Nupe Spiritualism

By Ndagi Abdullahi

The Nupe Nation is today dominated by the two world religions of Islam and Christianity. It is in this context that the Nupe people are today more or less a nation of Muslims and Christians with literally a marginal, and almost nonexistent, number of followers of traditional Nupe religion.

The official and conventional statistics today is that there is hardly any practitioner of traditional Nupe religion in the world today. Even in the most remote of villages and in every nook and corner of the Nupe Nation today virtually everybody professes to be a Muslim or a Christian.

Traditional Nupe Religion, we are told, have lost almost all of its followers.

This equation is further complicated by the fact that even the average Nupe man today have no any idea what a Traditional Nupe Religion actually constitutes or even means. So complete and sweeping was the war of extermination waged by Muslim and Christian missionaries alike on Traditional Nupe Religion that today that ancient Religion of the Nupe people have become virtually extinct.

Today a definition of what was the ancient Religion practiced by the Nupe people in former times is even difficult to come by. This situation is as a result of various factors prominent among which is the fact that even in those ancient day the Nupe people were not practitioners of a single religion but were themselves divided as followers of different religions and denominations of faith the same today that we the Nupe people as the practitioners of not one but the two major world religions of Islam and Christianity today.

So was it that even in former times there were various religions in KinNupe and the Nupe Nation was not religiously monolithic as we are wont to imagine today. And it was this religious diversity that made it easy for the Muslim and Christian missionaries to come and put a complete end to all the varieties of ancient religions practiced by the ancient Nupe people.

But then another reason why the Muslim and Christian missionaries succeeded in putting an end to ancient Nupe religions is the fact that the Muslim and Christian missionaries couldn’t really differentiate between Nupe religion and Nupe spiritualism.

To the ancient Nupe people there was a wide and general difference between religion and spiritualism.

And, as we will discuss later, this mindset of a difference between religion and spiritualism have persisted in the national psyche of the Nupe people and that to the detriment of both Islam and Christianity.

In former times the Nupe people clearly differentiated between spiritualism and religion. Whereas religion was a set of dogmas and tenets with a specific set of sociocultural exercises or rituals, spiritualism was a general code of spiritual rituals that have nothing to do with the religious faith or ideology of the ritualist. In other words while religion was exclusive to just the adherents of its particular faith, spiritualism was a general system of ritualism that cut across the board regardless of the religious faith or affiliation of the ritualist.

Also, the scenario here is further complicated by the fact that both ancient Nupe religionism and ancient Nupe spiritualism are wholly enmeshed in an endless coterie of ritualism. That is to say that ritualism is the common ground that bound both Nupe spiritualism and Nupe religionism share together despite the exclusiveness and the universality that inherently differentiated ancient Nupe spiritualism and ancient Nupe religionism. But the Muslim and Christian missionaries came and, not being able to differentiate this fine subtlety between spiritualism and religion, condemned ancient Nupe religions as fetishism and all ritual practices, whether spiritual or religious, as paganism.

The Muslim and Christian missionaries came and branded both Nupe spiritualism and Nupe religionism as fetishism and paganism. And that really served the purpose of the missionaries very well in those days because it was really difficult convincing a Nupe person in those days to desist from one, either the religion or the spiritualism, without the other.

Furthermore, both Islam and Christianity were eternally opposed to ancient Nupe religion and cannot tolerate the very existence of any of the ancient Nupe religions. And since it was difficult differentiating between the ritualism of Nupe religion and Nupe spiritualism the most expedient thing to do in those days was to wholly condemn any type of Nupe ritualism, whether spiritual or religious, as fetishism or paganism.

In any case both Islam and Christianity arrived KinNupe in the form of dominating imperialist establishments that were able to use their politico- imperialist powers to dealt crushing and deadly blows to the ancient Traditional Religion of the Nupe peoples in those days. But for the military- political powers that was always behind the activities of both the Muslim and Christian missionaries, Traditional Nupe Religion would not have easily yield to the invading forces of Islam and Christianity to the point of virtual extinction as we see today.

It really baffles the mind that external religious influences could come and completely wipe out, almost without any trace left behind today, the original religions that a people have been practising for several centuries and even millennia.

Whatever the case might have been the truth is that Islam and Christianity came and wiped out Traditional Nupe Religion almost to a point of extinction up to the point that today we can hardly define what real Tradition Nupe Religion was anymore.

