senior brothers where I reside. Ralph Oyebade, his junior brother, who is now a medical doctor was always on the lookout for me whenever I was coming back to the house. As soon as I’ve entered
the house, he will seek the audience from the wives of my senior brother, who sat under a big tree in front of the house, to be allowed to deliver a message from his senior brother to me. Initially, they rejected his overtures but after a while, he was allowed to see me. He introduced himself and told
me that his senior brother was interested in coaching me in subjects that I may not be good at in school. I told him I wasn’t good with arithmetic and he left immediately. A few days later, his senior brother, brother Oyebade came to let me know that he sent Ralph to find out about subjects that I
was deficient in. On that day & for many times, he taught me arithmetic such that I was able to understand it perfectly. My perfect understanding of arithmetic surprised a particular male teacher in my school, who had often flogged me & had offered to help me with the subject in his house. Two
of my female classmates, who succumbed to his request had become pregnant. My rejection of his offer annoyed him to the extent that, he will seize my food, took it to his house & expected me to
collect my plates from his house. I had to report him to my father. My father came to meet him in school, confronted him with the allegation of seizing my plates which he confirmed. My father then followed him to his house, collected my plates & threatened to report him to the Police if he sexually harassed me again. This humiliation made him remove my name from the list of pupils who were to do the primary school leaving certificate examination that year. He made sure I didn’t do the exam.
This was a setback but, as God would have it, Kike, a very close friend of mine, told my mother about a Missionary School at Oro Ago, that could admit me to finish my primary school education. My mother granted me permission to follow her to the Missionary School. The school authorities first rejected me because of my age but at the insistence of Kike, my available results were sent to the headquarters of the Missionary School abroad & after fifteen days, a favourable reply from the headquarters stated that I should be admitted, with or without any result. That was how I became a pupil of the Missionary School at Oro Ago.

When did you become a teacher?
I’ve been teaching before I joined the Police force & I started from Oro Ago where I graduated as a teacher. My man, brother Oyebade was always around me in all the schools where I taught. I was really in love with the teaching profession & I spread my teaching tentacles in the following
communities—Ebute Igbo Oro, Eredo, Idi-Iroko, Owode & Ketu Adiye Owe, all in Ogun State.
I was at Ketu Adiye Olowe, when my man, ‘brother’ Oyebade, invited me to Lagos to come and enlist in the Nigerian Police force, sometime in 1957. I rejected his invitation but he had his way. He arranged with a few trusted people led by his brother, Ralph Oyebade, to ‘kidnap’ me. They bundled
me into a chattered taxicab all the way from Ketu Adiye Olowe in Ogun State, to the Southern Police College in Ikeja. At the Ikeja Police College, the officer in charge, a female Police Officer, inquired from Ralph what his mission was & he told her that his own senior brother, who was the immediate assistant to the British Officer, had requested that this lady, a junior sister to his senior brother, was brought to Lagos to join the Police force. The British Police officer was so elated. She informed them
that a group of female Police women in the school, are undergoing training, in preparation for a trip to the United Kingdom. Everything was done to fast-track my enlistment. Thirty of us sat for an exam and I was the only female, & I came first. By the time I did this exam, the Police force had recruited the first batch of women into the Police Force. These first batch had completed training & passed out of the Police College but are yet to be posted. The British Police Officer invited these new women graduates of the Police College to her office & arranged that I take a group photograph with them, which automatically made me qualify as one the first batch of Police women to graduate from the Southern Police College, Ikeja. This was in 1958.
In august, I was posted to Denton Police Station at Oyingbo. At the Denton Police station, I was given the unenviable task of cleaning up prisoners who have either vomited, excreted or removed their clothes & have been messing themselves up in the cell. Since it was an order from above, I had to do it. Prior to my assignment to take care of these inmates, I was told
that those who had done what I was about to do were manhandled by the inmates, but they never did any harm to me. I always washed them with warm water, which was a delight to them. Hitherto, they took bath with cold water. After they have had their baths, I will towel them, make them wash their mouths & combed their hair. While they are busy doing this, I will dash to their place of abode to wash it thoroughly & dry it up to make it habitable and comfortable for them before I take them back to their cells. However, I always pray to God before & after the daily chore of taking care of the inmates and God never disappointed me
throughout the time I undertook this assignment.
