As each year rolls by, we experience various forms of innovations, inventions, trends and other social changes in the society. All these changes are borne out of the quest for humans to experience change in a way that will improve their lives. However 2012 and especially 2013 brought a new thrust in the Nigerian society, albeit in the spiritual world. This goes to maintain that there is an alarming rate of evil that is permeating the Nigerian society and destroying the fabric of the family settings that is already perpetually ravaged by perennial ineptitude and uselessness of the government. Meaning the government has wholesomely failed to assist the development of the family settings in any form in recent times, so the only beacon of hope and succor had been the spiritual institutions in recent times.
To actually put it clearly, government has wantonly failed in almost all its responsibilities among which are the simple task of creating enabling conditions to facilitate the enhancement and development of families. Thus Nigerians seek for alternative means to restore family heritages and development and the most appealing and convenient form in which Nigerians get these requirements is in their respective spiritual ideologies. This is seen in the profligacy of spiritual centers across the nation. In other words, Christians tend to look up to their churches/pastors for the services that the government has failed to provide, Muslims look up to their Islamic centres/clerics.
Paradoxically the Christians hope of succor have been their pastors largely and these pastors betray the teaching of the bible which says it will be easier for a camel to pass through the eyes of a needle them a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. They amass wealth in stupendous manners that even business institutions set up to make profit cannot complete with. Today the richest men in Nigeria are pastors, the highest number of private jet owners in Nigeria are pastors. Pastors now have the largest shares in real estates and other businesses across the country. The level of wealth and affluence garnered by these pastors and ostensibly displayed is overwhelming in Nigeria. The money is so much and indeed tax free plus very easy to acquire with little or no stress that it has seen Nigerian numbers of churches and pastors increase in a manner that all churches and pastors in Nigeria alone is more than the churches and pastors in all other African countries combined.
Need it be pointed out that it is not a negative development if the causes of these astronomical increases are for good and Godly causes alone. This trend according to observers has given birth to pastors trying to outdo themselves in all “worldly” areas. Acquiring more private jets, cars, buildings, wealth, universities, schools, hospitals and other money-making ventures. Indeed the logic is that the more members a pastors or church gets (depending on Areas mostly) the higher the returns in terms of money/wealth acquisition. This philosophy pushes various individuals to ‘’see visions’’ and set up all manners of churches. But it is not enough to set up churches as the church owners would need willing members (hapless Nigerians).
Then comes the job of acquisition of members and this brings in the wanton failure of government as we experience in this administration. The Nigerian government is a monumental failure in all ramifications to say the least, and when the government fails, people seek for alternative sources of succor – in this case, the church.
Acquiring members by pastors is not so easy. You must either be handsome, eloquent, know how to brainwash (psychology), charismatic or maybe divinely, genuinely called to the ministry. If you don’t have all the above among others, you must be able to perform eye catching miracles. If you perform miracles, genuine or otherwise, you will have a mammoth crowd that inadvertently will increase your revenue, finances and it is these quest to perform eye catching miracles and possess brainwashing skills that has led lots of ‘’pastors’’ to engage in demonic and satanic trend of rape. The recent trend of ‘’pastors’’ engaging in different forms of rituals of which rape is the prominent feature in recent times must be condemned with every force available. These pastors engage in rape of especially underage children (girls) of below 14 years of age. A thorough observation has revealed that these pastors engage in these dastardly acts to enable them acquire ‘power from the occult’’ for ‘’miracles’’ which will attract crowd to their churches. It is understood that these low life so called men of God are required to interact with the blood of virgins, through intercourse and the blood will translate to powers and means to grow their churches which ultimately is to attract a mammoth crowd to make these pastors ultimately wealthy. The trend is so bad that more than fifteen cases were reported in Nigeria alone in 2013. Even in Ghana, a pastor raped his 12 year old daughter – perhaps for a similar result and his rape action caused the child to have a partial paralyses (limping). We can go on and on to give details of the various cases that occurred in 2012 and 2013. But it’s more than that, since the government is useless, we want to direct this call to all Nigerian parents, Human Rights Organizations, Child Right groups, philanthropist, Genuine Religious Leaders, sincere politicians, the media and maybe the judiciary to assist the Nigeria society through unprecedented awareness, addressing of this mess, severe punishment to culprits, protecting the girl child and creating the enabling environment for the future of Nigeria children. Please, let this devilish trend come to an end.
– Presley Akhigbe
Views expressed are solely the authors.