– At the mention of witch, many would take to their heels even though it is difficult to pin point who really is a witch. While others are hiding, Dr Okhue Iboi is a bold witch and an herbalist born with strange features. He doesn’t hide his identity. As the National Coordinator and Spokesman of Witches and Wizards Association of Nigeria (WITZAN), he has made headlines of several national dailies with his spiritual revelations. In this interview with News Editor, Ajibola Abayomi, he was down-to-earth about the group and spoke about activities of witches and their intentions.
Who are witches?
Witches are normal people like every other human being. Some are nice while some are wicked. Witches are everywhere; they are found in the church, mosque, government agencies and other human endeavours. Spiritually, some of them have five or six eyeballs.
They are creatures of God. Many of them are among shakers and movers of opinions in the society. However, not all witches are bad. It depends on the side you belong to. I am a member of the white witch group that is pure at heart. Those who are black witches are not like us. They are very difficult. As an herbalist, I have used my god-given powers to assist many people and companies to bounce back to life. I have rescued several people from abject poverty; so also many companies that have closed shop were resuscitated through me. I give God all the glory. I am not created for evil. Anyone that partakes in evil act will never progress because there is nothing that is hidden forever.
Many people believe that whatever spiritual assistance or help rendered to them by witches will be recouped in multiple folds based on what they have witnessed during confession of those delivered from witchcraft, why are witches like that?
It is a lie; there is nothing like that. Let me tell you, for those seeking the fruit of the womb, it is only God that has the capacity to give children, and God created the herbs that I use. So there is nothing hidden or magical about that.
Tell us the history of witchcraft in Nigeria?
Our headquarters is in Calabar, Rivers State. That is where the leader of witches in Nigeria resides. Many of our forbearers have gone to the world beyond centuries ago. We grew to meet the power. I have seniors in the society who know more than I do. There is a limit to what I can say in the public as regards witchcraft powers.
If the powers are really from Godly, why the secrecy?
Everything we do at the dead of the night cannot be revealed just like that. We are trying to write a book on our activities.
We have seen witches that confessed that they had used their children to redeem pledges, as members of the cult. Do you deny that?
Those are people who belong to the black witch society. They or their siblings may have eaten human flesh as members of such society. Therefore, there is no way if that happened that they would not be requested to provide their own meat in return. Whoever kills will surely be killed in return. Anyone with witchcraft powers can only harm members of his or her family. If anyone suffers witchcraft attack, definitely one of the fellow’s family members is a witch. No witch operates outside his or her own family. If they do, then they will be overstepping their boundary.
In your own group, what do you people demand in exchange for pledges?
We don’t demand anything in return as members of white witch society.
What if a patient is brought to you, and other members of your group threaten you not to offer help, what will you do?
If a situation like that arises I will go to our meeting to appease them and ask them what they want from me in return. Normally, it’s either they demand a goat or a poultry animal. Any herbalist killed by witches must have compromised himself along the line. That is just the truth, otherwise that can never happen.
You are an herbalist and at the same time a witch. What type of human being are you?
My name is Dr Okhue Iboi. I am from Edo State. My father was a hunter. For many years none of his wives bore him a child. Thereafter, he married my mother.
He was on hunting expedition one day, when he ran into an animal called deer. He wanted to shoot at the animal but he was surprised when heard the deer speak and say: “I am warning you, if you kill me, you won’t have a child in your life.” My father was amazed that an animal spoke to him in human language. He went to the monarch of Akoko Edo where he was residing and narrated his experience. The monarch advised him to stop hunting and take up another business. That was how he became a palm wine tapper. Along the line, my mother became pregnant. She gave birth to me after carrying me in her womb for 12 months. I was born with four teeth in my mouth. I had two front upper and lower teeth from birth. Apart from that, I had on my two palms, leaves. When my parents consulted the
oracle to inquire about me, they were told that I was going to be a great herbalist. When I was child, anytime I was not with my parents, it was either I am in the bush searching for herbs or at a burial ground. During my days in the primary school at Okpe in Akoko Edo, I used to perform magic by turning sand to rice or other foodstuffs. At times too, I used to turn leaves into chalk. The school authority had to expel me when they could not tolerate me anymore because they thought I was going to be a bad influence on other pupils.