The positive change of attitude of the inmates to me surprised my superior officers and their ‘reward’ for the unbelievable kind gesture of the inmates to me, was my transfer to the Post Office junction at Adekunle, to control the traffic. Unlike other officers on the same bit whowere driven in police land rovers from Denton Police station to their various bits, I had to
trek back & forth from Denton to Adekunle, throughout the time I was traffic a warden.
As God would have it, a senior Police Officer from Lion Buildings, had an unscheduled meeting with the anti-crime branch of the Denton Police Station. As soon as I saw him approached the entrance of the station, I called all the police officers at the counter to stand at attention and their response was automatic to the utmost surprise of the unexpected
Senior Police Officer. He asked for my name, state of origin & the year I passed out of the Police College and i gave him all the details. He promised to cross check at the head office and get back to me. Three days later, the charge room officer of our police station confronted me with this statement, ’You used your long leg to leave this station, you are going to Lion
Buildings! That’s ok. Go now’. I was taken aback by his statement but later, somebody brought a signal from the Commissioner of Police that I should report at Lion Buildings immediately. Later on, I found out that the Senior Police Officer that came to Denton Police Station three days earlier, had requested for my file & when he saw the contents, he marvelled at the progress I had made in the police force within a short time. He made a
recommendation that I should be transferred to the Juvenile Welfare Centre at Campbell street in Lagos. This was the origin of the signal. As soon as I reported to the Police Commissioner, he said,’ Congratulations! You are posted to be the OC [Officer In Charge] of Juvenile Welfare Centre, Campbell street, Lagos. You must take care of the place very well’. I went to the place as directed.
The Centre was set up to prevent children of school age from street trading, which was against the law at that time. Children caught were arrested & prosecuted along with whoever sent them to perpetrate the offence. A vehicle was allocated to us to ease our transportation problems & the Police Commissioner was impressed with our commitment.
I was later moved to the female section of the Anti-Crime Branch at Broad street in Lagos, where, market women caught for wrong display of wares are bailed. When I resumed, a fat woman I met there told me she would put me through on the proper way to run the place and since I was ready to learn, I told her I was going to cooperate with her. She now told me
that she was the person who helped to procure bail for those in police custody. I told her that once any person in custody can get somebody to bail him or her, she has no business procuring bail for people. She now said I would soon understand the way things were operated there. The following day, one Mr Ashogbon came around to bail his client from police custody. I requested for his name, address & other necessary information which he
willingly gave me. I released his client to him & warned him to ensure that his client was available at the Juvenile court the following day. Mr Ashogbon then surprisingly asked,‘Won’t you collect bail money?’ I said bail was free. He said people always paid before securing their clients on bail, to the fat woman who was also waiting patiently to take the bail money. When confronted with what the man said, the fat woman said the bail money was what they live on in that section of police station. I then told her not to collect bail money from anybody henceforth. She had to leave & many people in police custody got bailed immediately after this unfortunate incident. Ashogbon spread the ‘good news’ of my pronouncement to all those who had clients in custody that the new police O.C. wasn’t collecting money for bail.

What was the reaction of fellow police officers to your pronouncement?
There was obvious bad blood between me & other police officers in the anti-crime section. My days were numbered. Not long after the last person in custody was bailed, my fiacee who ‘kidnapped’ me in 1957, from Ketu Adiye Olowe, told me it was time for us to do court marriage. As at that time, I had a lot suitors requesting for a relationship with me. While
some sent letters with money or pen, another batch sent expensive gifts but I made sure I returned every gift to the sender. This was because my man, ‘brother’ Oyebade wrote love letters with memorable words which I cherished a lot then and I believed his love was more genuine than that of those who sent money, pen or other gifts. Ralph Oyebade, my man’s junior brother, brought the court marriage request to me, and I asked, why should I do court Marriage without the consent and presence of my parents.
Ralph said families are not bound to be present at the court marriage but they would be duly informed after the court marriage and every formality of engagement and family marriage would be performed.