But then we should also note the fact that both Islam and Christianity are still dominating the global religious horizon and that might be, to a great extent, the reason why Traditional Nupe Religion has failed, to this very day, to rear up its head again from the underground dungeon it has been banned to ever since the advent of both Islam and Christianity to KinNupe. That Traditional Nupe Religion will most probably bounce back to existence and regional, if not global, vigorousness as it once did is a reality that cannot be ruled out though. But that is a discussion for another day.

Here, and however, our attention and discussion is on Nupe spiritualism. As we have mentioned before there is a strong and clear division between Nupe Religion and Nupe Spiritualism.

The ancient priests and wizards of KinNupe were fully aware of and taught this metaphysical reality with full force to their adherents and followers. Ancient Nupe Spiritualism is not a religion and had nothing to do with religion. But because it is perfuse with ritualism, which was also what ancient Nupe Religion was perfuse with, the Muslim and Christian missionaries came and attacked and sack Nupe Spiritualism underground too just the same way they did to ancient Nupe Religionism.

However, the fact that Nupe Spiritualism is not religious and have not concerned itself with the religious affiliation or faith of a practitioner, made Nupe Spiritualism a more difficult phenomenon to completely root out among the Nupe people to this very day.

Ancient Nupe Spiritualism is today referred to as Eba. The rituals of the Eba spiritualism are referred to as Ebasan and the priests of this Eba spiritualism are known as the Ebasanci.

The Ebasanci priests are also wrongly referred to as the Boci by the modern Nupe people who have today forgotten the niceties of their ancient religious and spiritual vocabularies. But the term Boci used to be a general title for doctors – witch or herbalist.

Now then, we were discussing Nupe Spiritualism known as Eba. And we were saying that this Eba or Ebasan has nothing to do with ones’ religious faith or affiliation such that regardless of whether you are Muslim or a Christian, or even a pagan for that matter, if you carry out the spiritual rituals of Eba according to the right recipes you will always have the same exact results. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Muslim, a Christian, an Hindu, a Pagan, or whatever, if you collect the same talisman from a Nupe Ebasanci priest and you go ahead to carry out the ritual he prescribed for you to do with the talisman you will end up with the same result.

If the Ebasanci priest gave you a talisman or a charm containing the grounded remains of a lizard and a variety of herbs and he told you to get a sprinkle of the powder into the drink for your lover as a love potion the potion will work perfectly and your lover will fall in love with you if you correctly carry out the prescription of the Ebasanci priest regardless of whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever. So, we see, here that the rituals of the ancient Nupe Spiritualism of Eba are effective regardless of ones’ religious faith or affiliation. Because the potency of Nupe Spiritualism is unaffected by religion this paradoxical situation then ensued whereby the Nupe man became nominally a Muslim or Christian and openly professes to be practising Islam or Christianity during the day while he secretly patronises the Ebasanci priests and practises Eba ancient Nupe Spiritualism under the cover of the night... .... The Muslim and Christian missionaries did not succeed in completely divesting the ancient Nupe man of his Nupe Spiritualism filiations.

Professor Leo Frobenius discussed something similar in his Voice Of Africa which contained chapters as journals of his sojourn in KinNupe in 1911. At various Nupe villages the professor discovered that the villagers only pray and go to the mosque when they see the Fulani Mallams and rulers from Bida who are wont to impose the practices of Islam on them. So, in the daytime the ancient Nupe villagers go to mumble some things at the mosque while in the night they go back to merrily imbibing their Ege dzuru red wine and, of course, visiting the Ebasanci priests.

The Nupe man have essentially continued to this day to be a double-psyche personality when it comes to the issue of religion and spiritualism: he openly follows the conventional world religions of Islam or Christianity when it comes to the issue of his religious affiliations while he secretly follows the ancient Nupe Spiritualism of Eba when it comes to the issue of his spiritual affiliations.

The problem here is the irresistible spiritual potency of the ancient Nupe Spiritualism of Eba. What the Nupe man can not readily get through sustained supplications and prayer sessions at either the mosque or the church he easily gets through a visit to the soothsaying oracle of the Ebasanci priest.

The Ebasanci or Boci priest gives him a charm or talisman that immediately effects the fulfilment of his desires for him.

