In the face of the outbreak of Coronavirus, a respecter of nobody, there is a group of Nigerians who should bury their heads in shame. They should shut-up forever.
This virus has exposed them for what they truly are – Fake. Exploiters. Blackmailers. Opportunists. And worse, those who feast on the vulnerable and fickle-minded.
Some discerning minds always knew them for what they are. But, they flaunt God’s name. They flaunt religion. And religion is like opium. It can make the most wise the most stupid. And poverty and the desire for miracles have made Nigerians so vulnerable that it is easy for majority to be brainwashed. They hang on anything that smells redemption and quick money.
You know them. They dot everywhere. They are called Pastors, Clerics, Seers. Prophets. They go by so many names. Flaunting God’s name, they twist us round and round their little and big fingers. They hear from God every second. And performing miracles comes easier to them than it did to Jesus Christ.
At the beginning of every new year, they fill the newspapers and airwaves with their yearly predictions. They make front page stories. They predict the wind and the sun and the stars.
Some publish such predictions in book forms – The book of Predictions.
They mesmerize and dazzle the people. With every copy sold, they make more money.
They predict what would happen from January to December of each year. From politics, to economy, to every aspect of our lives. Some of their predictions make not a few people nervous.
But take time and check their yearly menu out. And, you notice that they are, almost, a repetition of the predictions of the previous year. Pause, and think for a second, and you would confirm that the predictions are either elementary, or morbid, or guess work.
They usually run like this:
“There will be heavy rainfall this year. There will be earthquake. There will be plane crashes. Pray against them. There will be heavy flooding. There will be strong winds. There will be storms. There will be many fire outbreaks. Some top politicians need to pray against sudden death. Some serving and former Governors need to pray for their lives. A former President needs prayers against death. A couple of high profile traditional rulers in Nigeria need to pray against sudden death. There will be famine in the land”.
They predict doom in the land. If they want to be merciful, they grudgingly predict light at the end of the tunnel. But the tunnel seems so long that for years that the light has refused to show. One has lost count of the number of times they predicted the end of Boko Haram; the end of terrorism in Nigeria. It never comes. Instead, it gets worse.
They stay in Nigeria, and see what will happen in other countries, other continents, even as far flung as the Artic and Antarctica. They tell you who will win elections in other countries. When they fail, as they often do, they try to rationalise it. They confuse one by insisting one is ignorant of such interpretations, and is not on the same spiritual realm with them.
They confuse and deceive people by claiming all kinds of powers – powers to perform all kinds of miracles, to cure all kinds of illnesses, to fix every problem, including powers to fix husbands for single women.
In Abuja, one Pastor (Dr.) J.S. Yusuf of the Touch For Recovery Outreach International has since upgraded from white handkerchiefs and holy water to annointed underwears. He embossed his photograph on female bras and pants, and sells them to his female parishioners. Once any of them wears them, he told them, husbands come running to them.
But now, as they say, the wind has blown, and the fowl’s behind has been exposed.
Our Pastors, Clerics Seers and Prophets have failed where, and when it mattered most.
In all their prophecies and predictions, none of them saw the outbreak of Coronavirus, the monster which has shut down their worship places, put a stop to the money they make every worship day, kept us indoors, shot down our lives, and brought the world to its knees. Nobody has been spared – the rich in particular.
The mega-monster, took them by surprise. And since then, they have been trying to have a hang on it. They have been going through their fake books of predictions with a brush, to see if there is even a line they could cling to, and flaunt at us, and then say: I told you people.
This other day, one Cleric told us that God spoke to him about a public holiday that would be forced on the world, but that he was scared of making what God told him public. What’s scary about that.
For the records, most of these people see nothing. They hear nothing from God. What they do is guess work. If it comes to pass, they claim it. If it fails, they explain it away.
So they see and predict? And none of them even saw the dethronement of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Emir of Kano, now seen as a little distraction, when compared to CoronavIrus?