Was this what obtained at that time?
That wasn’t what obtained. The bride’s parents must be formally consulted & every conjugal obligation ought to be carried out before court marriage took place. However, there was so much pressure from a lot of senior police officers to marry me & I always told them that I was brought to Lagos by somebody and that was the person I was going to marry, although I kept his
identity secret to prevent obvious repercussions. We fixed a date for court marriage and I told my mother in confidence although she deliberately didn’t attend. After the marriage in 1958, we went to his house at Denton street, Ebute Metta.

How did the formal marriage take place?
My father went to Abalabi, in Ogun state once in a while & he would sleep in his cousin’s house. During one of such trips, my father in law to be, popularly called Alhaji Baba, heard that the father of the woman his own son wanted to marry was at Abalabi. The fact that I was still a virgin, made him resolve to see my father without any delay. He went straight to my father’s cousin’s house. He told my father’s host that his guest was going to sleep in his house [Alhaji Baba’s house]. My father’s cousin, who was totally surprised, wanted to know the reason behind his effrontery. Alhaji Baba now formally introduced himself as the father of the man who wanted to take the beloved daughter of his for a wife & he also invited my father’s cousin to accompany my father, to be his guest. Both of them, my father & his cousin, followed my father in law to be, to his house & they were treated to an unforgettable hospitality. When my father got back home, he told my mother of the special treatment my would-be father in law gave him & my mother was glad that I was marrying into a good family.
My engagement & marriage was like a fairy tale. It took place at Idogo. My father had a good relationship with the expatriate head of the railway station who was always coming to Idogo from time to time. As soon as he was told about my marriage, the expatriate instructed the train that was to go from Ido to Idogo, to leave a whole coach free to carry my In-laws &
their guests when the train gets to Abalabi to ferry them free of charge to Idogo. This unexpected free ride afforded many people to make the trip to Idogo. My in-laws brought more than enough traditional ingredients- various fruits, yam tubers & other foodstuffs apart from what was normally expected from the groom’s family.
My father surprised some members of his own family. After the whole ceremony, my father said all guests from both families should take as many of the traditional ingredients as possible, which left little or nothing for those from our family side with little or nothing to share. After the whole ceremony, my husband & I had a train ride back to Abalabi, for our
honeymoon. The coach which had been specially decorated, had enough varieties of delicious food on board, courtesy of the expatriate. It was a wonderful day to remember.

After marriage, how did you cope with marital life? Did you face any challenge?
It wasn’t easy, but Jesus was in total control. After our marriage, we were both working in Lagos & neither of us was transferred out of Lagos for some time until a minor incident happened. Somebody came from my husband’s hometown to join the police force as a tailor. My husband took him to the police vocational workshop with a request for his brother to be taken as a tailor. Those at the workshop said there was no vacancy but my husband insisted that he must be taken as a tailor and this made some of them angry. One of them now said, ‘It is not your fault at all. Since you are married & now live in Police quarters, that is why you dey make yanga. We shall make sure you are taken out of the place’. He said he was ready to leave the quarters as long as he was given another quarters & if he wasn’t given, he would report to the commandant. We were at the Obalende Barracks then. Not long after that, my husband was part of the officers drafted to Cameroon, to help that country after the crisis that erupted after assassination of prominent opposition leaders in the early sixties. While he was still on active service in Cameroon, we were moved, as forewarned, from Obalende to a one room apartment at Okesuna Barracks near Sangross market in Lagos. I had our first child there & six female relatives came to Okesuna to look after the welfare of my daughter & I. Although a big veranda was attached to our one room apartment, the place became too small for my relatives, the baby & myself. I got in touch with my husband in Cameroon about my predicament & he pleaded with me to be patient until he returned to Nigeria. He assured me that we shall move out of the barracks to rent a house. When he was back, his search for an apartment didn’t yield a positive result. He had to go to the Police Commandant to formally request for another apartment. The Commandant, who was British, in sympathy to my plight, allocated a self-contained one
bedroom apartment with plenty of unbelievable space to us, on the first floor of the Jebba Police Barracks. He also facilitated our movement to the place with two big police trucks.
