Struck by lightning, voodoo priests exorcising Ethiopian airline

In Togo, after lightning struck the international airport in Lomé, traditional voodoo priests went to purify a Boeing that was hit on the tarmac. “If the plane had not been purified, everyone who used it could even be paralyzed!”. The authorities authorized the operation in this country, where the voodoo tradition is very prevalent.

It is a ceremony that would be hardly believable in any airport in the world, but certainly not in Togo. This Monday, June 21, 2021, traditional voodoo priests came in numbers to the Gnassingbé Eyadema International Airport for a “purification” ceremony of a grounded plane struck by lightning during heavy rain the day before.

This short video posted on social networks shows part of the purification ceremony. It shows priests sprinkling water on the plane.

The plane in question is a Boeing belonging to Ethiopian Airlines, which regularly flies between Lomé and New York. The lightning discharges slightly damaged it, preventing it from taking off.

As for the masters of ceremony are voodoo priests of the deity Hevioso (a Mina term, a local language of southern Togo, which means “god of thunder”) Hevioso, in Benin, the cradle of the voodoo cult.

The priests took the initiative by offering their services, and the airport authorities as well as the airline management, did not find anything wrong with it. Togo is a secular state, but it is also a country where voodoo is widely practiced and respected.

The director-general of Togo’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), Colonel Latta Gnama, personally attended the purification ceremony performed by the voodoo priests. He explained that he could not refuse such a ceremony when the voodoo priests expressed the request. “On the contrary, everything was done to facilitate their task,” he said.

Appeasing the god Hevioso

“We did this in accordance with our traditional norms, we Hevioso priests,” Togbé Assiobo Nyagblondjro III, president of the national confederation of traditional priests of Togo, told French Sputnik news.

In Africa, particularly in Benin and Togo, he explains, “when lightning strikes somewhere, it is our duty, for the safety of people, to identify and purify the place where it struck”.

This consists, he explains, in “praying to appease the god Hevioso because the thunderbolts indicate that he is angry. We pour liquor, as an offering, and we sprinkle the place with water, invoking the spirits”.

This ceremony is essential, continues the priest, otherwise, the passengers would be in great danger! “If the plane had not been purified, everyone who used it could even be paralyzed!” Now that this is done, the plane, the passengers, and the company will no longer have any problem!”Added Togbé Assiobo Nyagblondjro III.

For his part, the CEO of ANAC still recalls having taken measures other than the authorization to resort to paranormal ceremonies. “At Gnassingbé Eyadema International Airport, we have installed lightning rods everywhere that saved the airport installations and the aircraft, which could burn down completely. Fortunately, one of these lightning rods took most of the discharge. And these are residues that hit this Ethiopian Airlines aircraft,” explained the Togolese colonel.

Until Thursday, June 24, the aircraft was still on the tarmac at the airport. He is able to fly, reassure company sources, but no date has yet been put forward.

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