Is there any year there will not be fire outbreaks? Is there any year an important politician will not die? Is there any year one big man or the other will not die? Is there any year there will not be earthquakes ? Or any year there will not be heavy rains and flooding in some parts of the world? Is there any year there will not be, at least, two plane crashes? Or storms?
Atimes, they even mention the names of individuals who, they claim, need prayers. My surprise is that such people do not confront, or sue them for everything they have. On the contrary, they patronize them, run to them and ask them to pray against such fake, devilish predictions.
What irks in the instant case of Coronavirus is that they now want to cash-in on the tragic situation. They want to make money from it. They want to deceive people and dismiss the virus as nothing. They dismiss it as a punishment from God for our sins. They have calculated the revenue they would lose over the Government’s order on the number of people that would congregate at once. And they are doing everything to thwart it.
Penultimate week, many of such Churches disobeyed the Government’s order. They managed to convince their Parishioners to be at their worship places. As usual, they told them their victory over Coronavirus lies there. Not in the precautions medical personnel and the government are asking them to take. Once you are in the Church, you are safe. Holy water and anointing oil, and anointed handkerchiefs, and screaming in the name of prayers, would do the miracle. They don’t need any social distancing.
The first Sunday after the order was given, Bishop David Oyedepo of the Winners Chapel, held a full service at his Chuch headquarters. There was no social distancing. He was not the only one guilty of breaking the order. The scandal-prone front man at COZA was guilty of the same offence.
When called in by the Police, Oyedepo said he needed to sensitize his congregation. Smart.
Last Friday in Kano, the Jumat Service at the Central Mosque, was brimming with faithfuls, without a care in the world. Where were Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and the State Commissioner of Police?
Till date, not a word from any of them.
In President Muhammadu Buhari’s Katsina state, at least, one person died last Friday when Policemen tried to disperse worshippers in a Mosque. They pounced on the Policemen for daring to call the Imam to order.
Even those one expected to appreciate the seriousness of the situation, seem not to understand.
The cerebral Archbishop Anthony Obinna of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Owerri, insists his parishioners must carry-on as usual. They must continue to shake hands and/or hug during the exchange of Peace sign. And they must continue to open their mouths to receive the bread, which represents the body of Christ, instead of it being placed on their hands. They did the same during the Ebola outbreak in 2015, and survived, he explained.
But His Grace should be told that Ebola pales in the face of this Virus. This Virus has killed hundreds of thousands within three months.
I attended a funeral mass at a Church in Archbishop’s Obinna’s Diocese, and it was business as usual. Shocked, a parishioner has just written a letter to the Archbishop, reminding him of the dangers of his stand on these serious issues.
The henchman at the Synagogue of All Nations, who neither predicted the collapse of a hostel in his Church premises , which killed over one 100 people, most of them, foreigners, nor the outbreak of Coronavirus, predicted the death of the Virus on March 27. As I write this, March 27 has since past, and the disease is waxing stronger than ever.
Many others have, since this outbreak, predicted one thing or the other. But they amount to the same thing – a deceit of the people.
These Clerics carry religion too far. Even the Holy Bible condemns the disobedience of lawful orders given by constituted authorities. And they forget that the saying that: God helps those who help themselves, holds true. By their attitude, they tempt God.
In all this, the government is to blame. It failed the people woefully on Coronavirus. Precautions to safeguard the people were not taken as early as they should have been taken.
Otherwise, some of these Clerics who mislead the people, especially, on the issue of Coronavirus, ought to have been taught some lessons.
In more serious countries, that’s what they do. South Africa. South Korea.
They don’t tolerate the nonsense we tolerate here in the name of religion.
But back to the topic of discussion. No time is more ripe than now for the government to ban a couple of things as it relates to religion.
Chiefs among them: Yearly predictions and the brazen flaunting of fake miracles on television, sms other public places. We have had enough.
Source: The Source NG