Prophet T.B. Joshua re-unites a young girl abandoned in 1996 at the age of nine over witchcraft allegations with her mother
Oghenefejiro Iworo, a female Urhobo cultural music dancer from Ugheli, Delta was only nine years old in 1996 when she was abandoned by Esther, her mother. Her reason for taking such drastic action against her child was because the little girl was alleged to have belonged to the evil world of witches and wizards.
Esther claimed that she consulted a witch doctor in Ughelli who confirmed that her daughter was a witch and was responsible for the hardship and misfortunes she had encountered in life, including separation from her husband.
The witch doctor had taken the little girl to her shrine in Eku, tortured her by using a sharp knife to inflict deep cuts on her cheeks. The blood extracted from the deep cuts was then given to the girl to drink before she allegedly confessed that she was a witch.
The witch doctor then warned her mother that unless she disowned her daughter, she would use her power as a witch to kill her. She therefore advised her to take the girl to Badare Wegereva, her mother-in-law whom she alleged to have initiated Oghenefejiro into witchcraft.
Esther who believed what the witch doctor told her about her daughter was angry with her. She, therefore, did not hesitate to take her to her mother-in-law at the Ugheli market where she was trading, called her a witch and left the girl with her. Badare was dumbfounded as she could not understand why her daughter-in-law could publicly call her a witch and even accuse her of initiating Oghenefejiro into the witchcraft world.
Afraid that the little girl could actually be a witch as her mother claimed, Badare equally rejected her and took her to her maternal great grand mother who was in her 80s. Although the aged woman accepted her great grand daughter, she could not take care of her.
The little girl had no option than to become a street urchin. She roamed the streets begging for alms and later joined street kids who taught her how to smoke cigarette and having illicit affairs with men. No matter how Oghenefejiro tried to struggle for survival in life, the stigmatisation and abandonment by her mother continued to haunt her.
However, she later joined an Urhobo cultural dancing group but still lived a wayward lifestyle. It was in the process that she was impregnated by Dafe Iworo, a butcher from Ekakpame, Delta State who married her. Already, Oghenefejiro has given birth to a baby boy.
Unknown to Oghenefejiro’s mother, her decision to disown her own daughter 12 years ago had become a curse to her. Despite the fact that she left Ughelli for Lagos in search of greener pastures, Esther who is a caterer continued to have nightmares as she could not even fend for herself.
She, therefore, decided to seek divine intervention by going to the Synagogue Church of All Nations where T.B Joshua told her that she was suffering from a generational curse because she accused her daughter falsely of being a witch.
He told her that the curse would continue to haunt her until she is reunited with her daughter and begged her for forgiveness over the stigmatisation she was subjected to because of the accusation.
He also told her that the generational curse started from Micheal Akatakpo, her 60 year-old father who was an idol worshipper. Esther admitted that her father had similarly called her a wicth when she was nine years old. She, therefore, had to travel to Ughelli with pastors from the Synagogue Church of All Nations where they searched for her daughter until she was found. She also brought her father to the church where Joshua delivered them from the generational curse.
Joshua said it has become common for some parents to abandon their children in the streets over the allegation that they are witches. He wondered why a mother should subject her own child to such a traumatic experience. “It is rather unfortunate that a mother who carried a child in her womb for nine months or more, laboured to bring her forth, would later stigmatise the child as a witch and throw her away from her home into the street,” he said.
Worried by the trend, Stepping Stones, a UK registered charitable organisation is working in conjunction with the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network, CRARN, to transform the lives of children who have been stigmatised as witches and wizards.
Gary Foxcroft, programme director, Stepping Stones Nigeria, said their aims are to tackle the problems of ignorance and superstitious belief in child-witchcraft as well as eradicate the torture of children stigmatised as witches.