When the Military took over power in 1966 & Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson was appointed the first Military Governor of Lagos state, one of the first duties he performed was to visit Police formations and Jebba Barracks was to be part of his itinerary. Surprisingly, Toyin, our first daughter, who was a toddler then, was chosen to present flowers to the Governor, out of all
the children in the Jebba police barracks. I rejected the idea at first but my husband made me to understand that, Toyin was picked at a meeting of very senior Police Officers & she had to do the presentation. He advised me to ensure that she was properly dressed for the occasion. In compliance with her father’s wish, I bought her a beautiful dress & matching
shoes. When the Governor arrived & saw Toyin with the flowers she was to present to him,he was bewitched by the cute little child such that he carried her in his arms & hugged her before accepting the flowers from her. He also made a pronouncement at the ceremony. A Police Railway Station to the Railway compound was allocated at Jebba & the foundation stone was laid on that day. He then requested for the father of the cute little child that
presented him with flowers. He was told that he was on duty as O.C. of the Ido Railways Police Station. Brigadier Johnson directed that he should be summoned immediately. When he came, he told him, ‘The foundation stone of the Railway station I just laid, had to be
completed within three months & I’m putting you in charge to supervise the project from the beginning to the end.’ That was how baba Toyin was O.C. of the Railway Police Station.
This developments however, wasn’t palatable at all for baba Toyin’s superior officers. Before our marriage, most of them who showed interest in me didn’t get far because of my total commitment to my man, who they didn’t know then, but as soon as we married, our marriage was gazetted & this revealed the identity of my husband who was a junior officer.
As if being married to a junior officer wasn’t enough, his good luck of getting a better accommodation at Jebba, the choice of his daughter to present flowers to the Lagos State Military Governor & his elevation as O.C. of The Railway Police Station to supervise the construction of the Ebute Metta Railway station, was too much for his superior officers to
swallow. They bid their time for the appropriate time to strike.
At an opportuned time, he was transferred from Lagos to Sokoto when our first daughter, Toyin was still very young. This was a big blow to me but when I had my quiet time with God, I dreamt that he was safe. Later I consulted primate of my church, who told me that God had
placed him in a comfortable position at Sokoto. I later found out he was put in charge of the Police Barracks Canteen at Sokoto. Most policemen who love to drink beer, pass through the corridor of his house to buy beer in the canteen, pour it into small kettles, to make it look like water and took it back to their barracks.

How did he get back to Lagos?
There was a time I was transferred to the Police Confidential Registry in Lagos. There, I found a way to re-arrange the confidential files of police officers in alphabetical order such that it was very easy to locate the files. An unscheduled visit by Police Commissioner Yisa Adejo to the office, attracted a special commendation from him because of the ease with
which he located the information he was looking for. I exploited this relationship later, to influence my husband’s transfer back to Lagos. Adejo said baba Toyin’s transfer was an official decision that affected many police officers, because Lagos was overcrowded then, but he was not aware that he was transferred to Sokoto. He assured me that he would do
something about it. A few months later, somebody informed me that a conference of senior police officers was going to take place in Adejo’s house. My informant told that an elderly man was going to be at the conference who got whatever he wanted from Adejo because he was like a father to him. On the day in question, I went to Adejo’s house and met the
elderly man in question and I gave him a full salute meant for a very senior Police Officer.
The elderly man wandered aloud why I gave him the salute, when he was not even a police officer. I said I assumed he was a senior police officer in mufti. He then beckoned Adejo to excuse himself from the conference for a few minutes. When Adejo came to meet us outside, he asked him whether he knew me and he said I’ve been troubling him over the transfer of my husband to Sokoto which had to do with preponderance of too many senior
police officers in Lagos.
The elderly man said the hen will always find a way to the place it had laid eggs to be hatched later. He prevailed on him to effect the transfer of my husband back to Lagos before the end of that week. To God be the glory. A signal for the immediate transfer of my husband back to Lagos was sent to Sokoto and this was done before that week ran out. The family reunion was fantastic and until he retired from the police force, he was not transferred outside Lagos again.
