• Some ask members to eat grass, worship naked, etc
Stories by Sunday Ani ([email protected])
The things happening in some churches around the world remind one of what happened to the followers of Reverend Jim Warren Jones. It was reported that on November 18, 1978, the American cleric made over 900 members of his church, the People’s Temple Religious Cult, to commit mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, South America.
Jones, born on May 13, 1931 to a Ku Klux Klansman in Lynn, Indiana, ordered his followers to commit suicide by drinking cyanide-laced juice, which he called a “revolutionary suicide.”
In Kogi State, North-Central Nigeria, the Pastor and General Overseer of Zion International Christian Church, Idah, simply identified as Kingsley, was alleged to have impregnated an 18-year-old girl, in the guise of delivering her waist and private part from satanic possession. He was said to have convinced the innocent girl that she was afflicted with demons in her waist and private part, which could only be exorcised through sexual intercourse. The poor girl believed the preacher out of fear and surrendered herself to him, but she became pregnant after the exercise.
According to the girl, who joined her parent from the village in November 2015, when the pastor saw her in the church he ordered her to see him after the church service for deliverance because she had a wild demonic spirit in her waist and private part. She said: “He told me that my waist and private parts had been ravaged by demons and until deliverance was carried out, I might not be able to have any child in life. He said he would only cast out the demons from me through sexual intercourse but warned me not to tell anybody about the mode of deliverance.
“I was afraid that if the demons were not cast out, I might not be able to have children, as he said. So, I went to him for the deliverance. After praying into an olive oil, he asked me to undress while he rubbed my waist and private parts with the anointing oil mixed with some other substances. He later undressed and used the same oil on his private part before he descended on me.
“But I discovered that I was pregnant when my mother noticed changes in my conduct and began to ask me questions. I had to reveal everything to her even though the pastor warned me not to tell anybody.”
However, the 37-year-old pastor was said to have denied the allegation, insisting that all he did was to cast out the demons that possessed the girl, using anointing oil.
The Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Seidu Madawaki, who paraded the suspect, was reported to have said: “After impregnating the girl, he attempted to abort the pregnancy but the girl refused to drink the concoction he gave to her for that.”
Also, a Nigerian pastor based in Kenya established a church where he sucks women’s breasts as a way of deliverance. The church has only women as members, who freely offer their breasts to the pastor to suck out the demons in them. The pastor, who was simply identified as Chijioke, admitted that he ‘delivers’ women by sucking their breasts. “I suck ‘demons’ out of women’s boobs,” he was quoted to have said.
According to him, he named his church ‘Breast and Honey Harvest’ because the spirit lies in the breasts of ladies. “The more you suck the breasts, the more you get the fulfilling of the Lord,” he was reported to have said.
In the same vein, Reverend Njohi of the Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church in Dandora, instructed his female church members to attend church service on Sundays without wearing pants so that they could be closer to God. He told them that doing so would also give God easy access into their body for proper cleansing.
And in compliance with his instruction, the female congregants of the church were attending church on Sundays without pants or brassiere. “Ditch your bras and pants while coming to church, so that God can enter your body,” he told his female church members.
Another pastor also asked unmarried ladies in his church to strip, so he can plant in them, a holy kiss that would make their husbands to locate them. Single women of a church in the Caribbean were taken to a beach by their pastor, who asked them to get naked and bend over so he could plant a “holy kiss” on their butts.
This holy kiss, according to the pastor, would enable the ladies to find their husbands wherever they are. As if there is a special blessing in asking women to strip naked, another young pastor in South Africa asked the female members of his church to get naked for total healing.
Not too long ago, another South African pastor, Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries, in Garankuwa, north of Pretoria, turned his church members to herbivores by asking them to eat grass for them to be closer to God. Following the barrage of criticism that trailed the development, he defended his action, saying: “Humans can eat anything to feed their bodies and survive on whatever they choose to eat.”
Members of his church stoutly stood by him. Defending her pastor, Rosemary Phetha, 21-year-old law student, said: “Yes, we eat grass and we’re proud of it because it demonstrates that, with God’s power, we can do anything. I have been battling a sore throat for more than a year, but I got healed after I ate the grass.”
The same pastor was reported to have commanded a woman to enter inside a deep freezer that was on a high freezing point and fall into a deep sleep. When the woman was asked to come out of the freezer 30 minutes later, she was reported to have said that the ice in the deep refrigerator was, indeed, very hot and that she didn’t feel cold.
