Christianity is a big business in Nigeria yet it is in big trouble. In a morally-corrupt clime where evil seems to have triumphed over good those called to be the epitome of uprightness and righteousness showing the way have themselves become the problem.
Yesterday you must have heard about incest, today you hear about sexual scandals and tomorrow you are assailed with tales of corrupt practices by the so-called men of God. Now that corruption has risen to an uncontrollable level in the mundane and spiritual domains weeping for our dear nation in distress should be seen as the last option by patriots.
Recently 'Apostle' Johnson Suleman, the General-Overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide based in Auchi, Edo State, was in the news yet again for wrong reasons. Few years ago this same arrogant fake apostle was sensationally accused by a lady based in Canada, Miss Stephanie Otobo (then 23) of having a sexual relationship with her that later turned sour following the failure of the pastor to keep his promise of marrying her! The Suleman/Otobo sex scandal had many manipulative turns and twists.
And finally following suspected discreet negotiations Ms Otobo came down to Auchi tp play the game of denial alleging shamefully that some pastors and politicians had given her "too much money" in order for her to tarnish the image and reputation of the OFM minister of the gospel. How an explosive revelation of an adulterous relationship which led to a pregnancy and abortion (backed by video evidence online, bank transfers from him to her and telephonic conversations) could have been a product of blackmail still beats our imagination.
In Auchi before a huge congregation Ms Otobo ate her words by apologising profusely to the pastor and his wife. Yet what the larger audience that watched or listened to the confession of the century never heard was how the deal leading to apology was struck. And those behind the scheme to have her capitulate. Besides, the names of the pastors and politicians that allegedly splashed money generously on Stephanie for her to damage Suleman were never mentioned.
Now another drama bothering on infidelity and adultery had been trending online involving the same apostle and the family of a former pastor in the church. This time it was a love triangle involving Apostle Suleman, Pastor Mike Davids and his estranged wife named (Pastor) Faith Edeko. The accusations and counter-accusations between the apostle and the Davids' family recently took a new dimension with the former OFM pastor threatening to release the details about the nocturnal meetings that led to Ms Otobo recanting her romantic narratives.
Pastor Mike Davids had alleged that Apostle Suleman had snatched his wife enjoying what sexually belonged to him! Though Madam Edeko had countered the accusation by saying it was a cheap blackmail from her former husband no one expected her to come clean with the truth if really she was involved in an amorous relationship with Suleman. Remember she still pastors in one of the church branches.
The truth of the matter is that Apostle Suleman is not alone in this acrobatic sex game involving the new-generation pentecostal men of God. In South Africa a Nigerian Pastor, Timothy Oluseun Omotoso, of the Jesus Dominion International Ministry headquartered in Durban, South Africa, remains in jail a couple of years down the line and still counting. The popular flamboyant televangelist had been accused of rape and human trafficking and racketeering! He is currently standing trial at the Port Elizabeth High Court.
Senior Pastor Tim was nabbed by the South African priority crimes unit, the 'Hawks', at the Port Elizabeth International Airport as he made his way to embark on another international evangelical jamboree. Week in week out, month in month out, year in year out, lurid details of the pastor's sexcapades were being exposed by the numerous 'victims' (especially young SA girls).
Given the fact that those sexually molested or abused are coming out to testify againt the pastor as the trial continues it would be a miracle (God's supernatural intervention in the natural affairs of men) for him not to be convicted. Over 30 young girls had come forward to detail their experiences at the hand of the alleged sexual predator spanning years!
Back home in Nigeria few years ago it was the charismatic Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo that was in the news for abominably sexual reasons. Mrs Busola Dakolo, the glamorous wife of popular musician, Timi Dakolo, had accused Fatoyinbo of raping her repeatedly when she was still a teenager! The Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Abuja-based man of God denied it all. And the litigation that followed failed to convict him.
The cosy COZA Pastor was once accused by one London-based lawyer and radio broadcaster, Ms Ese Walter, of having sex with her for a week in London in 2013! Ese revealed how the sex occurred after she was invited by Fatoyinbo to his hotel room during a visit to London, during which he offered her alcohol and 'raped' her as she became tipsy!
In my own state of Anambra where 'Prophet' Odumeje and co have taken Onitsha by storm performing 'miracles' and doing 'wonders' an ugly news broke online recently about a barely-educated controversial Pastor named Onyebuchi Okocha, popularly known as 'Onyeze-Jesus'. A former bus conductor who is said to have been only to a primary school as academic qualification the 33-year old beefy pastoral element was seen in a video online that went viral gathering some members of his church, men and women, in a local river, all naked, and performing what looked like an obscene ritual on them.
The founder of Children of Light Anointing Ministries based in Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state, was subsequently arrested and docked by the state government in what it termed "criminal and indecent conduct in the name of religion". The youthful well-fed Pastor is known to have been making some get-rich-quick promises to gullible members of his church and to the public.
In the video he was seen decked in an immaculate white robe facing the naked young men and women kneeling inside the river. At a point he was splashing them with wads of Naira notes! Even John the Baptist never behaved this way when he baptised Jesus the Christ.
Though he had apologized to the Government and people of Anambra State for abusing the Naira justice must take its course. Pastor 'Onyeze-Jesus' must be properly investigated and prosecuted to serve as deterrence to others. His wierd evangelism is capable of discouraging hardwork and encouraging a syndrome of easy wealth acquisition through evil means.
Beyond the hyped miracle stunts and promises of riches and sexual defilements Nigeria is witnessing a spiritual descent to the gutters. While it is not our duty to question anyone's spiritual calling or anointing, we have the moral authority to complain. Raising concerns about the credibility of these religious predators must be done without fear or favour.
The conclusion to be drawn from the abominable things happening from the pulpit to the bedroom of the so-called men of God is that the body of Christ has been desecrated, violated by the same 'servants' that ought to keep watch over the sheep. The shepherd has, therefore, become a predator in whom even the celestial hosts are no longer well pleased. Men of God or men of dog? Well, your guess is good as ours.
Suffice to say, however, in the final analysis, that some men of God or men of dog have disingenuously transformed the ministry of bible knowledge into the 'ministry' of carnal knowledge. Shame!