Nigeria: The Healing Power of Roots, Herbs

Published: March 22, 2007  |  Source: allafrica.com
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MR Charles Jaiyeola had lost hope again when he sustained serious cord and leg injury in an auto accident.

Even after spending months at Shagamu General hospital and another eight months at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Idi-Araba, Lagos.

Mr. Jaiyeola was as good as a bad case that defied all medical options, but today after spending six months under the care of Chief Isaac Bayo Olobatuyi, medical director, Ejioba Bone Clinic, the once bedridden Jaiyeola has regained the services of his legs as well as cured of his spinal cord problems.

Testifying to the healing of a life time, Mr. Jaiyeola has this to say:

“My brother, I thank God that I stand on my feet again. I had a very severe problem comprising of spinal cord injury and leg fracture which I sustained in an auto accident.

And after spending eight months at LUTH without success, I was referred to Chief Olobatuyi’s clinic (the bone doctor) who cured me of both the spinal cord injury and bone fracture. Now I can walk, run and dance, thanks to the bone doctor”.

Such testmony is coming from over 10,000 people that have benefited from the “Miraculous” healing hands of the Olobatuyi’s, spread across the country and beyond.

On daily basis, patients with bone related problems troop to the bone clinics at 36 Salami Bashiru Street, Ijeshatedo, Lagos to receive their healing from the magic hands of the Olobatuyis.

But for Chief Olobatuyi, the healing art was neither a magic nor one of the miraculous healing of the miracle churches that adorn the city, rather he said “it is a gift to the Olobatuyi family that had spanned through generations”.

He said that he inherited the power to heal bones from his father since his birth in 1942, and also passing the knowledge to his children, one of which is Mr Toba, a final year mass communication student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun State.

Chief Olobatuyi speaking on how he acquired the skill, said “I inherited it from my father, as my son, Toba is now learning from me. All our family members are in the job here in Lagos or in our home town Ikere – Ekiti in Ekiti State.

He continued “It will also interest you to know that I also have bone clinic in Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State, and I visit home from time to time to see what is happening there”.

The joy of seeing dead bones rise again is the everlasting strength of this Engineer turned bone healer, as he admitted “What keeps me going is the joy I derive from saving peoples lives. There are some people that have already been condemned, there are some brought here with basket, but by the special grace of God, they went home on their legs, all these things make me happy”.

Above all, Chief Olobatuyi said that no joy should surpass the encomium he usually receive from those he had healed, including their friends and relatives.

“Wherever some of those healed see me in the street in any part of the country, they will pour praises on me for saving their lives, that alone gives me satisfaction, in everything, I thank God for using me to save peoples lives and that gives me happiness”.

Emphasising on the need to reach out to more people who need his services, he said such will be possible if only the facilities in his clinic are improved to create room for more people, and this can easily be done through assistance from the government.

“Here is not enough for us, it is just about five rooms that I rented, but I need a complete building to expand the clinic and better established the job, so that more people will benefit.

For Mr. Johnson Nesimoni, it was a relief to him when he was taken to the bone clinic after being a victim of Okada accident which virtually paralised him, and since 21st November last year when he started receiving treatment at the clinic.

Recounting how he got to the clinic, he said “I was knocked down by Okada in November last year at airways and my Aunty who knew about this place referred me here. She learnt about this place from one of her friends that was earlier treated at the clinic”.

He added that since then, he has gradually regained the use of his legs, though with clutches, Mr. Johnson’s case was one of the critical cases that had to reside in the clinic until they have reached appreciable level of recuperation.

Mr. Johnson said if the government should assist the clinic, they will be able to make the place more convenient and comfortable for patients both on admission as well as out patients.

Indeed, through the effort of the Olobatury’s many people who could have had either their legs or hands amputated, are happily using them effectively after being nursed by the healing hands of the bone doctor.

For now, Chief Olobatuyi said that the knowledge is not transferable.

“We don’t transfer the knowledge to other people because it will not work for them. “But I employed so many people who also make their living from me and when they earn their salaries they go home with happiness.”

Speaking on the sustenance of the traditional bone healing method Olobatuyi said that there is no way such traditional practice will be abandoned.

“Let people go for more researches and learn more about natural bone healing method. Even the English people confirmed to me that we have the best ways of treating bones; which is with the use of herbs, and roots.

These roots and herbs are in the forest and also in the market but could be used for different purposes, based on the combination and the way its was picked.

“The herb that I use to heal bones, another person may use it for another purpose hence the skill, according to Mr Olobatuyi was inherited by his fore fathers? doesn’t mean that they don’t pass the skill to other people factual?

“We don’t, we can train other people, but the fact remains that, if I should train you and you learn how to do it, the medicine will not work, because you don’t bear the name, Olobatuyi” If that is the case, then what is the myth surrounding the medicine?

“There was a time I asked my dad, about it and he said that it was just like you coming down here to take one of our medicine. When you use it, it won’t work, it won’t work, he exclaimed.

Even my elder sister, before they got married could do it, but now that they are married they can’t do it again, because they are bearing their husband’s names”. With patients that cuts across different backgrounds and different geographical locations, including Liberia, Ghana, Kenya among others all of different age groupings including a day old baby, the Olabatuyis have made a bold statement that “broken bones shall work again”.

Even as demanding as this healthcare services are, Olobatuyi said that their charges are very, very minimal and in most cases done free.

I used to render free service. But as the world changes, the things you will easily do to the nearest bus stop to get, now you have to pay much to get them.

And now if you go to these local herb sellers, the things we usually get at the cost of N100, now they will ask you to pay N10,000.

Then, things were very very okay, before we were getting most of our materials free or cheap.

However, he said despite the high cost of things, they still consider people based on their circumstances and financial status, even at that, some patients do complain that they don’t have money, and under such circumstance are not refused the required treatment.

As the saying goes that all that glitters is not gold or diamond, Mr Olobatuyi said that he is facing challenges on this job.

“The challenges are very tough.

At times, some problems that ordinarily would require a month to heal, you might be treating the person for three months or more and the bone will not heal, why? Because it has some spiritual thing surrounding it.

And it is always like that, but the thing is that we are Christians and we pray about every situation, we don’t involve fetish practices, we just go to the market get the materials required to use, prepare it, (grind it together) then say the prayers in our local dialect”.

Such prayers in their native dialect he noted make it very difficult for other people to understand what is being said.

The fact is that we believe in prayers and that is what we do”.

Saying that it has become necessary to increase the scale and volume of their services because “The rate people are getting amputated in orthopedic hospitals is alarming, when I see them I really feel for them.”

He argued that most of the people whose legs or hands were amputated in the orthopedic hospitals couldn’t have had the misfortune of losing their legs or hands if they were brought to their care centre, where they use native herbs to cure such problems at a very cheap cost and short time. When I see such people, I really feel for them. When I see some amputees, I felt that on a very good day, this thing that happened to you shouldn’t have cost us more than two months to get you back to your normal position.

However when they get to the hospital, they get them amputated and they have nothing to do about it.

Even though Mr Olobatuyi said that notwithstanding the small scale of their family local orthopedic clinic, Major orthopedic hospitals including the one at Igboi Lagos do refer patients to them.

And that if the government should assist them, more of the people who are at the brink of losing their legs or hands should have the privilege of having their broken legs or hands restored to normalcy.

Daily Champion (Lagos) NEWS
By Bonny Amadi