I Have Learnt That Human Beings Are Not To Be Trusted –Yomi Hassan
May we meet you sir?
I am Chief Prince Dr. Yomi Hassan (the Ekwueme of Akumazi kingdom)
Kindly tell us about your background?
I was born on November 2nd 1941, Gbelegbuwa Royal Family of Ijebu-
Ode, in Ogun state, which was the first ruling family in Ijebu-Ode. The name of my father was late Prince Benjamin Aderibigbe Oduselu, he was from Ijebu-Ode, while my mother was late Princess Victoria Mojisola Oduselu, and she was from Aforja’s royal family of Kwara State. She was the only child of her father, who was a king. When her father died they transferred the ruling house to the younger brother of her father, otherwise my mother would have ruled as a king, so I have full fledged blood of the royal family in me. My father had twenty-one wives and over seventy children. My mother was the seventh wife, while I was the number twelve child of my father and the first child of my mother. My father was a kola-nut merchandise and a very successful business man: he has seventeen slaves, who usually carry kolanut from Ijebu-Ode on foot to go and sell at Ivory-Coast, and after selling the kola-nut they trekked back home with the money; none among them ever escaped. However, I later liberated the slaves.
I discovered that it was not necessary keeping human beings as slaves, with the powers that I have as the head of the family and the close relationship I had with my father, I liberated the slaves, and they are still in our house till date, at Ijebu-Ode answering Oduselu’s name, because some of them don’t even know their root. My father died at the age of one hundred and thirty- five years, while my mother died at the age of Ninety- six years. Being from a royal home, infact my family is intact and till today, even those that are my seniors bow before me, there is a way we do things in my family, just like the present Ooni of Ife; the father of the Ooni is alive, his elder brother is alive, and whosoever is picked in the royal family becomes the king. When my father was alive, I was a truck pusher in Lagos, I sold ice water and when I got back home my dad would collect the money. I thought he was punishing me, he trained me in a very hard way but he never raised his hands on me, although I was made to go through hell. Another woman trained me, not even my mother, I was taken to Epe a surbub of Lagos state, after I was thrown into the well when I was about three years old; nobody has ever survived such ill tre4atment. It was my mother’s mate that did it to me; hence I was taken to Epe, for another woman to take care of me after I was rescued from the deep well.
Was your mother not around?
She couldn’t be around, because she was a princess, and as a princess, and as a prince they don’t train us in the royal home. Then our king was a very stubborn warrior and in those days kings led their men to war when there was war.
Was your father a king?
No, my grandfather was a king. My father even refused to bear the name of a prince; he said he was not interested. My father was not interested in the throne, he was strictly a businessman and he really had money during his days.
How about your educational pursuits?
I started primary school at the age of six in early 50s at Jehova Jireh Primary School, Surulere, Lagos, from where I proceeded to African church Grammar school, Agege. I was a very brilliant student and had double promotions during my school days. After my secondary education, I left Nigeria in early 60s for London, to seek for admission at Oxford University London, which was not easy to gain then. I was to read law because it was then common among the Yoruba’s, but I was advised by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo to read medicine, which late Dr. Otogbeye sponsored me, but, I never had it easy, it was as if in a cage at Oxford University London; so, I left for Bombay University, India, after staying briefly at Oxford University.
What did you study at Bombay University?
I read Occultic Sciences
What prompted you to read a course?
I was searching for knowledge; I came from a background of very intelligent people, lawyers, doctors etc.
What is the course duration?
The course duration was nine years, but I studied it for fifteen years, I was doing research, doing everything; I went through the whole India dynasty, where I was able to acquire the knowledge of all deities. As an Ijebu man, you can imagine me going for such a thing, I went too far and people even thought I was even going to die. The last stage of our examination is that you are locked up in a coffin for twenty one days; it is when you wake up that you now pass and acquire the power of having the snake eye; which I did, I was the only survivor, and others were nowhere to be found when they opened the coffin.