Why burial ground of all places?
It is the spirits that used to direct me there. Sometimes, I would be there for three or four days before hunters would come for me after my parents must have been searching for me.
What were you doing where dead people are buried?
I told you it is the spirit that directed me there. I used to see strange people feeding me. As a child I could not talk but the faces I used to see were very strange. I didn’t know them. I think they must be dead people.
You ate from strange people, are sure those people were not demons?
I don’t think so; but they were created by God.
So how did you acquire the witchcraft powers?
I got them from my mother’s womb; she gave them to me. Well, she too must have got the powers elsewhere. That was what she told me. My mother had seven children and I am the first child. She died few days ago at 80. Until her death, she was a witch and she attended meetings.
That means all your siblings are also witches?
(Laughs) No, they are all Christians.
Why only you among your mother’s children, don’t they see you as a threat?
There’s nothing like preferential treatment for me at all. My mother loved all of us equally. My other siblings see me as their elder. They relate with me freely as one of their own.
The impression many have is that witches and wizards are evil spirits that torment innocent souls …
(Cuts in) That is not correct. I belong to the white witch circle. There is nothing that is fetish or evil about our conduct. It is a normal association. We don’t witch-hunt anybody. Those who are black witches are the evildoers. We have pure power from God.
What gave you the conviction that witches use divine power from the almighty?
It is God that created us and the leaves we use for healing. I am an herbalist with white witchcraft powers. Everything that we do is ordained by God. The leaves we are using are pure although we operate at different levels. I use ordinary leaves to cure all sorts of ailments like stroke, leprosy and other serious diseases.
Women are the ones associated with witchcraft powers, what of your top female members in high places, why are they not identifying with you publicly?
(Laughs) Let me correct an impression here. We not only have female members, we also have men in our midst in large numbers. We respect individual privacy, many of our people are not bold or are ashamed to come out in public but I am not ashamed because I have never done evil with my powers. I am a white witch and an herbalist.
How successful are you as a witch?
I have a lot of things going well for me like any other successful human being. All my children are doing fine. I am not lacking anything.
Are your children taking after you?
None of them is a witch or wizard. They are all Christians. One of them is an undergraduate in a university in Benin Republic. He is showing traits that he may be interested in what I am doing but the boy told me that he loves what I am doing but he wants to be a medical doctor. I pray that God will grant his heart desire.
We have heard of witches that were stoned to death after confession, aren’t you afraid of attack from people, more so that people believe witches are candidates of hell fire?
That is a lie. It is only a witch that kills and confessed that will be killed. I have never harmed any one in my life. In Africa, our forefathers have been using herbs to cure several ailments before the colonial masters came. The colonial masters demonised our culture. Hell is on this earth. Whatever anyone sows, he or she will reap. I am proud to be a white witch. I have not done anything to warrant attack from any quarter because my heart is pure. I have used my powers to turn around the fortunes of many people for good. Witches are not candidate of hell because we are not evildoers. It is only those who are not godly that will go to hell as a result of their sins. If I die today, I will face my own judgment from God based on what I have done on earth so also other persons.
Do you relate with people in other faiths?
Why not? I am a Christian. I attend Catholic Church and I pray to God because He is the source of all powers. Whatever we do we have to appreciate God.
So the Reverend Father in your in church knows that you are a witch?
He doesn’t know me as a witch. That is a personal matter. Whenever I am in the church, I don’t poke nose into other peoples’ affairs, we are all creatures of God. I have been a witch from birth. I am 54 years old.
But the bible you read in the church says thou shall not have any other god beside the almighty…
(Cuts in) No contradiction at all. The leaf I am using, as herbalist was created by God, so also are medical doctors. I am not doing anything against the wish of almighty God. He created me and gave me the powers.
But how come witches go to church and mosque, pretending they are worshipping God?
Is it because people don’t reveal their true identity? Many women you see in the church or mosque are witches but because they are in the holy places, prayers always subdue their powers. For me, I am a white witch. We are not like the black witches. If I go to church, I have nothing to fear because I am clean. We are the ones that are neutralising the power of the black witches so that they will not harm innocent people. If any witch eats human flesh, he or she must die.