When did you join the Police Traffic Unit?
While I was still in the Police Confidential Secretary’s Office in 1969, Police Commissioner Yisa Adejo summoned me to his office at Lion Buildings. When I got there, he gave me an assignment to descend heavily on the danfo drivers who ply many routes in Lagos without adequate papers, they were not obeying traffic rules, they overload their vehicles with
passengers and deliberately refuse to pick passengers at designated bus stops, thereby constituting nuisance to other motorists on many roads in Lagos. He had earlier directed the Ijora Police Station to eradicate this abnormality but the station fell short of his expectation, hence his decision to hand the assignment to me. I requested for three offices with typists at
Igbosere, Ebute Metta & Yaba in the magistrate court premises, with type writers to prepare court summons for erring drivers. Adejo made everything I requested for available. He also made me the Officer In Charge of a 30 man Special Traffic Task Force to execute his directive. My charge to every member of the squad was for them to do their job efficiently &
refuse any bribe offered them. I solicited & got the cooperation of judges in these three court premises to extend their closing time from two pm to 4 pm to fast track trials for danfo drivers who contravened traffic rules. We embarked on this assignment with religious tenacity & very soon commercial drivers found it difficult to operate like they used to. The
traffic atrocities of the danfo drivers were reduced to the barest minimum which of course,created enemies from within & outside the police force. The zero tolerance for bribe from most members of the Task Force was tantamount to income loss to some police officers, while the commercial vehicle drivers who had been convicted in court, found it difficult to
operate without valid papers. Both disgruntled groups decided to map out strategies to circumvent the obvious success of the Task Force. A judas was located within our squad. She was the only personnel from the police C. I. D. Her task was to plant money in any of the
vehicles we use but Commissioner Adejo somehow discovered this plot and warned me to ensure that we must station one squad member each, inside and outside every vehicle we operate with, whenever any of our patrol vehicles was parked. We complied immediately.
No sooner had we done this than we observed frequent patrol of C. I .D. police vehicles zooming back and forth wherever we packed our patrol vehicles.

One fateful day, I was on duty checking vehicle particulars, a commercial lorry sped at top speed towards me with the obvious aim to run over me but God made me jump over the nearest drainage to safety while the driver who drove the lorry, ran into the drain & gave up the ghost. This incident renewed my total trust in the God of C&S. This was because baba
Jumoke had earlier told me that, attempts on my life was going to be made but he assured me that God was going to be there for me at all times. The lorry was towed to the police station. This was when the lady judas amongst us swung into action. She had told the owners of the accident vehicle that she could secure the release of the lorry if she was given a substantial sum of money to bribe me. When she came into my office some days later, she
said she has come to see me but I told members of my squad to walk her out & followed her outside our office. Then, I confronted her with the failed plot hatched by her colleagues in the C. I. D. to plant money in our patrol vehicles and some other unsubstantiated petitions against our squad. With the total failure of the two plot, I accused her of wanting to come &
put marked money in our office. She was totally taken aback. She left in utter disgrace.
What was it that made you abhor taking bribe when many of your colleagues in the police force take it?
My father, Chief Akintona, was the Bale of Igbo Olobi village in the Egbado area where I came from, in Ogun state. He made sure that I was catered for from birth until I joined the police force. That infused in me a sense of self integrity. Apart from integrity, no bribe was offered with any goodwill, because the giver was either blackmailed, threatened or forced to
part with his or her money. Some of those who gave this bribe rain curses on those who collected it from them.
Can you please compare the police force of your day to that of today?
I don’t even want see myself as a former police officer. One of our children, Leye Oyebade, that joined the police force before we left, was properly tutored not to tarnish the family name. When he was at Panti Police Station, the notice of ‘Bail is Free’ was conspicuously and strategically placed for everybody to see. So, nobody offered or took bribe throughout the
time he was there. He got rid of all junks around the Panti Police barracks. Today, he has become the A. I. G. of Zone 2, which comprised Ondo, Osun & Oyo State Police Commands.
How many years did you spend as head of the Special Traffic Task Force Squad?
I spent just three months.
Just three months?
