Calabar Ritual Pastor: Why Church Leaders Must Be Blamed BY EDEM DARLINGTON

In Breaking News, Columnists, Opinion

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

When Jesus chased out of the temple those godless Jewish money exchangers, whipping the hell out of them, He was simply showing example, that certain acts must not be tolerated within the household of God.

He would not keep quiet and watch any form of shenanigan by some uncanny religious lords who obviously mistook a worship centre for a gambling spot. Neither would he permit any kind of devilry impishness perpetuated by a few ‘chop I chop’ spiritual outlanders and wolves, come into the fold in sheep clothing to eat up the sheep.

Recently, the Nigerian Police in Calabar, acting on a tip off, after a family raised alarm of the kidnap of their little baby, bursted a ritual gang disguised as a worship centre along the southern part of the city, arresting the ‘man of God’ and six other accomplices.

The gang leader, a certain Anthony Obo was said to have secured the services of some young men. Selling their consciences for a plate of porridge, these young men embarked on an evil cruise of snatching an innocent 18months old baby from the soothing hands of her 20years old mother into the blood soaked fingers of a killer pastor for a fee they certainly will not enjoy. What a world of unending theatrics!

There are too many dramas happening in churches these days all in the name of God. – Did I hear you ask me how? Ok, did ‘pastor’ Tony Obo after his arrest not tell the police that the ritual items found in his church were those used for “drama” by the church members? – Indeed we are still watching the drama as it unfolds.

I pity patronizers of these satanic business men in religious camouflage. Those who find themselves in such evil assembly should not fail to understand that anything the hawk gives birth to, does not fail to feast on chickens.

That an Okada rider who became jobless after a forward looking state government policy on transportation, could not search for alternative means of livelihood but choose to “churchilize” his devilment is pitiable.

These men of void rightness have made the household of God a theatre of satanic comic without any kind of contriteness.

Not long ago, in far away Ondo state, another pastor with a popular christian denomination was arrested after some married women reported to the police that they were pregnant for the man of God. The pastor had claimed to have some supernatural powers to conduct “deliverance” for women. He confessed that during the “deliverance” session both himself and his preys must appear naked. (wetin wey we no go hear?)

As the news on pastor Tony Obo became wide spread, many church leaders in Cross River State came out hard on the pastor, condemning and criticizing. They were quick to call for investigation and prosecution of the suspects.

For me, if there is any group of people to be investigated, it should be the leaders of these religious organizations (Don’t even try to intimidate me with that “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm” brouhaha, I refuse to be intimidated.)

I understand that the madness that originates from the family is usually difficult to cure. But when such madness gradually begins to take the rounds on everyone, then it’s solution must be sorted out immediately.

What are you telling me?. That none of the brown envelop scavenging men of God ever knew individuals like Pastor Tony Obo existed? Or that before now they had never come across him in the many years of his “ministry” where he even had branches? Spare me that please!

Some of them cannot pretend not to know. They may come up with the lame excuse of “they are not registered members of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria or Christian Association of Nigeria.” But do they really think such excuse is tenable? The bible points it clearly “…Thou art inexcusable O man…”

They cannot shy away from the fact that even their members could at some point stray away into these ungodly congregations. And so, their consistent lack of boldness to point out such vile men whether registered or unregistered members with their religious umbrella is clearly an indictment on their part.

These are the same men who call themselves christian leaders. What and who are they supposed to lead? Are they not supposed to be eyes for the millions of the spiritually blind, who are not among the few “called” in the christian circle? Are they supposed to ensure the sifting of the bad from among the good?

The simple truth is that they are afraid. What they are afraid of, is that which I will shelve aside for a latter day discussion.

Everyday, gullible congregations face an epidemic of spiritual deception cocked by the very people they were supposed to teach, reprove, instruct and guide by the word of God.

Some pastor’s have sent more people to hell than they have saved for heaven. (I see reason why my friend choose to Christin them Babylonians).

These men and women who are supposed to be voices of instruction and rebuke have become that of destruction and evil. They are supposed to be the called out but have made themselves castaways.

The revelation of Tony Obo should serve as a wake up call for those who have already made themselves Prime Ministers (in the voice of Bishop Dag Heward-Mills) of the very souls that Jesus died for – This, also is vanity upon vanity.

Pastor Anthony Obo being paraded by the Nigerian Police Force in Calabar, recently (Credit: CrossRiverWatch)

I was talking to a friend of mine on the level of damage religion has done both to our psyche as a people and Africa as a continent. I did not conclude when he quickly reminded me “Edem, when you talk like this, don’t forgot you are a christian” I didn’t waste time to remind him that being a christian has not taken away my sense of reasoning.

Religion is a very dangerous thing. It has destroyed more people than it has helped.

Infact, it was religion that accused and killed Jesus. Religion is still our biggest problem in the world today. That is why Jesus did not call us to be religious, but rather to be spiritual. And it is dangerous to confuse spirituality with religiosity.

It is easy for the so called church leaders to come out and condemn actions like that of Tony Obo after it had been exposed. But what about the ones they know about? What about those that have severally been reported to them? What have they done with the information? What collaborative effort are they building with security agencies to forestall this malady?

If Cross River must get it right, it is high time we begin to enact laws to regulate religious organizations and their activities. I understand this may not arrive too well with many people.

I remember, former governor Donaled Duke was vilified when he vacated a certain church from a busy highway to a more secured place. His only sin against those “holy people” was that he attempted to secure their lives and that of their innocent children who would often cross the road carelessly from being knocked down by fast moving vehicles. He was called names for doing his job as a governor. (So I will not even loose sleep when I begin to receive needless attacks).

Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and Christian Association of Nigeria, cannot fool Cross Riverians. I challenge their leadership and all those who call themselves spiritual leaders to brace up and stand by the truth, speak up and expose evil where they see any. It is in itself an unrighteousness to pay a blind eye to evil – Do not the scripture even say so?

This must be a wake up call to everyone to watch out and be security conscious of men who take on the semblance of godliness but deny the power thereof.

I heard the herbalist turned “man of God” said that the blood found in his church is that of a goat and fowl killed to celebrate his child’s birthday. Well, I don’t think that is something the people want to hear. He may keep that ‘sermon’ and preach it when he finds himself within the comfortless judges’ dock. I wonder why he didn’t mention at first that he runs an abattoir in his church where he stores blood of animals. Even abattoirs dispose animal blood.

If those who parade as PFN and CAN leaders are really serious on fighting this unreasonableness. One task they are immediately faced with is to liaise with security agencies to curb the evil activities of those fellows who adorn themselves with spiritual toga to deceived many, before we are plunged into a deeper abyss. This need has become imperative and very urgent.

We all understand that there is no known law in Nigeria that regulates the activities of religious organization. But then, being guided by their own internal laws and consciences. PFN and CAN should be able to synergize with security agencies to nip the wicked activities of these vampires masquerading in religious pinafore.

There may still be many other Anthony Obos out there.

Edem Darlington is a Nigerian Journalist. He writes via – [email protected]

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