God Must Be Angry
Fraudsters invade churches and other places of worship as activities of some clerics contradicts religious injunctions
By Olawale Abideen
Clerics are holy men of
God. To Robinson
Thomas, a 42 year-old
resident of Okota in Lagos, “Clerics could be more dangerous than lucifer.”
Thomas who told The Source how his nine years old marriage was allegedly destroyed by one Evangelist Paul Ikechukwu of Power and Grace, Church, Okota, lamented that his wife has abandoned him following the discovery of her illicit affair with Ikechukwu. According to Thomas who shed tears as he narrated his sad experience in the hands of, the preacher he called ‘Man of God said: “I had some crisis with my business and a sister-in-law approached my wife and said that we should try to consult a minister of God in charge of Power and Grace Church. We obliged the advise. We went to the Church in Okota and met the man of God in charge, who prayed and told me that my relationship with my wife was not approved by God. He (Ikechukwu) also told me to divorce my wife if I want to be prosperous in life. The same Evangelist also called my wife into a separate room and informed her that God is seriously angry with her union with me and that unless she vacates my house, she will never experience the joy of life. After Ikechukwu’s counseling, we departed the church with bitter and heavy hearts. While we were still battling with the Evangelist’s shocking revelation, a month later while my wife was in the kitchen and I was in the sitting room a text message beeped on my wife’s phone. Since she was not there, I picked the phone to check who it was. Guess what! It was Ikechukwu that sent the message which read: ‘Hello dear, since we met that day, my manhood has refused to perform again. Do you have an idea of what might be happening?’ I couldn’t believe my eyes. I checked my phone to confirm Ikechukwu’s phone number. It turned out to be a tragedy. I descended on my wife with anger and the outcome was disastrous as she packed her belongings and deserted my house.” Thomas said with a broken heart.
Thomas took his case to the elders council of the church but Ikechukwu denied having any affair with Thomas’ wife.
Unlike Thomas who discovered the cleric’s sinful act early, a Professor of International Studies at the University of Benin wasn’t that lucky. The University don enjoys travelling from Benin to Ilorin the Kwara state capital, every weekend to meet his wife. Although the professor and his family attended another Church until they moved to their new mansion at Adewole Estate in Ilorin, they switched to the Apostolic Church situated beside their new house. A source, who is a relation of the Professor told The Source that, following the interest of the Professor’s wife in the Church, he provided blocks, cement and huge financial donations to build the Church which was an uncompleted building before the arrival of his family.
“The church was an uncompleted building when we packed to the new house. The Church was very close to our new house and madam (the professor’s wife) ordered us to henceforth worship at the church. One day, Professor returned from Benin and he also followed us to the church. Ever since then, Professor has been donating generously to the completion of the church. Today, the church is completed and the Professor was later ordained an elder in the Church. A few months ago, a tragic incident that scattered the whole family occurred. The professor fell sick and his ailment defied all medical solutions. In the course of seeking alternative medicine, a herbalist was contacted who revealed that the Professor’s wife has been having extra-marital affair with someone and that the Professor is fathering bastards. The madam was said to have actually confessed to her relationship with the Apostolic church pastor. When the Professor fully recovered, he took his five children for a DNA test. The outcome revealed that his first son who was born before he packed into the new house was the only child he fathered.” The crisis degenerated into divorce and the four children were sent packing with their mother.
Investigations revealed that there are some people who claim to be ordained pastors but are actually on the prowl on a different mission. Last week, a middle aged woman reported at the Ketu Police Station that she met a pastor in white garment who told her that God sent him to pray for her. The woman said that after the prayer, the pastor said she should remove her shoes and drop everything she was holding and move forward in seven steps to take a stone and come back. The woman said she did as the pastor said and that before she could come back, the man who claimed to be a pastor has disappeared with her bag and shoes. The same scenario played out at Oshodi motor park last December. It was a festive period and many people were travelling. A man with a very big bible came to a bus filled with passengers. When the man told the travellers that he was sent by God to pray for them, the whole passengers in the bus shouted “please go, don’t pray for us,” because they feared he was fake.
Aside Christian pastors, cases of fraudsters parading as Islamic clerics are also on the increase. A recent case is that of one Alfa Tajudeen who is currently cooling his heels at the Kirikiri Maximum prison for defrauding one Olokoba of N5 million. A police source who investigated and prosecuted Tajudeen told The Source that he claimed to be an Islamic cleric and he was consulted by Olokoba for spiritual protection over a shipping business he wanted to venture into. The police officer disclosed that, Tajudeen told Olokoba to bring the five million naira he intends to use for the business to him for spiritual cleansing.
According to the police officer, “Olokoba lost control of himself after the cleric gave him some water to drink as he went to the bank immediately to withdraw all his money and gave them to Tajudeen. After some days of chronic headache, Olokoba, came to the police station accompained by his wife and lodged a complaint. Olokoba who was speechless managed to write all that happened in a paper and after a thorough investigation, the police arrested and prosecuted Tajudeen. At the court, the cleric agreed charming Olokoba to become speechless. Tajudeen also confessed to have spent two million naira out of the money and was handed a five year jail term.”
On why there is an increase in the number of fraudulent clerics, Reverend Matthew Ogunyashe of Saint Anthony Catholic Church, Surulere, Lagos informed The Source that it is sinful and unacceptable within the Christiandom for someone to ordain himself as a clergy and that the proliferation of Churches and Clerics has done more harm to Christiandom than good. “Unfortunately, criminals also present themselves as men of God. This is worrisome” Ogunyashe said.
Pastor Uche Anene of His Vessel Christian Centre, Ogba, urged Christians to always watch out for integrity as the only way of identifying a true man of God.
“If a man is called, he must live an exemplary leadership style. Some unbecoming behavioural patterns are not expected of a true man of God. A person that split marital relationships is not fit to be called a cleric,” he said.
Simeon Ojo Pastor of Jesus Covenant Centre, Ogba Lagos, sees nothing wrong more clerics joining the call. Ojo noted that the higher the number of churches and clerics, the higher the number of Christians. Ifeanyi Aman Chukwu, Pastor of His Glory in All Nations Ministry, believes that all men of God without intergrity will soon meet their doom.
Referring to Quranic injunction that castigates those who lie against God with the aim of cheating people, Jaleel Oladejo, a Sheikh at the Ahamadiyya Muslim Society explained that fake clerics have been in existence for a very long time and that only the judgement day will exonerate the genuine clerics.
According to Ken Paul Obieke in his book titled 99 per cent of Ministers and Churches On The Way To Hell fire, “Satan and his ministers who are counterfeiting as ministers of God have taken the centre stage of the Church while ministers of God are busy with vanities. Many are on the way to hell fire even in the church because of compromise.” Who then will save the sheep from the wolves?