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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FLASHBACK: April 22, 1990 – Gideon Orkar’s Coup Speech. Fellow Nigerian Citizens,

On behalf of the patriotic and well-meaning peoples of the Middle Belt and the southern parts of this country, I , Major Gideon Orkar, wish to happily inform you of the successful ousting of the dictatorial, corrupt, drug baronish, evil man, deceitful, homo-sexually-c­­entered, prodigalistic, un-patriotic administration of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.

We have equally commenced their trials for unabated corruption, mismanagement of national economy, the murders of Dele Giwa, Major-General Mamman Vasta, with other officers as there was no attempted coup but mere intentions that were yet to materialize and other human rights violations.

The National Guard already in its formative stage is disbanded with immediate effect. Decrees Number 2 and 46 are hereby abrogated. We wish to emphasize that this is not just another coup but a well-conceived,­­ planned and executed revolution for the marginalized, oppressed and enslaved peoples of the Middle Belt and the south with a view to freeing ourselves and children yet unborn from eternal slavery and colonization by a clique of this country.

Our history is replete with numerous and uncontrollable instances of callous and insensitive dominatory repressive intrigues by those who think it is their birthright to dominate till eternity the political and economic privileges of this great country to the exclusion of the people of the Middle Belt and the south.

They have almost succeeded in subjugating the Middle Belt and making them voiceless and now extending same to the south.

It is our unflinching belief that this quest for domination, oppression and marginalization­­ is against the wish of God and therefore, must be resisted with the vehemence.

Anything that has a beginning must have an end. It will also suffice here to state that all Nigerians without skeleton in their cupboards need not to be afraid of this change. However, those with skeleton in their cupboards have all reasons to fear, because the time of reckoning has come.

For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state the three primary reasons why we have decided to oust the satanic Babangida administration.­­ The reasons are as follows:

(a) To stop Babangida’s desire to cunningly, install himself as Nigeria’s life president at all costs and by so doing, slowpoke the progress of this country for life. In order to be able to achieve this undesirable goals of his, he has evidently started destroying those groups and sections he perceived as being able to question his desires.

Examples of groups already neutralized, pitched against one another or completely destroyed are:

(1) The Sokoto caliphate by installing an unwanted Sultan to cause division within the hitherto strong Sokoto caliphate.

(2) The destruction of the peoples of Plateau State, especially the Lantang people, as a balancing force in the body politics of this country.

(3) The buying of the press by generous monetary favors and the usage of State Security Service, SSS, as a tool of terror.

(4) The intent to cow the students by the promulgation of the draconian decree Number 47.

(5) The cowing of the university teaching and non-teaching staff by an intended massive purge, using the 150 million dollar loan as the necessitating factor.

(6) Deliberately withholding funds to the armed forces to make them ineffective and also crowning his diabolical scheme through the intended retrenchment of more than half of the members of the armed forces.

Other pointers that give credence to his desire to become a life president against the wishes of the people are:

(1) His appointment of himself as a minister of defense, his putting under his direct control the SSS, his deliberate manipulation of the transition programme, his introduction of inconceivable, unrealistic and impossible political options, his recent fraternization with other African leaders that have installed themselves as life presidents and his dogged determination to create a secret force called the national guard, independent of the armed forces and the police which will be answerable to himself alone, both operationally and administrativel­­y.

It is our strong view that this kind of dictatorial desire of Babangida is unacceptable to Nigerians of the 1990’s, and, therefore, must be resisted by all.

Another major reason for the change is the need to stop intrigues, domination and internal colonization of the Nigerian state by the so-called chosen few. This, in our view, has been and is still responsible for 90 percent of the problems of Nigerians.

This indeed has been the major clog in our wheel of progress.

This clique has an unabated penchant for domination and unrivalled fostering of mediocrity and outright detest for accountability,­­ all put together have been our undoing as a nation.

This will ever remain our threat if not checked immediately. It is strongly believed that without the intrigues perpetrated by this clique and misrule, Nigeria will have in all ways achieved developmental virtues comparable to those in Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, India, and even Japan.