Indeed, not a few shepherds are feeding their flock with strange doctrines or menu, which they consume veraciously. It is the same story in many parts of the world.
In Lagos, women searching for the fruit of the womb are made to worship naked at a church.
A church at Egbeda, Lagos, has discarded the 10 commandments in the Bible, maintaining that the leader of the church, King Olutanmole is Jesus Christ that will take them to heaven to meet God. According to them, this is the reason the ministry is called Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
At a time, it was reported that ladies were using cucumber to masturbate, a Zimbabwean prophet, Walter Magaya, allegedly sold anointed cucumber in his church. His church members, especially the ladies, reportedly patronised him heavily. It was reported that after the pictures of the service emerged online, some facebook users criticised the pastor, calling him fake for selling cucumbers in the house of God.
And the other day, a bishop reportedly turned cold water to hot water in Ebonyi State. In a bid to replicate Jesus Christ’s miracle in Canaan in Galilee where He turned water into wine, a bishop in Ebonyi State, Sam Zuga, reportedly turned cold water to hot water. Cold water became hot water after the prayer of Bishop Zuga in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The Igwe of the community and other people from the crowd were said to have tested the cold water to confirm that it had actually become hot.
While some people maintain that these are the signs of the end of the time, others insist that with faith, as little as the mustard seed, mountains can be moved.
Another man of God in threat messages mess
• He sent messages threatening to deal with me and mother, says accuser
• It was the family that started it – Pastor
what would make a man threaten another when they do not have previous issues? This question is agitating the mind of a 38-year-old man, who is under pressure, following threat messages from a pastor-son of his father’s ex-wife.
Indeed, Chidoziri Okeiyi, from Mbakamanu, in Amawom Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, has raised the alarm over persistent text messages and calls, threatening him. He told Daily Sun that when the first text message came, he was taken aback, as he didn’t know the number. He had thought that the sender sent it to a wrong number. However, when the second and third messages came, he took it serious.
Afraid for his life, he had swung into action to unravel the person behind the threat.
In the beginning
Okeiyi said it started on February 17, 2012, when he woke up in the midnight to pray, as he normally does. He said he saw his phone blinking and beeping, indicating an unread message. When he checked the message, which came in at exactly 1:55am, the content sent jitters down his spines. It was a threat message to his life.
The content of the message, a copy of which was made available to the Daily Sun reads: “Chidoziri, let me use this night to warn you from my secret chambers. Any day you threaten Chika or anybody in my mother’s kitchen, you will… You are an idiot.”
Just as Okeiyi was trying to come to terms with the message, he received another threat message in the evening of the same day.
He said as a devout Christian with strong belief that no weapon fashioned against him by the enemy shall prosper and that with God, no man can harm him, he dismissed the threat since the sender’s identity was still unknown to him.
But, on February 19, two days after the first two threat messages were sent to him, he received the third one, bearing the same MTN number (08133016108), whose owner remained unknown to him.
Visit to police station
At this point, the lion in him left and he just needed to do something fast because he was now sure that the sender knew him quite well.
Confused and afraid, he said: “At this point, I still did not know who was sending the messages. But, I copied the MTN number – 08133016108, and went to Ojo Police Station to complain about the threat messages. I told the then Divisional Police Officer (DPO) that I did not know who the person was.”
Having lodged a formal complaint about the threat, the police officers at Ojo took it up immediately by writing to the service provider, MTN, and requesting the call log of the number.
Identity of the sender revealed
According to Okeiyi, MTN cooperated with the police and the call log was printed and given to them. “From the call log,” he said: “It was discovered that the phone number belongs to one Pastor Godfrey Okechukwu. On further inquiry, Pastor Okechukwu happened to be the son of my father’s divorced wife, who lives in Bayelsa State.”
When the identity of the sender was unraveled, Okeiyi took a step that ostensibly angered Pastor Okechukwu. He reported to his pastor.
On February 21, he received another threat message, which reads: “Your frustrated mother and pastor cannot stop me. You thought you are big because you rented a flat in Lagos. I will frustrate you.” The next day, February 22, he received yet another message, saying: “I don’t even know the name you are calling, but one thing I know is that when I am through with your mother and father, you will be the next person. Your father had the impetus to challenge me.”
On what he did after the police traced and unraveled the identity of the person, sending the threat messages, he said: “I went to the village to report because his brother was my father’s first son. His mother was married to my father but my father later divorced her. She went somewhere else and gave birth to him. The police wanted to trace him to where he was staying but my people in the village prevailed on me to bring the matter before them first. I reported to them, showing all the threat text messages. He was invited and when he came, he denied ever sending any threat message to me but when I produced copies of the messages and photocopies of the call log from the MTN, he didn’t know what to say again.
