Breaking Ancestral Curses, Pentecostal Profiteering And Crisis In Christian Communities
Pentecostal Christianity is sweeping across parts of Christian Africa, leaving so much wreck and havoc in its wake. Incidentally, very little has been said about this wave of destruction and abuse. Look, Pentecostal Christianity has become an ill wind in many places and communities. It has inspired activities that continue to undermine human and environmental good. A key pentecostal theme and preoccupation is family deliverance. The underlying belief is that many families are jinxed, and a special prayer is needed to liberate them from the occupying forces of ancestral demons. Families are institutions of support, solidarity, and trust. In situations where state institutions are weak and ineffective, and social welfare is virtually non-existent, families are the last resort, the last line of defence, care, and protection. Incidentally, Pentecostal Christianity designates the family as spiritually sick, contaminated, and in need of healing and cleansing. Pentecostal pastors claim to have the power to dispel these family-specific evil forces.
Families that are under ancestral curses are believed to be ill lucked. They are said to be under demonic influences that were inherited from the past. Ancestral curses run in the blood of family members; they are passed from one generation to another. Many Christian evangelists have taken it as their calling and ministry to cleanse families of this evil smear, to break these ancestral curses. Christian evangelists have made people believe that ancestral curses hamper the health, progress, and well-being of families and communities. And that is where the problem lies. Over the years, people have bought into this narrative. Many Christians have been brainwashed to believe that their personal and family difficulties are due to ancestral jinx. Family members seek out these ‘powerful’ men and women of God; they pay them to conduct family deliverance and break this generational curse.
These evangelists operate as individual curse-breakers or as a team of prayer warriors. Family deliverance has become a huge business enterprise, and a major source of income for pentecostal pastors, churches, and ministries. Family and community members contribute huge sums of money to get pentecostal pastors and charismatic priests to come and break family and generational curses. Depending on the caliber of the evangelist or ministry, people pay up to a hundred thousand naira (220 dollars) for deliverance, and hundreds of thousands to hire prayer warriors. Celebrity pastors and prayer ministries charge much more.
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Family deliverance is usually conducted at the various homesteads or community centers. The evangelists or prayers warriors meet at family compounds or public squares, where they organize prayers, binding and casting away all demons, principalities and powers. In some cases, family or community members are told to fast and spiritually prime the family and community for the event. During the prayers, the lead evangelist and other ‘spirit-led’ persons go into a trance; they see ‘visions’ and identify persons or things that embody ancestral and generational curses. They call out elderly persons or any other suspected agents of the devil in the family or community. They indulge in exorcizing trees and forests/wildlife, and sometimes they rename rivers and streams that evil forces use as their operational bases. Any forests or trees that the evangelist or prayer warriors identify as evil or as bearers and abodes of ancestral curses are cut down and burnt. Family deliverance is a form of witch-hunting. Human bearers of ancestral curses are exposed, spiritually disabled, and neutralized. In some cases, these evil incarnates are tortured or killed to break the generational link. All these rituals are believed to remove or are capable of removing the spiritual obstacles to progress and development in the families and communities. But does a deliverance ‘open doors’, free families and communities from real or imagined ancestral curses as widely believed? Not at all.
Ancestral curses are forms of superstition, pentecostal fad, and mumbo jumbo. They have no basis in reason, science, or reality. Socio-economic difficulties and challenges that people suffer in families and communities have no link to any ancestral or generational curse that pentecostal minded Christians imagine. Poverty, unemployment, diseases, accidents, and sudden deaths are due to misgovernance and lack of effective policies and infrastructure, not any jinx that is inherited from the past.
Breaking family curses is an act of foolery that charlatans promote and perpetuate among gullible folks. It is a device for the exploitation and abuse of the suffering masses, a mechanism for the extortion and dispossession of poor and ignorant persons. Breaking family curses provides a pretext to scapegoat vulnerable members of the population, make nonsense of misfortune and destroy the environment.
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Robbers Loot N30m Goods At Ikota Shopping Complex
. Owners Report Security Firm To Police
For about two decades, Dr. Helen O. Eto, CEO, Superior Mobile Investment Ltd and iClick Gadgets, has been doing business peacefully at Ikota Shopping Complex which borders Victoria Garden City (VGC), Lekki Peninsula, Lagos. The shopping facility is run by HFP Engineering Ltd.
However, robbers struck at the complex that has about 1,850 shops in the early hours of March 7th, 2023. Finesse Security Ltd guards claimed that they forgot to lock the gate of the facility, allowing the hoodlums to cart away about N30 million phones and other goods from Mrs. Eto’s freshly restocked shop.
Lamentingher ordeal to the police in Ajah and Panti, Yaba, Mrs. Eto said : “We took bank loans for the business plus our life savings all of which are gone. This is a wicked plan against us in our old age with children still in school, other dependants and various bills.
