By Onochie Anibeze
IT once happened to our own Daniel Amokachi.Voodoo men performed some
magic and Amokachi believed them. How Amokachi was charmed, conned
He had been injured while still playing in Europe. It was such a bad injury that playing football again seemed difficult. It was at this time, shortly after the 1998 World cup in France, that the Voodoo men asked Amokachi to place an egg in a white handkerchief and crush it. He did and pieces of metal emerged from this action. The Voodoo men told Amokachi that what he had in his hand were the replica of what were in his knee and that detractors conjured them into his body.
And they told him that sacrifices would have to be made to heal his knee so that he can begin to play football again. The sacrifices included parting with money and cars which would be used to appease some gods. He was also to buy goats and fowls for more fetish injunctions. And so began the swindling that cost Amokachi, the Bull of Nigerian football, hundreds of thousands of dollars he earned playing top class football in Europe. It was a sad chapter in his life.
“It can happen to anybody,” Daniel retorted when asked in an interview with Brave Heart how he could be so tricked with his tremendous exposure at home and abroad. “I bought the egg and handkerchief and they just asked me to crush it and when I did, pieces of metal appeared on my palm. It was difficult not to believe them,” he explained, repeating “it can happen to anybody if you knew how magical they were.”
Well, Amokachi lost so much money and materials but God has helped him recover mentally and otherwise from the con men. And if Amokachi knows what Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayo is going through at the moment he would be praying for him to first escape from the hostage of his sorcerer before the question of recovery can even arise.
The big news from the British media a few months ago was that of Adebayo ostracising his mother, Alice, and accusing her of some kind of witchcraft that has affected his scoring prowess. The world was shocked but it was no shame to this man who has played for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid and now Tottenham and who, going by his age, should naturally be waning in his marksmanship.
But the con men made him believe his mother was responsible. And he accused her publicly. He had netted two goals in 12 outings for Tottenham before he went gaga with his accusation.
My brother has been brainwashed –Kola Adebayo
Last November, his elder brother, Kola, 42, a truck driver in Germany had to address the media in Europe to regret that Emmanuel had been brainwashed by “Muslim alfas who told him that our mother was behind his inability to score goals.” Kola said that it was shocking that Emmanuel believed them. And rather than Adebayo struggling to return to shape he allowed himself to be overwhelmed by an imaginary fear of witchcraft.
Adebayo has not even been playing, what more scoring goals. He is more busy fighting imaginary spirits than struggling to return to shape and take up his place. And the fight against the said spirits is costing him money. How helpful it could be for an Amokachi to reach out to this player who, in his own right (apology Atahiru Jega) should be one of the soccer ambassadors from Africa.
Later Adebayo said that his sister, Maggie had also joined the mother in hurting him spiritually. The Muslim alphas (spiritual men), Kola said, convinced Adebayo that Maggie and their mother “were using juju on him.” The Adebayos are of Yoruba ethnic group in Togo. Alice who is in her 60s has remained heartbroken. “Everyday she is crying,” Kola told the Brave Heart on Sunday. Adebayo doesn’t give a hoot and was said to have sent her mother packing from the house in Togo.
He has a mansion in Accra, Ghana, too and spends more time there than in Togo during holidays. He was to tell Peace FM, a radio station in Ghana, his second home “they say I sacked my mother from the house but it’s not true. She decided to leave. How am I going to be in touch with my mother if she is the one telling everybody that my work will not go forward? So, I’ll just be on my own and do my thing. They (his mum and sister) should stop talking and they should stop doing juju on me. They should leave me alone.”
Fans in Togo and Ghana are stunned. Even in UK officials are embarrassed. Even his club manager appears to be avoiding him. Which manager, in these modern times, would field a player who would blame witchcraft for his inability to score goals rather than his own performance? Adebayo is simply losing it. And he appears to be getting every foot wrong. Elections will soon hold in Togo and the clamour for change is high.
Emmanuel Adebayo has been campaigning for the incumbent President and very blunt about it, insisting that President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe must win. Gnassingbe became President in 2005. He took over from his father, President Gnassimgbe Eyadema after he served as minister for two years. In Togo, the feelers indicate that there may be a change if the elections are free and fair. Again, Adebayo doesn’t give a hoot. He is now more in the news for controversial things than the football the former African Footballer of the Year is known for.
Months after the Juju episode broke out in Europe and in Togo, Adebayo has not changed. We sought sources to feed us with more on this African star and were lucky. A family friend of Adebayo told us more about the outrage from Togo. It is a stunning account of a drowning player who needs help if not to revive his football at least to live and enjoy his hard earned money before the swindler appropriates all and renders him a wreck.