And so is it that the Nupe man has continued to be such an overly superstitious man even after losing his ancient religion and embracing Islam or Christianity with all seriousness. There is hardly any other Nigerian today that is as zealous when it comes to Islam or Christianity as is the Nupe man.

As Pastor Tunde Bakare observed, KinNupe is the bastion of the most heated and revolutionary Islam and Christianity faiths in the whole of the West African region today... .... yes, the most serious, most committed and most puritanical Muslim and Christian in Nigeria today is the Nupe man. No Nigerian passionately practices Islam and Christianity the way and manner the Nupe man does.

Yet, the Nupe Muslim and Nupe Christian visit the Ebasanci spiritualist in the dead of the night! The problem is that Nupe sociology is parturiently over-permeated by a milieu of gravid superstition that not even a passionate or zealous affiliation to Islam and Christianity can denude or dismantle.

And we are using the word ‘superstition’ in its positive sense here. In Western scholarship the word ‘superstition’ is usually used in a deprecating manner as an unfounded belief in the spiritual or metaphysical. Well, we use ‘superstition’ in the context of our present discussion, as a ‘well- founded belief’ in the existence of the spiritual realm.

Nupe sociology is based on the belief in the spiritual and the supernatural. It is therefore natural for the Nupe man to inherently believe in the spiritual and the supernatural regardless of whether the Nupe man is a Muslim or a Christian. After all both Islam and Christianity also emphasise the existence of spiritual beings including the angels and the demons.

Considering the above scenario very well it will be very difficult indeed to disinherit the Nupe mind from its age-old superstitious belief in the spiritual – unless it is possible to transform him into a non- Nupe man. Otherwise as long as the typical Nupe man remains a Nupe man he will believe in the existence of the spiritual realm and the existence of spiritual beings such as the angels and the demons ironically also mentioned in both the Qur’an and the Bible.

The Nupe mind is fecund with an unflinching belief in the spiritual and both Islam and Christianity are basically helpless in thus denudating the Nupe mind from an undying connexion with the spiritual basis of the ancient Nupe spiritualism that form the basis of Nupe culture and general sociology to this very day.

This complex situation is further exacerbated by the almost impeccable potency of Nupe Spiritualism, a counteracting alternative to which both Islam and Christianity, being religions, may not consummately provide.

Nupe Spiritualism in the form of Eba have continued to flourished underground in KinNupe where the Muslim or Christian Nupe have been too timid to admit that he is a superstitious man despite all the outward show of Islam and Christian religiosity.

Nupe people have continued to secretly believe in Eba the ancient Nupe Spiritualism and to patronise the Ebasanci and Boci priests.

And so is it that Eba the ancient Nupe Spiritualism has continued to flourish underground in KinNupe. But before Nupe Spiritualism in the form of Eba was driven underground by the Muslim and Christian missionaries in KinNupe it had already spread to other parts of ancient Nigeria. Eba has survived as Ifa Divination in Yorubaland, as Afa among the Aro Chukwu in Ibo land, and as Bori in Hausaland.

And this same Eba Nupe Spiritualism was exported to the Americas during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Era. In the Americas the ancient Nupe Spiritualism of Eba has survived, to this very day, variously in the form Voodoo, Santeria, Lukumi, Mammy Water, and all the other spiritual systems of Papa Shango.

Voodoo, as a positive spiritual system and not the Hollywood horror version, is already bouncing back as a dominant world system of spiritualism. And this global revivalism is nothing but an harbinger of the return of Nupe Spiritualism to rule and dominate the world again as it, once upon a time, did in the days of the Black World Order hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Eba, Ebasan and Ebasanci Nupe spiritualism is bad or good depending on how you use it or what part of it you use. The good aspect of Nupe spiritualism is called Eba. The bad, evil aspect of Nupe spiritualism is called Ega and Eshe.

The good Nupe priests specialise in Eba and they are called the Ebasanci or Ebasancizhi.

The bad Nupe witches specialise in Ega and Eshe and they are called the Egaci, Gaci, or Gacizhi or the Esheci, Sheci or Shecizhi.

Nupe spiritualism is just like every other science, knowledge, or art – they all can be used for good or evil purposes depending on whether your mindset is good or evil.

It is the same as the case of nuclear science which can be used to generate cheap electricity for the benefit of humanity or used to manufacture nuclear warheads for the mass destruction of humanity; it all depends on the mindset of the people handling the nuclear science.