How many were you that studied the course?
We were twenty one students from all over the world, I was the only West African and Nigerian, so, we went into the coffin, they will rub you something and do some incantation, I was the last to go into the coffin and when you enter, you will disappear into the astral. You will see yourself going to different places; you will travel round the world, so it is when you come back that they will open the coffin. When they opened the other people’s coffins, they couldn’t find them which means they died. At a stage while I was still in India my family thought I was dead because they didn’t know my whereabouts for about nine years.
While in Bombay University India, were you communicating home?
Yes, again, I give God the glory because then most of the money that I was sending to my father, he used them to buy several acres of land for me; those days they don’t measure, they will throw a stone and its where the stone touches that will be boundary to be sold. So, I have a lot of landed properties along Oshodi Express road in Lagos, also at llasamaja Bus stop and Hassan Bus stop. I am the owner of Hassan Steel Industries, Oduselu Street at Itire Lagos and so many others; these are the things my parents bought for me with the money I sent to them while I was in school.
Was your father a traditionalist?
No, my father was an Anglican, same was my mother. I am an Anglican by birth, but when I entered Ogboni fraternity I forgot all those things and stopped going to church.
You sojourn aboard, who sponsored you?
Late Dr. Otogbeye from Lagos State was my mentor and adviser, when I ran into trouble, I would tell him and he would tell me what to do. He was the one who sponsored me. When I gained admission to Bambay University, I was able to meet with Dr. Bombay, one on one. He had no child, he adopted me as his child, so I was with him but unfortunately when I left India after my graduation, I left all my properties there and came back to Nigeria.
After you graduated from the university, did you work in India?
No, nobody can pay my salary because of the knowledge that I have acquired.
So, I rather work and get my money; it is to help people.
When you left India, where did you settle?
I was in Lagos for a short period, before I relocated to Agbor.
To do what?
To start practicing.
Why did you choose Agbor?
I met one Dr. Emmanuel Ifeonye, from Idumuje-Unor, I met him in Lagos then, he told me that he was from Agbor, Delta State that I should come with him. That was how we came to Agbor. on arrival, we had about two years of practicing together but parted ways because of monetary problems. So, I started on my own. But, I cannot tell of his where about presently.
How has it been since you came to Agbor?
On a serious note, Ika people are not bad, they are very good people, the only thing is that don’t tell them to their face, “who are you?” Then they will tell you what they are made of. They are very accommodating and honestly speaking, I have neither brother nor sister in this town but they are my friends, whatever problem I have, they attend to it easily. Why should I give a bus to a church, and pay assessment of Seven Hundred Thousand Naira? That means it is because of the faith I have in the people coupled with the church. Ika people have been very good to me and I am enjoying the relationship.
Most persons have known you to be a traditionalist, and now you are a devout Christian, how do you combine African traditional religion to Christianity as a religion?
The truth is this, even as a medical doctor, same goes for a traditional doctor, there will be a particular end that they will meet, and when they meet you don’t have to discriminate, hence the end result is to get the patients healed, the result is what matters. For example, the Holy Bible contains both evil and good, so it depends on you to choose the good one that is medicine; whether you want the traditional medicine or orthodox medicine, a doctor can inject you to die or to survive, so also is the traditional doctor, he can give you drugs to survive or to die.
So, as a traditional practitioner, I don’t do rituals and I don’t worship idols because of my Christian faith, but formerly I did all those things.
So, it doesn’t stop you from going to church?
I go to church, I know the extent that I will go traditionally, that will affect my relationship with God.
What are your areas of specialization?
I treat diabetes, strokes, poison, ulcer, tumour, undeveloped pregnancy and infertility; these are some of the areas I specialize on. I don’t do money rituals.
For over three decades you came to Agbor since 1972, any challenges?
