Shina Rambo, a hardened criminal, a terror who terrorised South-West Nigeria in the 1990s found christ after serving his jail time.
His name, Shina Rambo, sent shivers down the spines of many who dwelled in South Western part of Nigeria and even those in Benin Republic and its environs.
After serving jail-time for his heinous crimes, he was converted by an evangelist and he became a Christian evangelical pastor.
Shina Rambo now known as Mathew Oluwanifemi was a hardened criminal, a terror and a killer, one whom men of the security agencies will never forget in a haste.
Described as a movie by many publications
A man mountain, towering about 6 ft 5inch, well built, dark-skinned and sweltering eyes, he carried out his operations, like a movie, in the broad daylight, with sophisticated weapons, bullet belts and explosives strapped roundabout him. He specialized in robbing exotic cars on highways and robbing banks. Nothing could stop him, not even security operatives, he was totally invincible. He was Shina Rambo!
Shina Rambo’s Family Background
Shina Rambo was born in 1958 to a military man who apparently was a bad egg in the armed forces. His father was from Abeokuta in Ogun state, and his mother was a native of Sabongida–Ora in Edo state. His father had over 18 wives. This is because soldiers were known to impregnate virtually every woman they met wherever they were posted to.
His father used his military influence to rob innocent citizens, and always brought a huge amount of money home, which in turn enticed little Shina.
Shina recalled: “I remember when I was about 7 years old, my father came home with a lot of money, foreign currencies, with blood on it, and they were using something like a woman’s scarf to wipe it, then I asked him, is this an animal’s blood, or human blood? But he wouldn’t answer me, they were just drinking, smoking, and merry-making.”
Shina was already indoctrinated into the underworld by his father at a tender age of 7 without him knowing it, as he would sit in front of his son, to dismantle and assemble all sorts of weapons and then polishing them in preparation for an operation.
This lingered on for so long and not long after, little Shina, entered into his father’s room while he had stepped into the toilet, and saw a dismembered gun on the floor. He sat down in front of it, and bit by bit, he had assembled it effortlessly in no time at all. His father came out of the toilet, and saw his son, with a loaded gun in his hands.
Shina flashed back and said:
“That day my father was so disappointed, that he wanted to kill me, he grabbed the gun from my hand and shot straight at me, but I miraculously escaped out of the room. Then he waited for me to be less alert at night he came to my room with a machete and tried to behead me, but once again, I escaped, but the machete caught my left leg. It cut me so deep I thought I was never going to walk again. That day I knew I had graduated, all that was left was to pull the trigger, and I was so eager.”
Birth of the Notorious Shina Rambo
Shina Rambo became so notorious in no time and was very determined at succeeding in his career as an armed robber.
Lengths to which Shina Rambo went to acquire power include pounding over 27 live newborn babies in a mortar with a pestle, cutting off about 100 human tongues and cooking them to eat, visiting the spiritual river called the river of life in Ogoja, Cross Rivers State, living in an Iroko tree for days, and sleeping in the cemetery.
He had a spiritual wife who followed him for operations dressed like an Alhaja. Her face was never seen because she was a spirit. She was his personal driver, with exceptional driving capabilities.
Shina Rambo said:
“I was involved in so many rituals, that I can’t start naming them now, I was so powerful, I went underground, inside trees that looked like a city, a lot of beautiful houses inside the tree, I had my own too. I went into a river called River of life in Ogoja, where a lot of politicians and wealthy men used to come. I had several personalities, I could change my form whenever I wanted to, that’s why the police were busy killing innocent people and thought they were killing Shina Rambo.
“The 9 herbalists that gave me that power, I became stronger than them, one day I went to their shrines, and killed all of them so that they don’t reveal my secrets. I had too many powers; my spiritual wife could drive any car in this world or out of it, no police vehicle, or anyone for that matter, could ever chase and catch me during an operation. She was out of this world, and when she had completed her operation, they took her away from me. I could give anything to get powers, and the elders knew, so they also gave me anything I wanted. I once beheaded a hundred men, and gave them the heads fresh, they were so happy with me that they made me invincible.
“No matter the kind of bullet you shot at me, it was just like pure water on my body. I could give anything to get power, but of all the things I did to get power, the one that still breaks my heart the most is sleeping with my mother.
“My father is dead now, but my mother is still alive, and she lives with me she is 85 years old. Whenever I set my eyes on her, I just start crying. I can’t bear it.”
Shina Rambo was dreaded by the police. He stormed police stations, in broad daylight, killing every policeman there, and at checkpoints, he will open fire on every policeman on duty.
Rambo never liked the police at all, he was never afraid of them.
The current Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Olusegun Odumusu, also had an encounter with Shina Rambo in the 1990s.
Odumusu said: “There were only 10 patrol vehicles and those vehicles were Peugeot 504. He (Shina Rambo) will come with about 20 men and each of them will move with an exotic car. Every policeman on the road was his target. From Ketu division, I was posted to Satellite police station and that night I was assigned to patrol Orile axis. One night, he attacked and rained bullets on our patrol vehicle. We had to crawl under the vehicle and call for backup. I was lucky because they rendered the patrol vehicle useless with bullets. Unfortunately, one of my boys on duty that day was hit by the bullet. It could have been me and I thank God for saving me that day.”
Shina Rambo once robbed 40 exotic cars in one day and drove all of them in a convoy, from Lagos to Cotonou, unstopped.
Being powerful and wealthy, he had a wife and three kids. He, however, lost all of them in one day during a bloody police raid whilst he was away on an operation.
His wife was everything to him and losing her changed his life afterwards.
“My wife was everything to me, I was forbidden by the elders to sleep with any other woman apart from her. I could gather about 50 women around me in a hotel, and they will just be playing with me. We would smoke, drink, and sniff cocaine, I will give them money but I will never sleep with them. I will go back home to my wife and sleep with her. That was why the police never caught me. She knew my job, she knew what I was and I never left them alone at night, I operated in the day time and go back home to my family at night.
“I had everything, I was very wealthy, I sometimes spent 50 million Naira in a day, I did that a lot. There was one day that we were coming from an operation and it seemed as if my powers were going to fail me, the police and the army were almost closing in on us, so we had to drive into a crowd and threw millions of naira in the air, there was a commotion, everybody was busy picking naira notes even the police until we escaped.
“I was too rich, but anything the devil gives you never lasts, he will collect more from you, it’s only the devil that will give you Fila, (cap) and ask for Iro and Buba (wrapper and top). I lost everything, all the money, my family; I was so powerful the police couldn’t catch me but I lost it all. I had to surrender myself to the police and I was arrested and jailed for 11 years.
Surrendering to God
“While I was serving my jail term in Agodi prisons, Ibadan, Prophet T.O Obadare came visiting and having been encouraged several times by the Christian brothers and sisters in the prison to give my life to Christ, he prayed for me and converted me, and changed my name to Oluwanifemi, and it was so miraculous, the next day I woke up and started speaking in tongues. It was during the time of President Olusegun Obasanjo, that we were granted freedom,” Shina Rambo said.