What help can you render to those under witchcraft attack?
Anyone that needs help in that regard can meet me. I shall offer prayer to wade off the evil. Apart from witchcraft disturbance, Ogbanje spirit is also there.
It is another contending force affecting human race. But once the right sacrifice is made, those forces will seize to torment those who are being oppressed.
You used to comment on political issues, what is the spirit telling you about the general elections?
I am not supporting any politician. I warned former Vice President Atiku Abubarka not to contest against President Goodluck Jonathan four years ago, that he would be defeated that the action won’t make him return to power again. Not only him, I also warned General Ibrahim Babangida not to attempt it too. His spokesman then, Kassim Afegbua, said some witches said Babangida would win. I hope they know better now. We just held a meeting of witches in Kogi State where it was revealed to me that Jonathan would win the presidential election. He has the support of all witches to continue in office. I don’t see General Mohammadu Buhari ruling this country. We don’t have a political party but if anyone seeks our help, we shall render it. There was a time witches in Benue State invited other witches across the country to offer prayers for the Senate President, David Mark, against impeachment. We flew to Otukpo and later to a village called Owetor. That was where we offered the prayers.
Was the Senate President involved and was he at the venue of the prayer?
No, he was not there. I told you that it was the witches in Benue State that initiated the prayer session. David Mark did not know about it. The Benue witches said that him, being a son and their pride, they don’t want him to be disgraced from office like many of his predecessors through impeachment.
How far can your votes assist Mr. President, what is the population of your members and are you registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)?
We are uncountable. We don’t have any register but we know ourselves. Registration is alien to our culture. That is an English idea. We are working to invent our own aircraft just like the airplane. We have been travelling round the globe with the wooden one we have. Our last international meeting was held in Tanzania. We are planning to hold another one in Kenya soon. The focus of our meeting is to ensure that all the bad things brought to Africa are wiped out. Those who colonised our forefathers made use of witchcraft power but they never disclosed that to anyone.
How did you people fly to Benue State, did you go through the airport or through your spiritual links?
(Laugh) We flew there through our own airport. We have our own plane that takes us across the globe.
How does the plane look?
You can’t see it.
Are you implying that you people turned to birds and flew down there?
Yes. I have told you that we have our own plane made of planks. When you enter it, you can fly to anywhere in the world without problem. Let me continue my story about the prayer we offered for David Mark. It was in 2012. When we went to Benue for the prayer, it was also revealed that President Jonathan has been ordained to continue his reign in 2015. The witches in the Northern states were the ones that moved the motion in support of Jonathan and all of us voted for him. They said they loved what he has done for the Northerners in the area of road constructions, schools, agriculture and other amenities their children have benefited from.
What is the interest of the witches in Jonathan’s projects? Are you implying that a woman around Mr. President is your member?
No, that is not the case. I am putting the record straight; please no woman around Mr. President is our member. Witches and wizards are also human beings that are entitled to good things of life.
What do you mean?
We have members across the country in high and low places. Many prominent people in the society are our members. They are both within and outside the government.
Specifically, what has the President done for the witches to warrant their support for his re-election apart from what you mentioned?
Everything he is doing in the country, our members are benefiting from it. Therefore, we wasted no time in endorsing him.
What do you foresee happening during and after the elections?
President Jonathan will win the election and violence will erupt after the announcement of the result. However, the tension that will pervade the nation will subside with prayers from Nigerians because we are a nation of prayer warriors.
Does the spirit also tell you who will succeed the President?
After his second term, power will return to the North. As at now, the identity of the person that will succeed him is yet to be revealed. We shall know the fellow by 2017.
Beside election matters, what other message do you have for the nation?
From this year, our economy will witness a turn-around and power will be stable. Investors will flood the nation and those living abroad will return home. If the government can trust us, we can help to eradicate Boko Haram. We know what to tell Jonathan and the leader of the sect will be caught without stress. He will come out by himself from his hiding.
Must you see Mr. President before you make the sect leader surrender?
There are certain things we have to do that are beyond my capacity. If the President invites me, I shall reveal the way out to him. The moment the leader of the sect is caught, their operation will collapse.