Exposed: How Fake Pastors Con Gullible Nigerians!

It has become an agreed fact that the only other business bigger than running a church in Nigeria is politics. No thanks to the intoxicating effects religion has on Nigerians which have gone a long way to prove that Karl Marx was not mistaken when he defined religion as “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of the soulless conditions. It is the opium of the masses.”

Unfortunately for the country, despite the increase in the number of religious centres, there has been a directly proportional increase in the rate of crimes and vices being perpetrated in the country; religious centres inclusive.

In some parts of Nigeria, five minutes walk from anywhere will lead one to a church. Investigations have however shown that not all the churches are genuine; some are no more than business centres and money-making ventures. To many Nigerians now, the surest ways of making big money lie in politics and religion.

Gone are the days when churches signposts had just a cross, the name of the church and the time and order of services. Signposts of churches have assumed more colourful dimensions and the trend nowadays is for the signpost to bear conspicuous pictures of the pastor in charge of the church and sometimes that of his wife beside him.

Street Journal has found out that most of the fake Pastors have become demi-gods to their congregations. While the Pastor is highly revered and referred to as “Papa”, regardless of his age, the wife is the “Mama” of the church. It won’t be wrong to state that some Christians no longer look up to Jesus Christ but to their pastors. Meanwhile, the days that Pastors were accessible to everyone are fast fading away. Some men of God no longer trust God with their security as they go about with stern looking bodyguards, they move around in convoys of vehicles, including escort and pilot vehicles. Some even fly in private jets, the presence of needy members in the congregation notwithstanding. It is even so bad in some cases that some Pastors no longer wipe sweat off their brows by themselves; there are people on ground whose job it is to do it for them.

Being a Pastor has become synonymous with looking good and Pastors have expensive designer wears stocked in their wardrobes, apart from wearing the best clothes, they ride in the best vehicles and live in the best apartments. The same cannot however be said of the members of the congregation. Findings have shown that many fake Pastors have founded churches mainly for commercial purposes and this is made possible by the fact that there are barely any regulations for setting up a church. Almost every Pastor has a similar story to tell, ask any Pastor what brought him into ministry and he will tell you “I heard a call”.

Street Journal’s investigations have revealed that there is hardly a clear cut distinction between the assets of the church and those of the Pastor. Though on paper, many things may seem to belong to the ministry, when checked however, it was discovered that lots of churches that sprang up lately have their founders as the heads of the Trustees of the church while their wives and other family members take the remaining trustee slots.

Though Jesus had warned about them in Matthew 7:15 when he said “beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”, many Nigerians have unknowingly played into the hands of fake “Men of God” through their insatiable quest for miracles. Assurances from such Pastors have caused many to pray and wait for God to perform magic.  Many people have turned churches into miracle centres and they just pray without working towards the actualization of such prayers. The economic situation of the country has also not helped matters as people now seek spiritual solutions to all issues, even those that would be solved by hard work. Imagine people spending the time they should be at work on Prayer Mountains, praying to overcome hard times.

Incidentally, not only the poor seek spiritual solution. Pastors have celebrity clients for who they serve as “spiritual consultants.” While some of them attend churches boldly, others go in secret, under the cover of darkness. Street Journal has found out that the latter category comprises mainly of political office holders and aspirants. It has also been found out that some people who are known to be loyal members in their churches often visit other spiritual homes for solution to their problems.

Pastors get gifts of houses, cars and other rewards from “customers”.

It has been found out that the crop of fake Pastors in Nigeria capitalize on the needs of people to exploit them, using God’s name as a tool. In most of their churches, financial matters are not joked with. The scripture that says “give and it shall be given unto you” has become a major weapon for fake pastors to work on their unsuspecting congregation. Members are made to pay different kinds of offerings and sow all forms of “seed”. In some churches, those looking for spouses give “love offering”, while some other churches specify offerings for breakthroughs, favour and other things.

A lot of Pastors have since substituted God’s message for what the people want to hear. Prosperity has overridden salvation in the messages of “men of God”. Where they preach such messages, auditoriums are always filled to capacity. Even for lunch hour programmes, people leave their offices to attend “prosperity prayers”. The wave of prosperity is also spreading as it is winning more and more people by the day. Churches now have more branches than any company in the country.

