By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
An elderly man of about 70 years, Mr. Ezekiel Nweke, the pastor incharge of Yahweh Kingdom Community World Wide that situates at Ndiechi Onuebonyi Village, Obubra Junction in Igbeagu Community in Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State, on Tuesday afternoon 18th May, 2021, was chased away by the indigenes of the area for allegedly carrying out some “dangerous” ritual sacrifices.
Right now, the pastor is said to be cooling his feet in police detention facilities, Iboko having been rescued from mob action last Tuesday following allegation of indulgence in ritual or fetish practices.
A resident of the area, Christopher Igube told Citizens’ Advocate that his wife woke up early morning on Tuesday only to notice Pastor Anyia sprinkling some concoction on a dead goat, which aroused her suspicion and that of other neighbours.
When his (Igube’s) attention was drawn to it, he accosted the Pastor only to notice on closer inspection that it was actually his own goat that was slaughtered.
Upon interrogation, the Pastor was allegedly incoherent in his explanation.
His altercation with him attracted other neighbours who joined in the fray.
Eventually, the crowd that gathered went into the Pastor’s apartment, only to discover many fetish objects like carved doll, female undies, condoms and many pictures of people including some of their known neighbours lying before his shrine with some unprintable inscriptions.
This discovery incensed the crowd who wasted no time in unleashing a mob action on him.
The Police from Iboko division was eventually attracted to the scene and they rescued and detained him, to avert him being lynched.
The crowd however vented their spleen on his household properties which were promptly brought out in the open compound and burnt, including furniture, clothing, kitchen items, electronics and electrical materials as well as motorcycle.
One of his neighbours whose picture was also found in the shrine, Mr. Chima Igele, who is the Chairman of Eguegbe Boys Progressive Union (EPU), who reportedly rented the building out to the said Pastor, Citizens’ Advocate understand that the union had fought a long drawn battle with the Pastor who in the past three years had refused to pay them rent for the building.
According to him, the union took him to court and obtained a quit notice which was duly served on him but he remained adamant, claiming that the building now belonged to him.
Efforts by the union to enforce the court order for him to pay them the outstanding rent arrears of N250, 000.00 met stiff resistance until the goat incident that exposed the dark side of the acclaimed “man of God”
He said the people around had been wary of the sinister mode of the pastor’s operation which they attributed to series of accidents occurring within the axis of Obubara Junction.
They described his present ordeal as good riddance to a bad rubbish as they also hoped that justice would be served including helping to recover the rent arrears of N250, 000.00
Another eye witness and resident of the area, Mr. Sylvester Nwokpuru claimed that, out of magnanimity, the pastor upon his arrival in the area, some years ago, was freely shown a big bungalow to be used as church by a particular family.
Unknowingly to the donors, the accused person was only carrying out his fetish activities in the guise of running a church until recently when people became curious on why they were experiencing many strange things ranging from mysterious deaths, incessant road crashes within the location of the church, sudden disappearances of female under wears, among others.
“As we were still wondering why series of unexplainable calamities were befalling our village, suddenly, we began to notice that Mr. Nweke did perform some dangerous sacrifice secretly.
“And our people having observed keenly the suspicious evil acts, decided to keep surveillance on the man’s activities until the fateful day, when our people woke in the morning and found another irritating sight involving already killed goat which was kept at the entrance of the so called church premises,” he said.
According to Mr. Nwokpuru, the pastor was immediately summoned by some persons after the sacrifice of goat was discovered but surprisingly upon the confrontation, the man flared and challenged the persons on why they would poke their noses into his affairs.
Along the line, Mr. Nweke received more than he had bargained as the people angrily invaded the church and found out other unimaginable quantity of fetish items and plenty charms at the altar and other parts of the structure.
Another resident, Mr. Chukwunonso Igwe also claimed that the pastor was responsible for all the unknown misfortunes including economic retrogression and strange ailments affecting some indigenes of the village and thereby appealed that the accused person should be severely dealt with so that others who are still marauding in the pretence of Christianity would learn their lessons.
The accused person, an indigene of Awkunanaw in Enugu State, in his reaction told us that his ordeal was a product of setup organized by some persons whose names were not given.
“I have not offended anybody since I started the church but unexpectedly, in the early hours of 18th May 2021, some persons stormed my church, woke me up and led me to where they said sacrifice was kept.
“Before, I could know what was happening, they barged into the church and ransacked everything therein including some materials which I do use to treat sick persons,” he said.
The man further denied of involving himself fetish activities or other related acts and as a result called on God for mediation and vindication.
We learnt that there were enormous charms and other spiritual items and some unknown persons’ pictures including wooden baton with Ebonyi State governor’s name boldly written on it.
It was also gathered that Mr. Ezekiel Nweke was paraded by the youths of the area amidst torture round the community.