The positive or good side of Nupe spiritualism, that is Eba, can be used to achieve a lot of positive and good things for the benefit of mankind. And the negative or evil side of Nupe spiritualism, that is Ega and Eshe, can be used to effect a lot of harm and cause untold havoc on mankind. And so has it been since time immemorial.

Historical, and even prehistoric, documentary exist to the effect that positive Nupe spiritualism in the form of Eba, known as Ifa in Yorubaland, has been of beneficial utility to humanity since time immemorial.

Eba or Ifa has been around since the beginning of the humanity. Eba was known as Bara, or as Ifa it was known as Fara, in the days of the Bara or Fara First Civilisations of humanity – those primeval days that produced Abraham or Ibrahim, Plato and the Brahmins, the Pharaohs and Nimrod and his Semiramis. Eba or Ifa has been around since the days of Atlantis and the Black World Order. Eba or Ifa is an advanced science, far advanced above modern Western Science. In fact Eba or Ifa is so advanced above Western Science that they are practically incomparable – our modern Western Science reduces to child-play insignificance when compared to the high science of Eba or Ifa.

It was the high science of Eba or Ifa that was used to build the pyramids, the megaliths and many of the superior legacies of the ancients.

Nupencizhi are remnants of the Bara or Fara civilisations of the ancients and it is as such that the Nupe people inherited Eba or Ifa from the ancients. So, Eba or Ifa, as Bara or Fara, has been around since time immemorial and probably since the beginning of humanity itself. Eba or Ifa has been around since the beginning of humanity and long before the emergence of the people we call the Nupes today.

The Nupe people are merely the custodians of Eba or Ifa today. And so also did the Nupe people inherit the high dark sciences of Ega and Eshe black magic. And, just as is the case with that of Eba or Ifa, the Ega and Eshe Black magic of the Nupe people is one of the most advanced dark sciences in the world. This is what is called Nupe witchcraft and it is so potent and so deadly that Nupe people have become infamous for being its

practitioners and custodians. The problem with Nupe spiritualism – both the good Eba or Ifa and the evil Ega and Eshe – is that it is too potent to the point of death. In other words Nupe spiritualism is deadly precise and accurate in its potency.

So, whichever aspect of Nupe spiritualism – the good Eba or Ifa or the evil Ega or Eshe - you chose to practise, depending on whether you have or good or evil mindset, the results are going to be deadly precise and potent.

That is if you have access to the real Eba or Ifa or the real Ega and Eshe. This is because today there are so many false Ebasanci or Ifa spiritualists and false Ega and Eshe witches and wizards. So many false prophets and soothsayers that you really cannot tell the real and the false and apart. And that is why so many people fell victims to the innumerable false Ebasanci or Ifa priest and false Ega and Eshe witches and wizards that abound in KinNupe and beyond.

And then there is this other fact that real Eba or Ifa is actually lost to modern mankind and an overwhelming majority of the people who parade themselves today as Ebasanci or Ifa priests are actually charlatans who know very little, if anything at all, about real Eba or Ifa spiritualism.

The truth of the matter is that most of those who claim to be Ebasanci or Ifa priests today are nothing more than Boci soothsayers and Zhigi clairvoyant fortune-tellers. But religion generally frowns on soothsaying and fortunetelling. Islam and Christianity most especially condemn soothsaying and fortune-telling because soothsaying and fortune- telling both border on polytheism and paganism.

So, this is where the problem and confusion arise, namely, that the good priests of Eba and Ifa have become indistinguishable from the religiously condemned Boci soothsayers and Zhigi fortune tellers. This is because the Boci soothsayers and Zhigi fortune tellers also disguise and masquerade themselves as Eba or Ifa priests. This confusion is compounded by the religious leaders who, not being able to differentiate between the real Eba or Ifa priests and the Boci soothsayers and Zhigi fortune tellers, condemn the entire gamut of Nupe spiritualism as evil and malevolent.

It should also be noted, in parenthesis here, that there is a difference between religion and spiritualism and that spiritualism is not wholly bad or evil as most members of organised religion who have not investigated the matter are wont to do.

Spiritualism is a neutral phenomenon that can be used for good or evil purposes depending on the mindset of the user.

So, just because Eba or Ifa is a form of spiritualism does not mean that it is evil. Eba or Ifa is positive or good spiritualism. The problem, as we have mentioned before, is that it is virtually impossible to find a real or true Ebasanci priest today because true Eba or Ifa is virtually lost to mankind today.

