Conflict Resolution

If you follow me on Facebook, then you know I just returned from a five week trip to Nigeria. If you have not had the opportunity to visit Nigeria, then you need to do whatever you must in order to make this trip. It is one of those “once in a life time” experience.

This trip gave me many blessings and one of the most important one was an unexpected trip to an unassuming house where several men where waiting for my Ojugbona, a man we picked up on the way to this house, my brother Babalola Ifayemi, and me.

Here is the background….

The man we picked up on the side of the road had purchased a property from a family which a second family (claiming to be the rightful owners) where now contesting, and demanding the return of their property. That second family had a very well know attorney who was also the “Head” of the family living on Lagos (about 5 hours away).

The man we picked up by the side of the road had ask my Ojugbona to represent him, and plead his case.

This man had gone to the family from which he purchase the property, but could find no one and the people which he did find offer no help, and even refused to discuss the transaction. It seemed this man was about to lose his money and property which he thought he purchased from the legal owners.

When we got to the house we where greeted cordially and with much respect. We where sited in a semi circle arrangement with the Ojugbona and his client to my left, and the family claiming rightful ownership to my right. I was in the middle sitting along side my Brother.

My Ojugbona was the first to speak and started off with a prayer which was followed by the representative of the disputing family. This set the tone for the negotiations which where about to get started.

After the prayer was completed my Ojugbona began to recite a particular Odu Ifa which laid down the manner in which disputes are to be resolved. Then he proceeded to plead his client’s case after which the representative of the other family pleaded their case, but not before touching the ground and reciting Odu Ifa which talked about honesty, and righteousness.

This process continued and if any one person said anything which was out of line he was immediately asked to wait until all negotiations had been completed.

This meeting lasted about an hour after which an amicable resolution was reached, and after a closing prayer everyone stretched their hand and happily shook the hand stretched from across the room.

During these discussions everyone had an opportunity to speak and present their claim on the property by reciting their lineage ownership over said property. Before anyone spoke a short prayer was said.

I was taken by this demonstration of conflict resolution as per Ifa teachings.

The man who stood the possibility of losing his money and property was able to keep his purchase and the rightful owners of the property saved face by receiving a small amount of money from the man. everyone was happy, and each person parted ways totally satisfied.

If world leaders followed this example there would be no wars.

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