Yes now. My squad was able to eradicate the menace, through God’s will, within three months.
The last assignment was when we moved as many vehicles as possible, packed in one Chief Biney’s compound in Yaba to the Magistrate Court, Yaba. This was what the Ijora Police post wasn’t able to do but God enabled us to do it.
Commissioner Adejo must have been very pleased.
I became a celebrity overnight. My husband was controlling traffic at Tom Jones in Lagos when a driver committed a traffic offence & he was booked. He packed his car, came to my husband and offered him an envelope. My husband used the envelope to slap his face for daring to insult him. The
man fell down & later struggled to stand up. On the opposite side of the road, some C. I. D. police officers were taking pictures of what just transpired between both of them. The police officers crossed the road to meet them. One of them said they beheld a wonder that surprised them. They now showed the pictures of how he slapped the offending motorist with his envelope and after he fell down to my husband, who assumed that they wanted to accuse him of doing something wrong .
They now congratulated my husband for being one of the few police officers with self-respect and integrity. They also intimated him with pictures of various policemen caught putting extorted money
into their shoe stockings. He now told them that he was Iya Toyin’s husband. They requested him to please take them to see his wife. He brought them home & introduced us to one another. They were
so delighted to meet me. They said were happy to meet a police couple that abhor the dismal culture of taking bribes which had become the norm among some police officers. I told them that bribe taking was not heard of in the families we came from & we have told two of our children in the
Police force, Leye & his immediate junior brother to distance themselves from taking bribes.
When did retire from the Nigerian police force?
I retired as Deputy Superintendent of Police on fifth September, 1975 but my promotion letter as Chief Superintendent of Police came after my retirement.
How did you become a seraph?
Now you are talking. The founder of our church, Alagba J. A. Aribilola, was an Ijesha cloth trader, who had a church at Abalabi in Ogun State. Many people go there for prayers and take water there
for sanctification during an annual special service. Just before this regular annual event was to take place in a particular year, Alagba Aribilola fell into a trance and the Holy Spirit made him disappear into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, where he observed white fasting and was in
constant communication with God. After the fortieth day, he was woken up from deep slumber and was spiritually directed to go to an African Church in Abalabi. Alagba Aribilola, also known as baba Jumoke, went to the African Church he was spiritually directed to in the midnight and slept in the sanctuary of the church. When church members came and saw him lying still in the church at daybreak, they panicked and ran, but a prophet told them that the man lying still in the church was not dead but had been in trance for forty days somewhere else but was spiritually directed to the
African Church to recuperate. When he woke up, he gave appropriate information on those to contact and that was how we were able to locate baba Jumoke and took him home.
Later, we got [nformation that somebody who was behaving like an insane man, was living inside a marshy surburb of Agege so that we can arrange the police to save him. When we got there, we found out that the person that was reported to us was baba Jumoke. He told us he was spiritually
directed to establish his own church at Agege. Baba Toyin and mysif with some other people, rallied round to make the place habitable before a church was put in place over a period of months. While this development was taking place, worshippers at mosque opposite the church, began placing all sorts of sacrifices like tiras and even incense with bad odour at open spaces around the church premises overnight. All attempts to persuade the Imam of the mosque to prevail on his people did
not yield positive results but baba Jumoke continuously made supplications to God to intervene. At God’s time, the congregation of the mosque started diminishing until it closed shop. This was an unbelievable feat that convinced my husband and myself to become staunch Seraphs. In
appreciation of God’s intervention, baba Jumoke christened the church, Sacred C&S Church, Ajagun Nla Kristi Parish, off Alfa Nla street, Oke Koto, Agege. This was in 1968. The church has six parishes today.
What advice do you have for seraphs?
My departed husband had always said that there is one life to live. As for me, I will forever want to be a seraph as many times as I come back to this world. My candid advice to Seraphs is to practice
the C&S as St. Moses Orimolade Tuolase left it for us. When he started directing affairs at Ojokoro, we never saw him perform any sacrifice or embark on fetish practices. Please, let our baba aladuras
& church elders practice the C&S religion as was handed down by Moses Or[molade Tunolase.

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