“We couldn’t resolve the matter that day and it was shifted to the next day, but he never came back.”
According to Okeiyi, the matter was finally laid to rest when his half-brother, Chika, who is also the pastor’s elder brother, intervened and pleaded for forgiveness on behalf of the pastor.
Threat takes new dimension
But, surprising on October 12, 2016, Okeiyi received another threat message, but this time not through a text message. He received a call from a hidden number threatening to deal with his mother and two of his siblings. He said: “On October 12, around 5:23pm, I got a call from a hidden number and a male voice told me to warn my mother.”
After speaking with the caller, he said he contacted one of his friends, who works in a telecom company and asked him if it was possible to know a person who hides his number to call another person, and his friend assured him that it was possible. With the information from his friend, he rushed to Ojo Police Station to report the incident and as usual, the officers did not waste time in acting. They approached MTN and the hidden number was revealed.
“On further inquiry,” he said: “The number happened to be that of Pastor Okechukwu, who had sent several threat messages to me in 2012. I checked his Facebook page and saw so many fliers, which he posted for his church programmes and in one of the fliers, the number was there, as his contact number and that was when I knew that actually he was the one that called me.
Case goes to area command
Okeiyi took his case to the Area Commander, Area ‘E’ Command of the Nigeria Police, Festac, Lagos. In his petition dated December 2, 2016, entitled, ‘Petition against Pastor Okechukwu for threat to life,’ . Okeiyi wrote: “I wish to bring to the notice of the Area Commander, the character and conduct of the above named pastor.
“I am not related to Pastor Okechukwu but his mother was my father’s wife and she gave birth to a son for my father. I don’t have any issue with him.
“Sometime in February 2012, Okechukwu started threatening my life. He sent me a lot of text messages, copies of which are attached to this petition. All the threats were made in 2012.
“On October 12, 2016, he called me with a hidden number, telling me to warn my mother.”
Asked to explain his relationship with Pastor Okechukwu and why he should be threatening him, Okeiyi said: “The only relationship I think I have with him is that his mother was married to my father.
His mother had a son for my father before my father divorced her and she went somewhere else to give birth to this pastor and other children. So, I can’t remember having had any problem with him and I don’t have any kind of blood relationship with him.
Pastor Okechukwu responds
After several attempts to speak with Pastor Okechukwu on phone failed, our reporter sent the following text message to his phone, requesting his reaction.
When he received the text message, Pastor Okechukwu decided to react through the same medium. His text reaction reads: “It was the family who started it. Tell him I said if his mother and his family refuse to remove hand from their fetish practices, that the judgement of God will wipe away his family.”
But, our reporter’s further push to get the pastor to speak, ostensibly angered him and he warned through a text message: “Don’t ever call this line if you love yourself.”
When the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) that handled the 2012 threat messages investigation, then Corporal but now Sergeant Abiola Michael was contacted on phone, he confirmed that he actually investigated the case when it was reported to his division. He said: “I actually investigated the case and got the person’s identity from the MTN to be that of one Okechukwu. We actually wanted to go after him but Mr. Okeiyi said he preferred to take the matter to the village first. I think he went to the village at that period and did all he needed to do and the man promised he was going to desist from all those stuffs. However, some few weeks back, he came again with the same issue that the pastor has started the same thing and stuff like.
“Actually, we wanted to continue from where we stopped but he said he would like to go higher and I think he has taken the matter to the Area Command at Festac.”
Also, when the IPO that invested the hidden number used for October 12, 2016 threat call, Sergeant Sunny Gabak was contacted, he said: “When he brought the matter to us, we discovered that the number was actually hidden. The number kept calling him with threat, but the number could not come out; so we had to apply to the MTN and the number was eventually revealed to be that of one Okechukwu. I asked him if he knew the owner and he said yes, and that it was the same person who sent threat text messages to him in 2012. He then said he wanted to take it to the Area Command at Festac.”
When our reporter contacted a police officer, who is said to be handling the matter at the Area ‘E’ Police Command, Festac, simply identified as Mr. Edo, he denied knowing Okeiyi. He said: “You are calling a wrong number; I don’t know anybody that has anything to do with that name.”
When our reporter asked him if he was not a policeman by name Mr Edo, he thundered, “Who gave you my number?”