Men of gods and their shrines

The men of the gods metamorphosed into men of God, to hypnotize every maga and mumu they can find. And they will always find the desperate ones to prey on.

Funke Egbemode

They were two young men who wanted to make it in life, Kelechukwu and Prosper. After their secondary school education, they started to look for ways to make their dreams come true. They probably did a few menial jobs, learnt a trade or attempted to learn a trade but the road to fame and wealth seemed too long and arduous. They took a second and third look at their plans and decided to dump it for ministry. Yes, ministry. Not Ministry of Works or Finance at state or federal level. No, they decided that God called them. They insisted that they heard God’s voice, just like Samuel in the Bible. They told everybody that they were now pastors and preachers of the gospel. God kept quiet.

READ ALSO: Hiring pastors to fight criminals

In no time, Kelechukwu and Prosper had both church and congregation. People called them ‘Daddy’ and ‘Our father in the Lord’. Their wives became ‘Mummy’ of both young and old. Those old enough to be their parents knelt before them. Their congregation believed their ‘calling’ and respected their ‘anointing’. God knew but He kept quiet. He wanted both the wheat and the weed to grow together.

The singing and the speaking in tongues increased but the bank balances of Kelechukwu and Prosper did not. So, they went into another meeting to review their plans. They must do something to help God. They believed there must be a higher power that could help God and they did find. God was watching them. But Kelechukwu and Prosper were not watching God. They wanted to make it. They wanted their ministry to not just be big in the South East, they wanted to be known beyond the shores of Nigeria. So, off they went in search of power to enlarge their congregation.

Let me backtrack a little. Prosper it was who offered to take his friend to a place where they would get power to prosper. Prosper obviously knew many things, many people and when he saw that Kelechukwu’s ministry was struggling, he took him to a native doctor in Ondo State. See why we need each other? An Igbo man’s business can be jazzed up by a powerful Yoruba juju man.

Anyway, this jazz worked and Kelechukwu’s church started growing. Unfortunately, Prosper felt he wasn’t properly rewarded for his efforts. Really pissed with his ungrateful friend, he again knew where to find assassins who assisted him in doing the needful.

Ah, you think I was there when these two ‘men of god’ were born and called? Or you think it is a story from a Nollywood movie I watched on African Magic Epic? No, it was the ‘testimony’ of Prosper that I heard. His testimony when he was nabbed by the police for killing his childhood friend along with the woman leader of the church and the pastor’s assistant. Their bodies had even started decomposing before they were found. That is what one ‘man of god’ did to another ‘man of god’.

In ‘Pastor’ Prosper’s words: “We both attended the same secondary school and started our gospel ministries together. We were both preachers. Iwuanyanwu was my childhood friend and we were also co-pastors. When he was having challenges in growing his church I took him to a native doctor in Ondo State to get charms to attract members to his church. The charms also helped him to perform miracles. I also gave him N100, 000 to support him during the trip.

“We started the process in 2013 and we have been going to the shrine to renew the charm every year since then. But when the charm started working and Iwuanyanwu started making money, he forgot me. Whenever I called him for financial assistance, he would tell me not to disturb him.

“I hired three boys from Aba to attack the pastor. We trailed him to his house when he was going home and laid an ambush for him. We waited until midnight, when we knew he would return home,” Prosper said.

The pastor was murdered along with his assistant, Pastor Ikeagwu Kalu, aka Ambassador, and the women leader, Ruth Andrew Eze. With all the jazz and juju from Ondo State and the annual top-up, The Wind of Glory International Church, where Iwuanyanwu presided before his gruesome murder is a church of not more than 200 members. And I’m wondering what exactly this jazz achieved.

In Lagos, a self-acclaimed pastor, identified as Raphael Obi, also known as Pastor Sharp Sharp, admitted sucking the breasts of women to deliver them from the evil spirits tormenting them.