Inside account from a family source
“It’s amazing that Adebayo could think that her mother who prayed and protected him till he became a man and star would work against him. It’s amazing that when age was on his side and he was a super star, banging in goals, he did not think that his mother could harm him. Why must it be now that he is ageing? What would a mother gain by harming her own son? Adebayo is unbelievable. The mother rides on Okada (bike) but he bought a car for a comedian in Ghana.
The mother is suffering and he doesn’t care. She is poverty-stricken. He doesn’t help anybody in his family. The voodoo man told him that any money he spends on his family would be used against him. He believed this nonsense. When Peter, his brother fell sick they needed financial help.
Adebayo did not send a penny, not even when they needed about $100 or $200 dollars to carry out tests. The boy eventually died and when Adebayo wanted to attend the funeral the whole family refused. They didn’t want him to attend. Outsiders begged and he was allowed to attend.
‘’He came there and watched as if it was a football match. He never contributed a dime. They told him any money he spent would haunt him and he just came to watch and leave. It was unbelievable. He has declared war on his family. It is sickening. His younger brother Rotimi plays for a third division here in Togo and begs to do laundry job at the club to survive. And that’s the brother of a man who earns thousands of pounds a week.
‘’The voodoo man has completely changed his mentality. He is under a spell. And the voodoo man boasts about his control of the so called super star. He once boasted that he could command Adebayo to stay in one place and when people doubted him he lured Adebayo to visit him. He did and he asked him to stay in one room and never to step out. After long hours
Adebayo was begging that he was hungry and needed to go fetch some food. People around were amazed that it was the same Adebayo that they see on television as a super star that was being so easily manipulated.
‘’Once, the voodoo man kept a live snake in one corner of Adebayo’s house and informed Adebayo that the spirits told him that his mother had sent a snake to his house as an act of witchcraft. The man took Adebayo to the corner and when they truly saw a snake there, Adebayo believed that it was his mum that sent the snake after him. The juju man had actually confided in one man on what he did.
‘’His house help had to leave because he was seeing many fetish things in the house. He was afraid. So Adebayo is in trouble and needs help. But he does not want to believe that he is being swindled. How can his mother be against his progress? ‘’ It is even by the grace of God that the woman is still alive. The humiliation from her own child is enough to end her life but God is keeping her and she is praying to God to rescue her child.
The voodoo man also uses intimidation. He once threatened Adebayo that if he went against his orders he would become a cripple. Adebayo cringed. That is the story of Adebayo, the African superstar who has told the world that his mother’s witchcraft was responsible for his dwindling performance. A poor innocent woman hopes that someday her son will change and escape from the grip of those who have held him
Foussena Djagba is in charge of Adebayo’s domestic matters in Togo and in Ghana. She has never commented on the saga and our contact was asked to reach her for comments. Foussena said the Adebayo affair was a family matter that was being addressed at that level. She bluntly refused to make further comments. She also said that she was no longer Adebayo’s publicist.
Adebayo under Keshi
When my contact in Togo first told me about the agony of Adebayo, I was disappointed but not surprised that the young man would be this vulnerable to men who claim to possess power through extra ordinary ways. During the qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup I travelled to Togo to cover their match with Senegal. Current Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, was Togo’s coach and had guided them well in the qualifiers.
Togo made it to Germany but Keshi who piloted their affairs was surprisingly disengaged and he did not eventually take Togo to the World Cup. The home match against Senegal was one of his great moments. They won 4-2 in a dramatic match. The story on Adebayo was while I was in Togo was interesting. Once, he broke camp rule, left camp on the eve of the match and returned late in the night, well beyond midnight.
Keshi had made up his mind to decamp his captain and was planning how to call a press conference to tell the media what Adebayo did and why he would not play.
Adebayo was said to have pleaded with Keshi and informed that his night outing was for the interest of the team and that Keshi should show great understanding. The night outing was not for any social matter. Adebayo exuded confidence in telling Keshi that “I went to guarantee my goals and they assured me that I would score two goals.”
Keshi was momentarily speechless and when he gathered himself together he excused him and dropped the sanction. Interestingly, Adebayo scored two goals in that match. Keshi was stunned and would never forget that incident. Adebayo scoring two goals could have been coincidental and not by the power of voodoo and Keshi tried to stay away from their “ways” and concentrated on his coaching.
assumed brought him fame more than his God-given talents. Pity!