Ignorance is fast taking its toll on Christians as some pray and just wait for the breakthrough to come and meet them just because they have given offerings. Some have even taken it to another dimension that the easiest way to get rich is to give to the church. “Jesus was not poor, my God is not a poor God”, Pastors now tell their congregation. Some even say “it is a sin to be poor” thus pointing out to the poor in the church that something is wrong with them.

The issue of sin is no longer addressed as “businessmen Pastors” know that the moment the issue is mentioned, most of those who make up the church will go away.  Members are thus at liberty to commit sins both in public and in private.

Another scripture that has become a major weapon in the arsenal of fake Pastors is Malachi 3:10. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there might be meat in my house” they announce every Sunday. Meanwhile, not all members can say exactly what becomes of their tithes and offerings after the service.

Women who are “looking up to God for the fruit of the womb” seem to be the most vulnerable. Street Journal’s investigations revealed that most of them give their full cooperation and they do all that is requested of them. Many of them have ended up in the arms and beds of “men of God” in the name of looking for children.  For the want of children, many men do not object to their wives being bathed in their absence by Pastors in the name of anointing them.

Incidentally, it is increasingly becoming difficult to tell the real ones from the fakes. Everything that goes on in the real spirit-filled churches has been successfully copied by imposters and used to advantage. One of the main differences however is that in many of the fake churches, the Pastors hardly direct the hearts of their members towards heaven. They are simply focused on material benefits.

Fake pastors too conduct deliverance sessions, though the source of their powers cannot be readily ascertained. Some even go as far as presenting “doctored miracles”. For instance, a miracle was shown on television years ago, before media houses were barred from broadcasting such in Nigeria, a child who had been “blind” from birth was supposedly healed on the crusade ground. To confirm that a healing had indeed taken place, the Pastor asked the little boy the colour of his tie. “Blue”, the boy replied. The deafening shouts of “halleluyah” that followed were a clear indication that nobody in the congregation bothered to know how a boy who had been blind from birth was able to identify and name a colour.

Just last year, a journalist ran a documentary on Nigerian churches and expressed surprise that a man who he saw walking into the church unaided presented himself as a cripple during the miracle session. As expected, he was healed! The Pastor of the  churchinvolved proved a celebrity stunt recently when a purported video of where he healed an ailing Nollywood actor was posted on Youtube. In the video, he pulled the actor from the congregation to the front of the auditorium and prayed for him.

Surprisingly, unlike other miracles which had instant effects, the Pastor said the healed actor would be back on his feet in a matter days. Days have rolled into weeks and the actor is still bedridden in a hospital in Abuja.


Author: NewsAdmin

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June 2012
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Kosalabaro: I am worried, very worried for Buhari and Oshibajo.

Okebadan: it's normal for an headless drunkards to be having headache because of increase in the price of the head cap in the market.

Kosalabaro: Meaning?. Some people
don't know when to close the tap of their highly infected mouth . Is it because of what I just said , you now take me to the cleaner?.

Okebadan : Ok, sorry, explain yourself because I don’t understand why some small Nigerian like you has to worry for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Kosalabaro: I'm worried about the new appointment made by Mr President. Majority of it are from one section of the country.
To me this is sickening. The level of stupidity of some of our educated guys from the south is quite alarming. They are the ones justifying this anomaly called competency of the North over the south in the selection of people to public offices. May God deliver them from their stupidity...Amen

Okebadan: Calm down brother, Nigerians are people who fall out of love easily . Is this not the same you screaming blue murder and ‘Change everywhere’ when I muted war against the idea of tribal leaders? I thought you said the President would have changed by May 29? See, there is no way Northerners will remain in love with Buhari if they can’t find their way back to their rightful position of majority in Civil service and I have a strong feeling that both the young and the elites in the North will still be dragging this who-gets --what till May 29 2019 and that means employments and Federal government jobs will remain a scarce commodity to you guys in the South. So if you like you can pull your angry nails from Buhari's neck and sink them into Bola Tinubu's back. It is the spirit of ‘change’. Things have changed.

Kosalabaro: Are you trying to tell me that it's the boil inside my nose and I must learn how to live with it. So what concern this appointment with Federal civil service or you are trying to use alabukun as love charm.

