Nigeria’s wealthiest pastor, David Oyedepo, might not have bargained for the enormous scandal that followed a Youtube video which showed the famous pastor attack a teenage girl hushed in front of him during a 2009 Shiloh service at his church headquarters in Otta, Ogun state Southwest Nigeria.
SaharaReporters also posted the Youtube video, which has now gone viral and become a source of international anger against the man known as “Papa” by members of his large church.
Oyedepo is the general overseer of the Nigerian-based Winners Chapel which is also known as “Living Faith Church”.
Pastor Oyedepo was filmed while ministering to some teenagers ushered to confess their sins to the pastor. In this particular case, the pastor lost his composure when a brave teenager from Imo state said she was not a witch, instead she said she is a "witch for Jesus". However, Pastor Oyedepo who was angered by her bold claims sent a slap across the young teenager’s left side, after physically assaulting her, he stepped closer to her and then delivered a zinger, a damning ruling that she can not make it to heaven.
The bully in Oyedepo went further walking menacingly asking other teenagers to confess their sins as church members acclaim in approval. While the show of crime was going on, more victims were brought forth by church ushers. It was pparent that a variety of teenagers laying on their knees on the marble floors of Oyedepo’s multimillion dollar church on that fateful day were generally poor teenagers recruited for church experiments.
Oyedepo’s unruly behavior which bothers on criminal assault and violence has attracted a variety of citizen responses and action on social media platforms. Today, a group began a petition signing campaign calling for the prosecution of the flamboyant pastor, also another Nigerian website, Nigerianvillagesquare.com named Pastor Oyedepo to its naming and shaming part- “NVS Hall Of Shame”- a platform for mobilizing guilt against unscrupulous Nigerian public officials and powerful private individuals.
Another group contacted SaharaReporters last night stating that a strong letter of complaint is already being worked on to request the US state department to revoke Pastor Oyedepo’s visa to the US. A group in the UK also promised to find a creative way to get the Uk government to prosecute Mr. Oyedepo for child abuse and battery if he sets foot on UK soil.
Nigerian flamboyant pastors are some of the richest on the African continent; Pastor Oyedepo is considered the richest Pastor in Nigeria according to a Forbes magazine article. He owns four jets, super expensive next work of schools and various investments across the African continent.
He is highly connected and politically powerful. In May 2011 when Nigerians were confronted with the antics of the clique that hid behind the terminal illness of Nigeria’s president, Umaru Yar’adua, Pastor Oyedepo was part of a delegation corralled to visit a dying Yar’adua to provide the Nigerian people the impression that Yar'adua was “alive and recovering" although Mr. Oyedepo and his companions saw a bleak Yar’adua, he never said a word in public to reveal what he saw. Yar'adua died a few days later.