Evidence, therefore, this cancerous dominance has as a factor constituted by a major and unpardonable clog in the wheel of progress of the Nigerian state. It is suffice to mention a few distasteful intrigues engineered by this group of Nigerians in recent past. These are:

(1) The shabby and dishonorable treatment meted on the longest serving Nigerian general in the person of General Domkat Bali, who in actual fact had given credibility to the Babangida administration.

(2) The wholesale hijacking of Babangida’s administration by the all-powerful clique.

(3) The disgraceful and inexplicable removal of Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, Professor Tam David-West, Mr. Aret Adams and so on from office.

(4) The now-pervasive and on-going retrenchment of Middle Belt and southerners from public offices and their instant replacement by the favoured class and their stooges.

(5) The deliberate disruption of the educational culture and retarding its place to suit the favoured class to the detriment of other educational minded parts of this country.

(6) The deliberate impoverishment of the peoples from the Middle Belt and the south, making them working ghosts and feeding on the formulae of 0-1-1- or 0-0-0 while the aristocratic class and their stooges are living in absolute affluence on a daily basis without working for it.

(7) Other countless examples of the exploitative, oppressive, dirty games of intrigues of its class, where people and stooges that can best be described by the fact that even though they contribute very little economically to the well-being of Nigeria, they have over the years served and presided over the supposedly national wealth derived in the main from the Middle Belt and the southern part of this country, while the people from these parts of the country have been completely deprived from benefiting from the resources given to them by God.

(8) The third reason for the change is the need to lay a strong egalitarian foundation for the real democratic take off of the Nigerian state or states as they circumstances may dictate.

In the light of all the above and in recognition of the negativeness of the aforementioned aristocratic factor, the overall progress of the Nigerian state a temporary decision to excise the following states namely, Sokoto, Borno, Katsina, Kano and Bauchi states from the Federal Republic of Nigeria comes into effect immediately until the following conditions are met.

The conditions to be met to necessitate the re-absorption of the aforementioned states are as following:

(a) To install the rightful heir to the Sultanate, Alhaji Maccido, who is the people’s choice.

(b) To send a delegation led by the real and recognized Sultan Alhaji Maccido to the federal government to vouch that the feudalistic and aristocratic quest for domination and operation will be a thing of the past and will never be practiced in any part of the Nigeria state.

By the same token, all citizens of the five states already mentioned are temporarily suspended from all public and private offices in Middle Belt and southern parts of this country until the mentioned conditions above are met.

They are also required to move back to their various states within one week from today. They will, however, be allowed to return and joint the Federal Republic of Nigeria when the stipulated conditions are met.

In the same vein, all citizens of the Middle Belt and the south are required to come back to their various states pending when the so-called all-in-all Nigerians meet the conditions that will ensure a united Nigeria. A word is enough for the wise.

This exercise will not be complete without purging corrupt public officials and recovering their ill-gotten wealth, since the days of the oil boom till date. Even in these hard times, when Nigerians are dying from hunger, trekking many miles to work for lack of transportation,­­ a few other Nigerians with complete impunity are living in unbelievable affluence both inside and outside the country.

We are extremely determined to recover all ill-gotten wealth back to the public treasury for the use of the masses of our people. You are all advised to remain calm as there is no cause for alarm. We are fully in control of the situation as directed by God. All airports, seaports and borders are closed forthwith.

The former Armed Forces Ruling Council is now disbanded and replaced with National Ruling Council to be chaired by the head of state with other members being a civilian vice-head of state, service chiefs, inspector general of police, one representative each from NLC, NUJ, NBA, and NANS.

A curfew is hereby imposed from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until further notice. All members of the armed forces and the police forces are hereby confined to their respective barracks.

All unlawful and criminal acts by those attempting to cause chaos will be ruthlessly crushed. Be warned as we are prepared at all costs to defend the new order.

All radio stations are hereby advised to hook on permanently to the national network programme until further notice.

Long live all true patriots of this great country of ours. May God and Allah through his bountiful mercies bless us all”.
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