For some time now, something strange has been going on in Nigerian society with clerics tormenting the old age of many women by claiming to be witches. These ministers trample the Holy Bible from which they preach and 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 basis for this piece. Here’s her story: “It’s the church that made my children the way they are. It is Deeper Life that has caused me misery. It is Deeper Life that has done things to my children. When I call them, I don’t even call anyone anymore. It’s the only one who cares about me, Doyin, whose child recently died giving birth. She’s the one who comes to me. All the time I was sick they didn’t ask about me, they didn’t act like they had a mother somewhere. With all the houses I’ve built, it’s other people who want to take them away from me. They don’t go there. The one I built at Idi Ose needed the help of a lawyer from our town to save me by sending the Alfa who wanted to take over the house out of there.
“My children are the ones who should be close to me and talk to me, but they consider me a sinner because of the Cherubim and Seraphim Church that I attend. I’m sick and I’m being treated there, so why not go there? Everyone will get a reward for their sins. I only worked to send them to school, I know God exists. My pension is sufficient to meet my needs; it’s not that I want them to give me anything. And I have my houses. But what could cause one’s children to say strange things? I sent them to school and helped them get a job… 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 issue being spotlighted here transcends Deeper Life’s denomination. I’ve seen the demonic practice in other churches and I don’t even think Deeper Life condones parental abuse. You see, in Nigeria today there are certain people who are supposedly so holy that they show absolutely no love or care to their parents! They pass judgment on their parents. They hate their parents with poisonous anger. I know a man who never helped his mother in her life, claiming that no one helped him when he was in college, but forgetting that his mother was busy rescuing his brother who had been run over by a trailer at the time. To think that a man who treated his mother so scornfully is a deacon in a church!
Since these witch hunters are brandishing the Bible, we’re quoting some verses they’ve apparently never read. In Ephesians 6:2-3 we read: “Honor thy father and mother; that is the first commandment with promise; May you prosper and live long on earth.” How do you honor your parents? By treating them with love and respect and by using your resources (your car, your money, etc.) to make them comfortable. Every New Year’s Day when my mother was still alive and not spending the party with us, I personally brought mashed yam to her. Never have I failed. This is what the Master, whose name these ruffians use to break families, said on the subject (Mark 7:11-13): “But ye say, If a man say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatever you might be profited by me; he will be free. And you let him do no more for his father or his mother; Make the word of God of none effect by your tradition.”
In churches today, many of the people who call themselves pastors do exactly what it says here: they teach people to dishonor their parents. They are nothing but violent, abhorrent, 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 without parents to spend money on, their gullible followers will take care of their (the preachers’) own financial needs.
Indeed, if it’s not because of the cruelty of the soul, why would anyone hear that his/her mother was involved in a car accident and not tremble? What sin would she have committed? Why should a mother suffer in her old age if her children are still alive and well? Where does one get the courage to open his stinking mouth and call his mother a witch? Where is the honor, love and respect that parents should have? And most importantly, why use the Bible to justify the 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 who are not dirty or fetish, how do you know where you are going to end your life? In Ijebu, I am told, many old women are emotionally tortured because young people refuse to eat food prepared by them – correct egusi soup, well laced with ogiri and dried sawa fish – in the mistaken belief that they are witches. to be! This isn’t even about social class: in Lekki and many other high-end neighborhoods, there are wealthy but extremely distressed women who only have domestic workers for comfort: their children, who lead the big lives abroad, have been left to their own devices. These mother-haters send their own children to select high schools and seek admission for them at Harvard and Oxford, not realizing that their own old age will be exactly the same as their own mothers’. sad!!!
Re: Bring back our Yoruba youth
It’s a shame we don’t appreciate what we have in Yorubaland. White people send their pupils to our universities to learn our language. Yemi Elebuibon now lives in America and teaches the American Yoruba.
Rev Oladimeji Michael: 08023852901
I read “Bring Back Our Yoruba Youth” to my satisfaction. In fact, I’ve read it three times. I commend your effort. School curricula administrators need to act. For example, when I was still employed, I had an administrator from Modakeke, Osun State, who would not allow anyone to address him in Yoruba. But when we spoke English to him, he didn’t know the vocabulary! School administrators and commissioners are required to implement government policy on Nigerian languages in schools.
Alhaji Adewumi: 08068311581
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