Addressing the assembly in the lull of the adoration music, Prophet T. B. Joshua underscored the fact that
our fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and demons of all authorities and rankings. As our fight is targeted at demons and principalities, it is not easy to determine our closing time in the Sunday service. In our case, we react proactively to the attack of the devil as and when observed. Demons attack mankind everywhere and every time and we must react as enjoined in Mark 16:17 where God says, in my name you shall cast out all demons. Opening his message with a series of rhetorical questions, Wise Man Racine enjoined the assembly to be vigilant if they were not to be caught napping when the Lord would arrive. Are you prepared for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ? How prepared are you to receive Him? Where will He find you when He comes? He advised the church to wake up. He reminded the congregation that what we see on a daily basis on the street are demons at work in various ways and manners. Demons use able-bodied men to perpetrate atrocities of various descriptions and dimensions against their fellow men as orchestrated by the devil whose pre-occupation is to distract mankind from his Creator, God. Demon’s purpose is to distract man from God. There is an unending war between eternity and things which are intrinsically temporal in nature. A war between Christ and evil which is also the war between the Spirit and flesh is unending, according to him. This he maintained would lead to the topic of his message which is:
THE BATTLE OF THE AGES
Ours is a fight with enemies that we can’t see. He referred the congregation to 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. The weapons of warfare are not carnal, for ours are enemies without flesh. The first place to be victorious is in our mind, he emphasised. It is a war between knowledge and ignorance. He enjoined the congregation to find security in God’s hands. It is in God’s hands that we have victory and blessing. Freedom from fear is in God’s hands. If God is with you, who can be against you? He further reminded the congregation of the Lord’s promise to set a table before you in the presence of your enemies. He advised his listeners to look up to the Lord for eternal victory. Jesus’ victory is a supernatural victory and we should rise up in heart and mind for things above. Our victory is past victory as Jesus, by His victory over the devil, has conquered the world for us. He gave biblical backing to his point by asking the church to open Matthew 4:3 for the Lord’s temptation. The devil tempted Jesus with bread because he knew that after His forty days of fasting and praying, He must be hungry. The devil tempted Jesus to put on a sensational display of power. Jesus, though had all the power, presumed upon the Holy Spirit. This teaches us that the power given to us is not to be exercised at our own will but at the will of God.
BROKEN HOMES AND RECONCILIATION
Mounting the altar in succession to the Wise Man, Prophet T.B. Joshua x-rayed the various problems challenging the unity in many families today. In many cases, he went on, families don’t go together to church because there isn’t unity enough in the family to justify that. Even in the same church, husband and wife sit far apart to be comfortable. All this, he maintained, is the work of the devil. The nature of the man’s job could be a source of disunity as wife and children will not be happy to wake up at 4am for family prayer to enable the man to go to work early. So, when there is unity on the outside, there might be disunity on the inside. Many of your children might not accept your faith but would embrace your money.
A HOUSE ON FIRE
The man of God directed that the video clip on a prophecy relating to the Nworah family be visited. The clip revealed the psychological
turmoil in the mind of Mrs Rose Nworah following a strange phone number she discovered in her husband’s phone. Dialling the phone number in suspicion and anxiety, Mrs Rose Nworah received the shocking news told, with utmost disdain, by a girl her husband nicknamed Baby-Baby. The girl in question had been regaling herself in an illegal sexual relationship with her husband. As Baby-Baby herself put it, in reaction to Mrs Nworah’s phone call, “I have been enjoying your husband for quite some time and in fact, I am now pregnant for him.” What unspeakable effrontery! What a heart-shattering and mind-numbing insolence! What culpable sacrilege of cultural and biblical norms! The reality of the matter, as explained by Mrs Nworah, is that for quite some time the relationship between the couple had gone sour. The man’s amorous yearning for the woman had atrophied. Much to the chagrin of the woman, the husband never relished her meals anymore; they never slept together nor was the man interested in going out together with the wife ostensibly because of his newly discovered Baby-Baby, who incidentally hails from the same village in Anambra, Nigeria as the husband. Rose, the wife felt disadvantaged by this communal relationship between her husband and Baby-Baby as she, herself is a Ghanaian. In spite of the ethnic difference between the couple, the wife cherishes the marriage and had always jettisoned people’s negative comments and wishes about the marriage. She so loves him that she declares her affection for him to be time defiant because, as she says, her love is for ever and for ever she will love him. In his defence, Mr Uchenna Nworah acknowledged the girl as his community girl but denied putting her in a family way. Taking this as an episode for sermonising before giving his verdict, the prophet drew attention to the beauty of the woman and remarked, in confirmation of the Bible, that the battle is not necessarily for the swiftest and that is why, according to him, there are many beautiful women who, in spite of their beauty, live by prostitution in hotels today while many ugly ones are happily married. He added that beauty in the inside is more important than outward appearance. He therefore enjoined his listeners to seek deliverance in this regard. On the issue in question, the man of God declared that their marriage is from God and the so-called pregnancy claims by Baby-Baby were a mere hoax minted out to create bad blood between the couple. In total relief, the woman wore a smiling look and reiterated her yearnings to bear him all her children and love him forever. Hugging each other in their renewed matrimony, both husband and wife were delivered.