What the religious people should be condemning is the negative and evil aspect of Nupe spiritualism which is Ega and Eshe both of which constitutes the essence of Nupe witchcraft. Another interesting dimension to this discussion is the fact that Nupe Spiritualism, that is Eba, is not going to die or disappear from world history. On the other hand Eba, or Nupe Spirtualism, is already bouncing back unto the world stage and it is definitely going to overwhelme the world again in the far future just as it did in the far past annals of humanity.

Remember that it was this Nupe Spiritualism, that we call Eba or Ifa today, that was, used to build the pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in Britain, the Ziggurats in Mesoamerica, the almighty civilisation of Atlantis, Osirian civilisation, and so on and on.

It was the Islamic Revolution and the European Colonialism that came and unnecessarily drove Eba or Nupe Spiritualism underground in the 17th and the 18th centuries. ‘Unnecessary’ in the sense that the Eba or Nupe Spiritualism is not a religion but a spiritual system which both Islam and Christianity need not dread that much. Both Islam and Christianity should have simply condemn and ban the negative aspect of Eba or Nupe Spiritualism and not the whole gamut of Nupe Spiritualism.

But the 18th century Muslim and Christian missionaries, coming from outside KinNupe, were so afraid of the potency of Eba or Nupe Spiritualism that they just couldn’t help but viciously and virulently condemning the whole of Eba or Nupe Spiritualism.

Eba or Nupe Spiritualism, being a spiritual system, also shared the exercise of rituals and solemn ceremonies in common with religions and that was what made the missionaries saw it as a rival faith.

But Eba or Nupe Spiritualism is, and I cannot overemphasise this point, is a spiritual system and not a religion.

As a spiritual system Eba or Nupe Spiritualism is religiously neutral and should be critically analysed by our religious authorities only with the view to eliminating and banning the negative, and not the positive, aspect of it. Eba or Nupe Spiritualism is an ancient exact science, as exact as the modern sciences of Chemistry, Physics, Mechanics, etc.

Eba was the positive and advanced high science that built Nupe into the past glory that we are celebrating today.

And Eba, the positive aspect of Nupe Spiritualism, is coming back to rebuilt Nupe into a world glory and a world power again. We are already seeing that in the preliminary renaissance of Eba, in the form of the Ifa and Santeria-Lukumi-Voodoo- Mammy Water, in the Americas and West Africa.

Eba is coming back to take its position as the most potent and most pristine spiritual system and spiritual force in the world. This, Eba or Nupe Spiritualism, is the same that the ancient Persians came looking for as the Table of the Sun here in West Africa when the Cambyses sent his spies down to KinNupe some three or so thousand years ago as recorded by Herodotus the father of Greek history.

This Eba, or Nupe Spiritualism, is the same that Hanno the Carthaginian Navigator came all the way from the Mediterranean round the African West Coast to the Niger Delta looking for around 500 BC. Hanno sailed with thousands of sailors in mighty ships as they came to today’s Niger Delta looking for this Eba or Nupe Spiritualism epheumistically referred to as the Fabled Fruits that hang in the Paradise of the Hesperides located right here in KinNupe.

This same Eba, or Nupe Spiritualism, is the same that spurred the medieval Europeans of the Age of Exploration into setting afoot the Slave Trade and Colonialism as they came to the Guinea Coast looking for the El-Dorado Paradise of Prester John which was said to be the location of the lost Table of the Sun on the banks of the River Niger here in Central KinNupe.

This same Eba, or Nupe Spiritualism, is the same that elite secret societies – including most notably the Freemasons, the Illuminati and Priory of the Scion, the ultra-spiritualist Sufis, the Jesuits, and even some forces within the Vatican hierarchy, the Skulls and Bones world leaders, the Vanderbilt Group, etc, etc – are still looking for under the various and endless names of the Sangreal or Holy Grail, the Eye of Udjat, the Enlightenment, Spiritual Ascension, the Lost Ark of the Covenant containing the remains of the Ten Commandments, etc, etc.

