Of pastors and the witchcrafting of mothers

For some time now, a strange thing has been going on in the Nigerian society with clergymen tormenting many women’s old age by claiming that they are witches. Trampling on the Holy Bible that they preach from, these pastors separate children from their parents, especially mothers, by claiming that they (mothers) are witches and that they are responsible for their children’s misfortune!

Earlier this week, I had a conversation with my aunt, a retired teacher who lives in Iseyin, Oyo State, and her heartbreaking story is the fillip for this piece. Here’s her story: “It’s church that has made my children the way they are. It’s Deeper Life that has caused me misery. It’s Deeper Life that has done things to my children. If I call them—I don’t even call anyone again. It’s only one that attends to me, Doyin, whose child died at birth recently. She’s the one that comes to me. All the time I was ill, they didn’t ask after me, they didn’t behave as if they had a mother somewhere. With all the houses I built—it’s other people who want to snatch them from me. They don’t go there. The one I built at Idi Ose, it took the help of a lawyer from our town to rescue me by sending the alfa who wanted to take over the house away from there.

“My children are the ones who are supposed to be close to me and talking with me, but they consider me a sinner because of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church I attend. I’m ill and that’s where I’m being treated, so why would I not go there? Everyone will have a reward for their sins. I labored alone to send them to school, I know that God exists. My pension is enough to cater for my needs; it’s not that I want them to give me anything. And I have my houses. Nonetheless, what could make one’s children to say strange things? I sent them to school and helped them to get jobs…One day, one will die and that will be the end.”

I had to stop the transcription at this stage because the story broke my heart. I know that the problem spotlighted here transcends the Deeper Life denomination. I have seen the demonic practice in other churches and I don’t even think that Deeper Life endorses the maltreatment of parents.  You see, in Nigeria today, there are certain people who are supposedly so holy until they show absolutely no love or care to their parents! They pronounce judgment on their parents.  They hate their parents with venomous rage. I know a man who never at any time helped his mother out in her life time, claiming that no one helped him when he was in the university but forgetting that his mother was busy trying to save his brother run over by a trailer at the time. To think that a man who treated his mother with such scorn is a deacon in a church!

Since these witch-hunters brandish the Bible, then let’s quote some verses they apparently have never read. In Ephesians 6:2-3 we read: “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” How do you honour your parents? By treating them with love and respect, and by using your substance (your car, your money, etc) to make them comfortable. Every New Year day when my mother was alive and did not spend the celebration with us, I used to personally take pounded yam to her. Never once did I fail. Here’s what the Master, whose name these scoundrels are using to break families, said on the topic (Mark 7:11-13): “But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition.”

In churches today, many of the folks that call themselves pastors do precisely what is stated here: they teach people to dishonor their parents. They are nothing but violent, repulsive, anarchic and manipulative criminals. Like the Pharisees of old, they make the old age of many women a misery by cutting their children off from them. They do this to enrich themselves because, with no parents to spend money on, their gullible followers will dwell on their (the pastors’ ) own financial needs.

Indeed, if not for cruelty of soul, why would anyone hear that his/her mother was involved in an auto accident and not quake? What sin could she have committed? Why would a mother have to suffer in her old age when her children are alive and doing well? Where does anyone get the boldness to open their stinking mouth and call their mother a witch? Where is the honour, love and respect that parents are supposed to have? And, of all things, why use the Holy Bible to justify cruel treatment of parents?

In this country of ours, some supposedly educated people teach their young children to avoid their parents because, as they say, “Grandma is dirty and fetish.” You that is not dirty or fetish, how do you know where you will end your life? In Ijebu, I’m told, many old women suffer emotional torture as young people refuse to eat food prepared by them—correct egusi soup properly laced with ogiri and with dried sawa fish– in the mistaken belief that they are witches! This is not even about social class: in Lekki and many other high-class neigbourhoods, there are wealthy but extremely distressed women who have only household servants for comfort: their children, living the Big Life abroad, have abandoned them to their fate. These mother-haters send their own children to choice secondary schools and seek admission for them in Harvard and Oxford, not realizing that their own old age will be exactly like they have made their own mothers’. SAD!!!


Re: Bring back our Yoruba childhood

It’s a pity that we don’t value what we have in Yorubaland. White people are sending their wards to our universities to learn our language. Yemi Elebuibon is now living in America teaching Americans Yoruba.


Rev Oladimeji Michael: 08023852901

I read “Bring back our Yoruba childhood” to my satisfaction. In fact I’ve read it three times. I commend your effort. The administrators of school curriculla need to act. For example, when I was still in service, I had an administrator from Modakeke, Osun State, who did not allow anyone to address him in Yoruba. But when we spoke English to him, he did not the vocabulary! School administrators and commissioners need to implement government policy on Nigerian languages in schools.

Alhaji Adewumi: 08068311581




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