The next prophecy mentioned a woman, who in her dreams would see herself cutting the head of a goat which, on completion, would turn
out to be one of her children receiving the machete cut. A few days after the dream, the affected child would fall sick and die. No sooner the prophecy was given than a woman emerged to claim the prophecy as hers because she had mysteriously lost three children in the process enunciated in the prophecy. Mrs Janet Peter from Kogi State confirmed the prophecy for herself and added that she had visited many pastors in that regard, in the hope of getting deliverance but all in futility. Developing this strand of the issue, the prophet told the church that it is hardly possible for any pastor to issue deliverance that is predicated on a dream or tale by a victim or sufferer. Deliverance, he submitted, is only possible and efficacious if the issue is revealed to the pastor by the Holy Spirit and the pastor divulges it by way of a prophecy to the person affected. Mrs Peter also disclosed her propensity to eat in dreams. The man of God assured her of deliverance. Many other prophecies, some of intriguing nature, were given and claimed by various congregants after which they were delivered and reassured of a more fruitful life in Christ. God, according to the prophet, has intended that His people should not grope in ignorance and consequently perish. He has, on the contrary, planned that a prophet should be among them. Through the prophet, God has intended to reveal essential information to them for their edification, survival and growth. However, this fact is not appreciated by many people and so, such people deride the prophets of God. The prophet is the only book after all books but which is not available in the market.
The prophet is the mind of God. He thereafter referred to a prophecy relating to Kenya which was issued the previous Sunday in the service. In the said prophecy, the prophet talked of seeing a place in Kenya where people drink and which would be attacked. It was therefore a warning sounded to those who would believe the prophet. This prophecy is confirmed in media reports that a police officer in central Kenyan town went on a shooting rampage killing ten people in different bars. The shooting spree happened late Saturday in Siakago 150 km North East of Nairobi.
The prophet went into prayer with the congregation as the Wise Men laid their hands on members of the congregation. He prayed that the light of God must shine no matter what the devil does, adding by way of more spirited prayer, that every power limiting the congregation must loose its grip.
The first fall-out from the mass prayer was a woman from Asaba, Delta State who in spiritual manifestation, confessed that she was ‘ogbanje’(an agent of satan, often born to die) and had been directed to use her powers to kill her husband. She however, according to her, would not do that because she loved her husband very much.
The second was a prophecy by the man of God in which he saw a royal father or king among the congregation wearing a charm. He therefore asked the unnamed royal father to come out into the open of his own volition. A frail- looking old man in regal attire emerged from the congregation in response to the prophecy and declared himself as the one at whom the prophecy was directed. The royal father declared his willingness to remove the charm and identify with Jesus Christ. However, in recognition of his age and regal status, the prophet never allowed him to be stripped for the charm in the public gaze. The royal father thanked God for pointing him out adding that the charm had rendered him senile and incapable of identifying any of his fifty children. He was however, told that his sickness was the result of a charm he trod on in the past.
Another prophecy was given relating to a witchdoctor who had killed seven of his children and instilled fear in the entire community leading, in some cases, to a pandemonium as the gods were on the prowl in the village. The man, as the prophecy revealed, had taken to his heels to the church to seek refuge. The witchdoctor revealed, in confirmation of the prophecy that his wife had been disabled by the same gods and might die soon if proactive reaction was not in the offing. By the action of the gods, according to the witchdoctor, they had disappointed him and he would disappoint them in retaliation by identifying himself with Christ and annihilating them. He said he inherited the gods from his fore-fathers and had built a house for them. He appealed to the man of God for deliverance so that he would survive the present threat to his life.
The man of God frowned at the old man for killing his children and also endangering the lives of the village people with the gods. As the issue unfolded, it became clear that many people in the assembly had not gone to their villages for the past ten years and more because of evil practices that witchdoctors in these villages had perpetrated on the innocent people. The man of God planned a mass prayer for such people who had been afraid to go to their villages so as to fortify them spiritually and encourage them to re-unite with their families in the village. Following the incessant plea by the witchdoctor who feared he might die if the man of God ignored him, the man of God pitied him and promised to deliver him for the Lord. Earlier, the prophet had intimated to him that he had not included some of his most powerful gods in the train of gods he displayed. The man of God mentioned some snakes and tortoises that constituted some of the most dangerous gods he had. The witchdoctor confessed that those ones were too dangerous for him to toy with.
The Sunday service had too much in package in form of deliverance and healing for one day and so a continuation service was arranged for the following day, Monday 8th November, 2010 beginning at 12 noon.