Whether we Nupe people are aware of it or not these world powers are gradually converging, for good or for the bad of it, on Eba or Nupe Spiritualism. They have known all along, throughout the ages, that KinNupe is the fountainhead and world headquarters of pristine and unrivallingly potent spiritualism in the form of Eba. The CIA, for instance, have been engaged, since the 1940s, in some serious spiritual research on how to use Nupe Ega and Eshe to assassinate political opponents and targets in different parts of the world. Recently declassified files from the archives of the CIA have shown that, unknown to us Nupencizhi, the CIA – taking over from its originally spiritualist Office of Strategic Services – has been using Nupe Ega and Eshe witchcraft to kill high political figures and perceived enemies of the USA around the world.

Eba is the most ancient of the spiritual system of the Nupe people. It is basically a spiritual, and not a religious, system. It was originally a spiritual system around which a religion later grew.

In discussing the past of the Nupe people the full and consummate attention due to the Eba factor in the annals of the Nupe Nation are not accorded it.

This is due to a number of factors leading among which is the fact that this ancient Eba spiritual system of the Nupes have been wrongly equated with religion and is therefore immediately frowned upon by both Islam and Christianity that have become the religions of the Nupe peoples in modern times.

But we must discuss Eba because it is an enduring heritage and legacy of the ancient Nupe peoples and there is no way we can do justice to a full treatise on the past of the Nupe peoples, with a view to understanding their present and the future, without a fair attention to the role played by and the significance of the Eba spiritual system of the ancient Nupe peoples.

Albeit we must emphasise right at the outset of such a discussion on Eba that Eba is a essentially a spiritual system and not a religion. Spiritualism is different from religion and as such Eba being a spiritual system means that it is not a religion and should therefore not be looked upon as a religion rival to either Islam or Christianity. Spiritualism is just as religiously neutral as science – in other words just the way science is religiously neutral and is not opposed to religion so also is spiritualism. A scientist can be a Muslim, a Christian or the practitioner of any other religion just as a spiritualist can be a Muslim, a Christian or a practitioner of any other religion.

Eba is a spiritual system and not a religion. Eba is an ancient Nupe spiritual system that has been practiced since time immemorial. In fact Eba has been around since the beginning of Nupe such that the names Eba and Nupe are actually one and the same name but pronounced differently due to dialectal variations. Eba is also pronounced as Efa since in linguistics the phonemes ‘b’ and ‘f’ are one and the same.

And Efa is also pronounced as Ifa which is progressively the same as Nyifa, Nifa, Nufa, Nufe or Nupe. The Nupe people were initially known as the Eba or Iba people and it is in this context that Professor Roger Blench documented the fact that the Nupe people were actually known as the Iba or Ibara people right unto modern historical times.

So, the Nupe were originally known as the Iba or Eba people. We see in this context that Eba or Iba was the both the national name and the national culture – including the spiritual system – of the Nupe peoples right from the beginning of the Nupe peoples.

This Eba was practiced among the Nupe people as a very ancient spiritual system they got from their own ancestors since time immemorial. This means that the Nupe people themselves don’t know the origins of the Eba spiritual system, they just simply inherited it from their ancestors who told them in turn they got it from those who practiced it since the beginning of time.

The interesting point here is that Eba is a highly potent spiritual system that has been around since the beginning g of humanity itself. Its extreme potency bespeaks of a highly advanced, but ancient, science that must have belonged to the realm of the First Civilisations that built the pyramids, constructed the vimana super aircrafts of the Indus and sustained the super-civilisation of Atlantis and Osiria for millennia on end. Eba or Iba or Ibara was the same that was known to the ancients as Bara, traces of which we see in the ancient traditions of the Brahmins in the Indus Valleys, the Abram or Abaraham of the Semitic scriptures, the Afra or Abra of the ancient Africans, etc. etc.

Eba, Iba or Bara was also pronounced as Fara and is the same that we see as the Farata or Plato of the ancient Greeks, Pharaoh or Fir’aun of the Semitic traditions, Farasa or Persia of ancient Asia Minor, and so on and on. In any case there used to be an almighty and worldwide supercivilization of Bara or Fara in very ancient times and it was this super civilization of Bara that developed the Bara, Iba or Eba spiritual system remnants of which we still see practiced as Eba spiritualism among the Ebasanci witchdoctors of KinNupe to this very day. When the Bara super civilization collapsed on a worldwide scale hundreds of thousands of years ago the result was the appearance and emergence of a variety of new Ifa or Iba or Eba peoples in all parts of the world – one of these were the pre- Tsudi (Tsoede) Ifa or Nupe people. Both the pre- and post-Tsudi Nupe people saw themselves in possession of the Eba spiritual system the spiritual and metaphysical potencies of which are exact to the point of deadliness.