Obi, in a confessional statement to police detectives at the Area M Command in Idimu, Lagos, said that his deliverance ministry involved sucking of women’s breasts in a bid to deliver them from killer diseases like cancer.

He proudly announced that after sucking thoroughly, the woman being delivered would not be affected with such diseases in future. “I received this call from God and I have delivered many women in the past,” he said.

The breast-sucking ‘pastor’ was caught in the act while performing the strange brand of deliver- ance on the wife of a member of his church on Abaranje Road by Cele bus stop, Ikotun, Lagos State. Guess what they found in his house when police raided it: charms tied on baby dolls.

The two instances cited here are just the tip of the iceberg. We all know horrible things are going on in the trading and greed sector of the economy. Every greedy half-baked person is looking for a desperate maga to swindle and between the greedy fellow and the desperado, Christianity has been given a bad name. A smooth-talking predator buys a shining big bible, memorizes a few verses and before you can say ‘Jesus’ he has rented a shop and christened it something like Last Bus Stop International Gospel Arcade (AKA Miracle Now Now). With a monthly-serviced black juju-in-a-calabash from a remote village in Ogun, Ondo or Cross River, buried under the altar, he starts performing magic. The Yoruba call one of those juju ‘Aworo’, meaning crowd puller. It was originally meant for traders to get customers. You see my point now? This predator from get-go knew it was a business. He had things all figured out.

He had a business plan and going to Iperindo or Igbotako to get his juju is simply, to him, importing the raw materials that will produce the goods (the sharp sharp miracles) that will draw men and women unto him. Under his designer jacket is a charm that makes you warm up to him. The white handkerchief he constantly whips out of his pocket to wipe his face is designed by Baba to keep his congregation hypnotized. Around his waist is another one that works with a ring so everybody he touches falls under the anointing.

Long story short, this smooth talker has all it takes to be an effective and dreaded native doctor. The problem is if he starts a shrine and erects a signage saying 21st Century Native Doctor’s Shrine (we kill, we make rich, we help you destroy your enemies), who will go there? We will all turn down our noses at him and call him evil. He will not be able to wear designer wristwatches and openly fraternize with politicians and big babes. We will expect him to mark his face with white chalk and tie red wrapper around his waist. We will fear him, not respect him.

That, my people, is how the native doctors became ‘pastors’. That was how the men of the gods metamorphosed into men of God, to hypnotize every maga and mumu they can find. And they will always find the desperate ones to prey on.

The Bible has established that in the last days, men will love the good life more than they love God. They will flock to the wide roads and choose shortcuts. They will convince themselves that everything easy is cool, and all that glitters is gold.

Back home in Lagos, Nigeria is Mr. Sharp Sharp, the sex freak who told his female flock to breastfeed him. And they did, until he was caught. That the women agree to breastfeed their ‘pastor’ is the incredible part. I know when you are in pain, distressed and desperate, even the most foolish suggestion sounds like a solution but to actually enter a place called a ‘church’, remove your dress, unhook your bra and put your nipples in the mouth of a man who say she is a man of God? Can you find words to describe the act, the man, and the woman? I can’t.

A man who sees a cancer-stricken woman as a sex object is not just a sick freak but a demon from Satan’s kitchen cabinet. And they are all over the place, driving flashy cars and living colourfully. They are bringing shame to the name of God and Christianity. Their shrines continue to attract worshippers who pretend to know the Bible when all they do is just listen to their priests and priestesses.

But what can we do to stop them? There is freedom of worship and association. A man can call his ‘shop’ any name. So, if he decides to rent a warehouse, bury charms under the tiles and call it a church instead of shrine, what does the law allow you to do when the worshippers are not complaining? How do you stop a full-grown woman from breastfeeding a full-grown man? What can you do to a man who refuses truth as a gift but goes to buy lies with his hard-earned money?

READ ALSO: Boosting breastfeeding in Nigeria

The post Men of gods and their shrines appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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