a picture showing moyo okediji in front of one of his art piece poised for the camera


When young women went to the river to fetch water, they would disappear.

The king’s royal beads even went missing.

People were worried. One of the wise men said, “Let’s approach Ọlọ́run to give us a police boss.”

But who could they trust? One of them must be the thief.

They decided unanimously that the only trustworthy person in the entire community was Ijapa.

Ijapa gave them only one condition: “Nobody should visit my house without letting me know in advance that they were coming.”

They agreed with the condition. After all, they all trusted and loved him.

They trusted him so much that the people approached Olorun and asked Olorun to make Ijapa the police boss.

Olorun, knowing that Ijapa was dishonest, said, “I don’t think it is a good idea to make Ijapa the police boss.”

But the people insisted. They told Olorun how much they loved and trusted Ijapa.

Olorun asked them, “But what happens if you discover that Ijapa is the thief?”

“Simple,” said the king. “You, Olorun, should just let the sky fall down on the head of the thief, and crush him to death.”

Olorun asked them to go and rethink their demand and return in sixteen days.

Sixteen days later, they returned to Olorun with their demand.

“Have you changed your minds?” Olorun asked them.

“No,” they said in unison. “Make Ijapa the police boss.”

Olorun granted their wish and gave Ijapa the medals of the police chief.

Ijapa was happy. Now he could steal with total abandon.

The stealing and abduction of women got much worse in the community. When things went missing, Ijapa accused the wrong persons and imprisoned them.

When women were abducted, Ijapa pointed his finger at an innocent person and had them arrested and jailed.

One day, the king’s golden crown, embellished with diamonds and rare coral beads, went missing.

Ijapa promptly arrested a well-respected elder and had him jailed.

One day, however, a foreigner visited Ijapa at home without notice. He did not know about Ijapa’s condition that nobody could enter Ijapa’s house without notice.

The foreigner entered Ijapa’s house and found him seated on the missing royal throne, with the stolen royal crown on Ijapa’s head.

The foreigner went straight to the king and informed the king that the police boss was the thief in the community.

Nobody believed. The entire community converged on Ijapa’s house and searched it.

There they found everything that was missing.

But Ijapa was not worried. He was smiling.

“Punish me according to the law,” Ijapa demanded. “Let Olorun send the sky crashing on my head.”

The people went to Olorun, and asked that Olorun should send the sky crashing.

That was when one wise woman said, “Wait, wait. If the sky comes crashing down, it would crush all of us and not Ijapa only.”

That is why the Yoruba people have a saying that “Ọ̀run ń ya á bọ̀, kì í sọ̀rọ̀ ẹnìkan.”

It means “When the sky comes crashing, it affects everybody.”

Are some people too big to fall? Is every police thief subject to arrest?

Let those with ears hear.

Let the wise and the prudent break the

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