“We plead that the police should help us to get to the bottom of the looting to save us from early deaths as our BPs have shot up sharply because this is our main source of livelihood. A list of the goods looted from the shop was/is attached to my statements at Ajah Police Station and SIB, Yaba.”
Omokioja Julius Eto, Chairman, Editorial Board of The Daily Times and a media consultant, corroborated his wife’s account. Eto, a former Associate Editor of The Guardian and Editor-in-Chief of The Trumpet, said: “The robbery is shocking because the security gate is inaccessible even to shop owners at night, our shop is just a stone’s throw from the gate and it would have taken about at least two hours to cut through the shop’s security system.
“This makes us to strongly see the guards as the main suspects. We were not immediately notified by the security firm or the facility managers (HFP) of the robbery which we only got to be aware of at about 8.20am through one of our employees.”
A former Editor of The Daily Times, Eto who has also worked as a senior editor at the Punch and Thisday, added: “Since the break-in on March 7 till today March 30, Finesse Security Ltd has not called to sympathize with us but has been evading our calls and texts to its MD whom we learnt travelled abroad after the robbery.
“We have been doing everything to support the police investigation despite our predicament and hope they will bring the culprits to justice.”
Arrest Interim Govt Plotters Now – Governors
Governors of the 36 states have asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and prosecute those involved in a plot to put in place an interim government as part of moves to truncate the nation’s democracy.
Condemning the move, the governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum assured of their commitment to continue in the defence of Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.
In a statement on Friday by NGF Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal at the end of the 4th meeting of the Governors, he warned the DSS against issuing statements without arrest as that amounts to heating the polity.
Tambuwal said, “The Forum deliberated extensively on the alleged plot by some unscrupulous elements to install an interim government, as contained in the recent statement issued by the Department for State Services (DSS). Governors condemned in the strongest terms, any unconstitutional means of regime change and pledged its commitment to continue to defend Nigeria’s democracy as elected leaders.
“In addition, the Forum believes that issuing statements without arrests is akin to heating up the polity and causing unwarranted tension in the country. It called on the DSS to do its job by immediately arresting and prosecuting all those involved in the plot as a matter of urgency.”
Recall that the DSS had on Wednesday confirmed rumours that a section of the political class was planning for an interim government in order to truncate the result of the recently-concluded general elections.
The Spokesman for the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya in a statement said that the agency had identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria but did not give the names of the masterminds.
The agency had said that the planners of the interim government had already held several meetings, during which they weighed many options to actualize their plot including sponsoring endless mass protests across Nigerian cities, securing a warrant to declare a state of emergency or a court injunction to stop the inauguration of the executive and the legislature at the federal and state levels.
BREAKING:Lagos Govt Arraigns Chrisland School, Principal, Others Over Death Of Pupil Whitney Adeniran
The Lagos State government has arraigned Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, vice principal and two other employees over the death of one of the school’s pupils, 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran.
On Wednesday, the government of Lagos State had filed charges against Chrisland School and four others over the death of the 12-year-old pupil, Whitney Adeniran.
The school and its workers were accused of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts.
The workers who were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and Chrisland School Limited.
The school principal, Mrs Belinda Amao, broke down in tears while in the dock as the court and counsel tried to agree on a date for the commencement of the trial.
Whitney died during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium in Lagos on February 9.
Blessing Adeniran, her mother, had accused Chrisland of negligence over her daughter’s death.
The school’s management, however, dismissed insinuations that there was foul play in the death, saying she slumped in public.
Chrisland also argued that Whitney complained about “not-too-buoyant health” a few days before she died.
However, an autopsy conducted at the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH) confirmed that the deceased died from “asphyxia and electrocution”.
In the charges filed on behalf of the state government by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Babajide Martins, who disclosed that their negligence killed Whitney because they failed to ensure her safety.
The charge also disclosed that they all acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.
The offences are contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015
If found guilty, the offences carry a penalty of life imprisonment and two-year jail terms respectively.
On Tuesday, the state government granted access to Chrisland High School, Opebi branch, to open for physical learning ahead of the school’s forthcoming examination after parents’ appeal.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered that the school be shut down on March 3, 2023, following the investigation into Whitney’s death.
Sanwo-Olu through the state Ministry of Education said the closure of the school would pave the way for unhindered investigation and afford all stakeholders, including parents, students, staff and friends of the deceased, time to grieve.
The reopening followed an appeal by the Parents of all Chrisland School Units who visited the Ministry of Education on Monday to seek the government’s understanding for “the sake of 500 plus students some of whom also have terminal examinations.”
The management of the school had tendered an apology over Whitney’s death.
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