There is nothing you do on earth without challenges. It got to a stage that before I can buy fuel of One Thousand Naira, to drive my car, it required time and a lot of thinking, but today to God be the glory. The things about life are that when you meet challenges. Just go ahead, you will not die.
Did you not suffer any form of discrimination being a non-indigene?
Discrimination is normal, but the percentage is minimal, it’s like two percent. I see those doing it as being jealous and arrogant.
How were you able to get a chieftaincy title in Akumazi Kingdom?
I have to give kudos to late HRM Stephen Osagie, the Obi of Akumazi Kingdom, who found me worthy to be conferred with the title of the Ekwueme of Akumazi Kingdom in Ika North East LGA of Delta State. The Obi has been my very good friend. Within that period, there was a little clash between Akumazi and one other community, which I give him my word and the thing eventually came to manifest, God helped and the thing went well.
So, I think that was what prompted HRM to confer on me the Ekweueme of Akumazi Kingdom.
I can’t remember the exact year.
Sir, we want you to talk about your membership with Ogboni fraternity, you said you were there for thirty years. What led you to it and why did you quit?
Ogboni is a different entity, the truth is this, there are three types of Ogboni, they are Agborigene Ogboni fraternity, Oshugbo Ogboni fraternity and Reformed Ogboni fraternity. The Oshugbo Ogboni fraternity are the king makers, they specifically select trusted people in those days in each town; those p people whom they know that are truthful, they initiate them into the palace, whatever they are telling the king is always the truth, so they call them “Ogbo”, I will not tell you the meaning of that, because it is a secret language. From there we come to Aborigene Ogboni fraternity, basically of Yoruba tradition. Ogboni, is not a tradition of anybody in the world but it is a Yoruba tradition. Ogboni is a Yoruba language which many people do not understand. So, what I am saying is that it was Arch Bishop Ogunbiyi in 1945 or 1948 that now reformed it to Ogboni fraternity in a Christian way, to make it Christian like, so that people can now come in as Christians, but unfortunately what we are seeing today is that it is now polluted with fraudsters, those taking people’s wives, can you imagine a married woman going to join a fraternity when the husband is not there; she comes back home after three or four days and when I saw the evil and all those rubbish things I had to leave.
For the thirty years that I was there, I rose to almost the highest post in Ogboni, I was an Oluwo. I am a Yoruba man in Agbor, at the hay days, when I joined, their activities were normal, this was during the period of Jacob Odeh, papa Oseji, Man Must Wack, lyawa, those days, etc. These were the people that they respected as Ogboni members but after the death of these people, you see everything messed up. Most of the people there now, I am not saying that the whole of them are bad, but the bad ones are more than the good ones and they cannot do me anything because I know their powers, if anybody tries me in Ogboni I will tear him to pieces; because I was there. Ogboni was good. So I think because agberos that have entered now have polluted everything.
So, if not for all these anomalies, may be you would have still been a member?
If not for what I saw that I couldn’t stand, I would have still been there; it is my custom, it is my tradition.
But the society perceives Ogboni to be a secret society?
Those of them that were negatively touched by Ogboni people will feel the impact, because when you offend them, they go to any length to eliminate you. So those people that are suffering that are bereaved because of those barbaric ways are the ones feeling it now. And there was the fear of Ogboni in those days, but now you see them wearing tattered dresses because they are not doing well, you will see their cars smoking, they don’t even have anything to do, most of them are native doctors, while some are farmers and some of them because of shame they cannot leave the group, most of them would have resigned but they are ashamed that people know them that that is the source of their power, so if they resign they will now look at them as nobody in the society that is why they are still there, they are not gaining anything, they are not helping each other. In those days when I was an Ogboni, when you come to the meeting, you tell us that is ten million naira, we will donate twenty million naira for you that same day, but people that are there now, somebody who has not eaten well, you have no five naira, how can you give somebody fifty naira? The truth is this; anything you belong to, you must have something to gain, then, when there is nothing to gain, then why are you there?