Before the advent of both Islam and Christianity to KinNupe this Eba spiritual system was practiced with all earnestness by the Nupe peoples and no power-monger can make it in KinNupe without being first initiated into the lodges or open fraternities of the Eba spiritualism in those days. In those days Eba was taught and practiced openly and children were sent as pupils apprenticed to Ebasanci schools and academies much the same way that we send children to public schools today.

Eba was then a spiritual system that was openly revered and practiced everywhere with the social influence of most leaders and statesmen gauged by to what extent they have acquired the powers of Eba spiritualism.

Tsoede, for instance, was reputed to be in possession of great knowledge of the Eba spiritual system. In fact Tsoede’s fame as the great founder of the Nupe Nation rest solely, in those days, on his reputed ability to accomplish a lot of extraordinary feats due to his great knowledge of the Eba spiritualism of the ancient Nupe peoples.

In any case Eba became the dominant spiritual system of the Nupe peoples in former times – in the days before the advent of both Islam and Christianity to KinNupe. So great and significant did Eba become in the life of the ancient Nupe people that a religion, of Eba, also grew around it. And then people began to talk of Eba as the religion of the ancient Nupe peoples.

As a religion Eba acquire large followership and missionaries who spread it beyond KinNupe to all other parts of ancient Nigeria and even beyond. It was exported to ancient Hausaland as Bori where, as observed by Professor Leo Frobenius, it became both the dominant spiritual and religious system of the ancient Hausa peoples. Eba was also known as Ifa – remember ‘b’ and ‘f’ are interchangeable phonemes. And it was in this form, as ‘Ifa’, that we see it, for instance, exported by Eba missionaries to Yorubaland, to the Benin kingdom (as Efa), and many other places outside KinNupe proper. Many authorities, including Reverend Samuel Johnson and Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, documented the fact that Eba or Ifa was originally a Nupe spiritual system and that it was from KinNupe that the Yoruba people got their Ifa spiritualism which is practiced in a popular manner among the Yorubas to this very day.

Eba, Iba or Ifa was also transported through the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to the Americas where we now see it flourishing into the spiritual systems of Ifa, Santeria, Lukumi, Voodoo, and so on among the Americans, the Europeans and even bouncing back to West Africa where we see the Government of the Benin Republic formally declaring Voodoo as one of the official religions of the Benin Republic.

It was the coming of Islam and Christianity that eventually put a ban on the open and public acceptance of Eba as a spiritual system or as the religion of the ancient Nupe people. Both Islam and Christianity saw a powerful and potent rival in the Eba religion of the ancient Nupe people and any Nupe convert to Islam or Christianity was required to renounce his faith in the ancient Nupe religion of Eba.

And when Islam and Christianity gained statehood relevance in KinNupe, the ancient Nupe religion of Eba was officially banned and formally driven underground.

Today the Nupe people still practiced Eba as an ancient spiritual system but they do it underground – underground in the sense that the Muslim or Christian Nupe continue to openly profess and practice his Islamic or Christian faith during the day but use the cover of the night to visit the Ebasanci oracle for his spiritual consultations.

The point here is that the average Nupenci has this subconscious belief that Eba is a spiritual system and not a religion and that he can continue to be a Muslim and still consult his Ebasanci witchdoctor.

Whatever the truth of the matter might be we are all aware of the fact that various schools of thoughts have their religious and dogmatic opinions regarding this highly contentious topic, that is, ranging from the Islamic or Christian fundamentalist who will see anything associated with Eba as shirk or polytheistic and therefore condemnable to the moderate Muslim or Christian conservative who will see Eba as a spiritual system which has little or no any bearing whatever on one’s religious beliefs and practices.

Whether we see Eba as a spiritual system or as a religion – and it was both to the ancient Nupencizhi – the fact still remains that Eba is a highly potent spiritual system that produces real and tangible spiritual results. It is used by the Ebasanci witchdoctors and Ndakogboya cultists to counter the evils of the Ega and Eshe witchcraft of the Nupe wizardry. And the Ebasanci witchdoctors kept on saying that they are the good spiritualists who are out to save the ordinary man from the clutches of the witches who are the bad spiritualists.

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