On Sunday, January 8, news flew around that an inscription of 'Allah' was seen boldly written on two trees in Abule Iroko, a sleepy community in Ado-Odo, Ota, Ogun state.
It was reported that Michael Ibironke, one of the occupants of the house, said he has been living there for more than 17 years and confirmed that the trees were planted in 2014, but that they had never seen anything like the inscription on them before.
The house situated at 6, Unity street, Ire Akari estate had since become a Mecca of sorts for people who came around to confirm the truth or otherwise about the report.
When NAIJ.com visited the community at about 10.30am on Tuesday, January 10, to find out what the truth was, the number of people there was a far cry from the anticipated crowd, but those who surrounded the tree in the open were enough testament to the fact that something unusual had happened to the Moringa oleifera.
With sachets of water in their hands, people from within and outside the community held on to the tree and continued with their 'Allahu' chant, which according to them, means 'Our God is great'.
Not quite long afterwards, a group of women gathered under the tree to render prayers, this was after they had taken turns to rub the sachets of water on the places where they believed the inscriptions of Allahu were located on the tree, and were totally lost while at it.
Our correspondent approached the people standing beside the tree to find out what was spectacular about it, but they were more concerned about their prayers that they ignored our camera and microphone.
At a point, one of the women chanting Allahu suddenly could not control her speech and actions anymore, and according to one man standing around: "that is the power of God, she has gone into trance."
Not quite long after the 'transition' to and from the supernatural, the woman and her colleagues moved a few metres away from the tree, only to be replaced by another set of 'worshippers'.
A man (who was later discovered to be the owner of the tree with the inscription) came towards where we were all standing, and asked: "What is written on this tree?" and the people replied him, saying: "allahu".
Having established certain facts, the sturdy looking man asked the people to gather round the tree yet again and began another prayer session like Christian faithful. Effortlessly, the same set of women who had gathered around the tree for the initial Islamic session regrouped, and started another round of prayers.
Our correspondent gathered that there was another tree inside the compound facing the tree where there were many 'tourists' already, so we sought the owner's consent.
After checking out our identity and confirming that we were journalists, he allowed us into his premises and another Moringa tree was standing inside the compound of Mr Michael Ibironke, whom we learnt was a pastor with The Apostolic Church.
The inscription on the tree inside was more conspicuous than the one outside therefore, we did not struggle before seeing the Arabic letters.
The Community Development Association (CDA) chairman, Sikirulahi Yusuf, was quickly beckoned on.
He said: "On the 2nd of January, the owner of this house, Mr Michael Ibironke, called me to inform me of something they discovered on a tree (this one) inside their house. When I saw it, I thought it was Allahu that was written there, but I had to call an Imam who should be well grounded in Islam to explain further.
"When he arrived, he kept quiet for about five minutes before eventually exclaiming 'God is Great!' He told us that it means 'God is Great' and since then, people from every part of the community had come around to check out the image.
"Personally, this is the first time I am seeing anything like this in my life. And I believe it is the work of God."
On why he thinks the inscription appeared on the tree in the community Mr Yusuf stated:
"I believe it is God's way of making the whole world see the suffering of the people in this place.
"When you were coming, I'm sure you saw how terrible the roads leading to this place were, that is what we have been going through here. I believe the state government will come here and see the state of people living in this environment."
Opemipo Ibironke, a son of Mr Michael (owner of the house), also shared his thoughts on the inscription on the tree.
He told NAIJ.com that he was particularly shocked when he saw the Arabic letters on their tree as it was something he would have disbelieved if he were not around when the incident was reported.
"My mum had heard about the writing on the Moringa tree outside a few days earlier and she had to come check if it there was anything like that inside the compound (because we have two Moringa trees).
"She checked the smaller one and did not see anything, but when she looked straight at the bigger one, she quickly called everybody to come around and check it out," he explained.
Asked who he thinks could have put the inscription on the tree, the young chap insisted he had no idea what happened, although he thinks it was not written by anybody.
He said: "It is still a mystery to us in our house and I believe it is also a sign that God has remembered our community and that new things are coming our way soon."
At the end of the trip, it was apparent that the people, more than anything else, believed that their community had been visited by the Supreme Being and that the fruits of the visit would be reaped pretty soon.