But why has the Ogboni fraternity come down to this level?
It is because of the inclusion of all these touts, 419ners and their likes, the problem is this when people are coming into Ogboni, they are expecting that the moment they step their legs there, they will become millionaires the following day, but when you get there, you will find out that the orientation there is different.
But the leadership should have curtailed these excesses of enrollment?
Who is the leadership? The person that is a ritual! Some of them are illiterates, some are native doctors, and how do you expect them to correct the anomalies? They are looking for money, they are looking for goats.
But you people brought them into the group?
Well, there are divisions in Ogboni, it is divided into sections you have the right to initiate whosoever you like, so whoever you like is in your unit; but unfortunately you will just see somebody coming in from nowhere and he will just tell you that he was initiated yesterday.
In your time as a member of Ogboni fraternity, what did members stand to gain, that is, what were the privileges you enjoyed?
The privileges include; security and help, you are sure of security, you are sure of help from your members and when you have problems you are sure that people will help you, this is just the summary.
What about the fame, that you will become popular and well known in the society?
The fame depends on what you build yourself to be, because you cannot be a tout and you want the world to recognize you.
The thing is that so many people messed it up and arrogantly they brought it down because of their character. Some of them cannot come out again and tell you that they are Ogboni members. Before the sticker was almost everywhere in their cars but now you hardly see it anywhere. And when people says that when Ogboni man dies they share the body, it is a lie, nobody shares anybody’s body, when you die, we know what we do; you can’t expect me at my age, seventy nine (79) I die, my children will not see me or to dictate how I will be buried, it is not possible, these are the things. I will want my children to bury me complete.
You are married to who?
I am married to Ezinne Vivian Oduselu Hassan, with children. Why I am still having children is that these are the children that I can give my ATM card to go and bring money, not the grown up ones.
Sir, during your time of practicing these traditional medicine, how many persons have you trained?
I have trained about seven persons, and they are doing very well, they still consult me. I don’t train women, I train boys.
Where are they from, are they Yorubas?
No, no, about three from Benin, three from Igbo land and one Hausa. They are doing very well.
Chief, you look young every day, what is the secret?
The secret is this, whatever you know that you will take and it will cause you ill health, don’t take it.
You have been very vocal mostly on your comments to the political class, are you satisfied with the political development?
Well, the thing is that why I am not afraid to talk to the government is that I am never and I will never be a contractor, I don’t seek for job from the government.
What of if you are offered a contract of One Hundred Million Naira?
I will not take it, because I am not interested and I am not a beggar.
Are you a politician?
I am not a politician, but I practice politics because I discuss with politicians but I will never be a partisan. The government of today claims there is no money.
Let our governor take the bull by the horn. Governor James Ibori, is honoured today because of what he did for his people. When you leave that governorship seat you are coming back to Ika land, all our roads are bad, whether it is Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and the governor has influenced but Okowa is doing very The same thing goes to the Federal Government, to be sincere; the federal government is not doing well so that governor Okowa will also enjoy the respect and honour that Former governor James Ibori is enjoying today in Oghara, his home town.
You have been a grassroots man; can you really pinpoint some areas where you want the government to focus on?
Number one, roads, the issue of workers’ salaries needs to be addressed by the government. Workers salaries are very important, how can a worker work for ten months without salary? The workers are suffering. The government needs to look into this seriously.
Which church do you attend?
I am an Anglican
What is your perception about life?
Life is give and take, it is not a do or die thing, but if you want to make it a thing of such, you will die and life goes on.
Outside your herbal practice, which other areas do you have interest in?
I have other investments, I have two functional filling stations at Issele-Uku, and I have two functional poultry farms and one pure water companies. I have about one hundred and twenty five workers in my various establishments that I pay salaries, and I pay them every 21st day of the month.
What is your business name?
Yomi Hassan Ventures.
You appeared very reserved, you are not usually seen everywhere, why?