Okebadan: Here we go again. Knowledge, information and exposure is very important. When you left University in the South , your next line of thinking is to go to Europe and America. You don't know that what you are looking for in "sokoto is inside your sokoto. ". There is enough job in Nigeria that can go round among his citizens. In a country where tribalism is one of the major problem confronting us. The head of Parastatals will employ their own people first before considering the people from other region. Any ministry you have a southerners , Easterners or Notherners as the head, check the number of people working under him. I learnt of an MD , a Pastor in FERMA who employs nearly all his church members . There are some parastatals that majority of the people working there are from particular section of the country. Example, Majority of the people in EFCC are from the North especially Adamawa where their First Chairman come from. . To prevent this malady, that's why the government introduce Federal character to accommodate minority groups. And to be honest with you?. How many Northerners did you see in Europe or America struglling like you. When there is ready made available job in Nigeria, you don't need to go to Europe and wash plate now.

Kosalabaro: Hummmm: I'm just scratching my head like a man with itching bottom. But firstly, we Sotherners are like children such that when we are encouraged in this line, we most times overdo and become unmanageable. You are just open my eyes and I promise to think twice in 2019. When you see a Volksvergin beetle car, you will see that it has a bulging light, you will wonder why this until when you open its back and see fire in it. You are an encyclophidia of knowledge.

Okebadan: Stay calm my brother, to learn from other people experience is not admission to failure rather it's addition of knowledge. We are here to educate each other. No one has monopoly of knowledge. I know very sure Buhari will not steal one kobo from your money, he will try to prevent stealing but he loves his religion and tribe more than any other things. He can never be fair in this two area and he is human, no one is perfect all what we need to do is to learn how to live with it.
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Kosalabaro:It’s the truth, like it or not. It is easier for a wife to call a man who provides money for food at home ‘daddy’ or ‘my lord’ than the one his wife has to give subsidy. Every wife loves a cheerful giver, in and out of bed. Too many men these days are too busy doing so many things that they do not notice how dissatisfied and unhappy their wives are. They just move from day to day believing their marriages are perfect just because they are good in bed and are picking the right bills. Great. There’s more to being a husband than just paying the bride price and buying a designer wedding gown. It even goes beyond performing your conjugal duties. Every woman loves a man who leaves her ‘finished’ in bed.

Okebadan : What is the meaning of this early morning sermon, are you an angry bride, or a frustrated groom and then end up in unhappy marriage. ?

Kosalabaro: I'm just expressing my view about your message yesterday as a good citizen of my country. And reacting to your post on single mother is in good direction .

Okebadan : Hummmm. Where I advise people to "Stop discriminating against single mothers, their wives is another man's ex girlfriend. I don't think any mother aims to be a single mom." When a woman walks out of a 10 year old marriage, don’t box her into a stereotype corner and dragged her to Golgotha and nail her to a cross.

Kosalabaro: That's a fantastic write up. You made my day yesterday. Many people don't take a good look at their wives :beneath the designer make up, layers and layers of founda­tion and powder there are internal suffering and agony. Many women have uncommon talent to bottle things up which is why they have enough space on their inside to carry as many as 2 to 4 babies at a time . When she eventually flips her lid, it’s because she’s been logging her pain around for so long. You do not know how long she had been in pain and tried and tried for this not to happen.

Okebadan: The same thing with men. Some wives are in the habit of comparing their marriage. The problems your friend is facing in her marriage are different from yours. That woman you envy may have one big messy marriage and probably wishes she was in your shoes. Many wives can’t even remember the good, old times when they felt on top of the world and believed their husband was the best thing that ever happened to them. They are quick to compare their marriage without thinking that every marriage has a foundation. Some are based on rituals, some on money, some on spiritual binding. And many on naivety. When trouble looms or befalls a marriage or the woman is feeling gloomy, the next practical thing she begins to do is wishing she were somewhere else, some­body else’s wife. They wonders how they ended up where they are . Didn’t their mother warn them? And they almost didn’t marry their husband. They will now realise that their man is not the best and warning their children not to fall into the same trap. Forgotten that there is no perfect husband or wife. Every marriage has a cross, you carry your own cross and I carry my own. If you think your own cross is too big , drop it and go inside to test the remaining cross on ground .You will have cause to thank your star. When things get tough in the home and a marriage seems to be having trouble, the tendency to com­pare our situation unfavourably with another’s is quite high. Any married couple who wants to be honest with themselves will own up, to having fallen into that temptation once or twice.

Kosalabaro: The bottom line is to make God the Alpha and Omega of our marriage. This technicalities you are proven above is easier said than done. Many teachers of marriage but few practice what they teach. See you on Sunday.
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