In life, I have leant that human beings are not to be trusted and the more you talk you sell your life, you have to be reserved and allow other people to do the talking, then you will pick the things you need.
You have a sportsman physique?
Yes, I was a trained boxer; I did it for about three years in Lagos before my father stopped me.
So, you speak Ika language?
No, I don’t speak, but anything one speaks with the language I understand.
Is your wife an Ika Woman?
My wife is an Ika woman.
Do you work all the time as a practitioner?
My working hour is from 6: am in the morning to 6: pm in the evening.
How do you relax?
I watch television and video, just to relax, but I am always with my family once it is 6: pm, I don’t go anywhere.
Are you an author?
Yes, I have about four books, they are Decisive Wisdom, Knowledge is Power, God is great and A Powerful Living God. I wrote the last two, three years ago, after I became a Christian, I was 77th years then.
How has it been since you became a Christian?
It has been very interesting and wonderful.
Some people still have the perception that what Chief Hassan is saying is different from his activities in those days?
Actually, some people still look at me with the past, but whatever name anybody gives to me I don’t care, that is my life. God knows who you are and not what people say you are.
Sir, which organization do you belong to?
Anything that has to do with organization, I sacked them because I don’t want to be in any constitutional organization that will want to dictate things that are to be done, but as a Christian I am an Ezinna, while my wife is an Ezinne.
What legacies do you intend leaving behind for humanity?
Fearlessness and uprightness in my life, once I know that what I am doing is the right thing, not matter what you do, I will not change.
Do you have role models, if yes, who are they?
Dr. Otogbeye, who trained me, was a very good role model, but unfortunately he did not live long.
You are a man a lot of people respect and look up to, what motivates you or what is your driving force?
Those who appreciate what I am doing make me to go further. In most cases, the more I get calls from the people appreciating my efforts, the more I get motivated; after all I am fighting for the masses.
If you have the privilege of coming back to the world again, what would you like to be?
I will want to remain what I am, the same Hassan, the same practice.
Any regret reading Occultic Science?
Not at all. I have nothing to regret.
To the African man especially, reading Occultic Sciences is like one is a devil?
Occultic Sciences is like a bible, the bible contains both evil and good, so it is left for you to pick the good. Occult deals with so many aspect, it is left for you to pick the one you want, they will teach you so many things.
Do you have any awards both in the church and the society?
Yes, I have several awards, both locally and internationally. How have you helped to develop your community and Ika land? To God be the glory, I think that my write up have saved so many lives in Ika land. Then in my town, there is nothing they do in my town today, in the area of development that I am not involved in, I make sure that I am involved. And in my church, I am helping as well, I gave them a bus and helped them pay some of the money they owe. Most importantly, I am an employer of labour I have one hundred and twenty five workers that I pay salaries every month.
What is your best delicacy?
Pounded yam, Banga soup and bush meat with stout to wash it down.
At seventy nine (79), can you say that you are a fulfilled man?
To God be the glory, yes, I feel very fulfilled with my efforts and achievements, since I was born. I am a self made man. Whatever I have today is from my sweat.
Sir, do you have any word for Nigerian youths?
On a serious note, I think the problems of Nigerian youths are from their parents, their upbringing contribute to most of all these things. I want to advise our youths to be involved in viable ventures and look for something to do in order to take care of themselves, rather than dying in the high sea. Such travels are not necessary; we have all it takes to make it here. Nigerian youths should go into farming or vocational enterprises in order to guarantee their future and sustainable development.
Sir, do you have any comment on the anticorruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government?
He is sectional, that is just the truth and it is quite unfortunate.
Finally Sir, your words for Nigerians generally?
Nigerians should be prayerful, if care is not taken we may go into anarchy because there will be revolution and that revolution will be propelled by anger.
What has the military got to do with python and crocodile dance?
It is not necessary. Let us pray to God; we should not allow Nigeria to disintegrate.