Pastor: Your father is a male and your mother a female

Church Goer: Yes Papa, speak truth into my life

Pastor: There is a man here who has an ear infection. His name starts with O.

Church Goer: Speak Papa. It is me. It has been disturbing me for 5 months.

Pastor: Your phone rings when you are called

Church Goer: Yes. Yes. Gospel Truth

Pastor: You get wet when you bath

Church Goer: Speak, Papa speak

Pastor: You were born on your birthday

Church Goer: How did you know papa? Oh my gosh

It is another festivity of dreams and fantasies, that time of the year when Nigerian pastors, like football punters, try to predict, no, fabricate what they think the year will likely turn out to be. Indeed, like political opportunism, religious opportunism has become a disco of putridity and a smoke screen for deceit. Pastors enrich themselves illegally and flood the media space with fake prophecies.

Leading the pack in this year’s disco of putridity is Apostle Johnson Suleiman, the Warri-based pastor who, in the past, was caught in a web of amorous relationship with a certain Canada based babe, Stephanie Otobo. He reportedly released 50 prophecies, all of them smoke, mirror and a cacophony of fabrications…

But there is something wrong with pastors like Suleiman and their prophecies. It is not because their prophecies are fabricated and are easily forgotten by those who made them. No. what is wrong is that people chose to believe them. That ability to believe is what is fueling the business.

Trailing the garrulous Suleiman is pastor Enoch Adeboye, the septuagenarian Daddy G O of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. The Billionaire Pastor is not new to outlandish claims to divine powers. He reportedly told his shocked congregants that he drove his over 100 million naira Rolls Royce for miles, about two hours, without fuel. But if he could buy a Rolls Royce Phantom that coats so much, how much is fuel? He did not stop there. He also told them that he needed a Private Jet to enable him carry out God’s work. More shocking is the fact that the congregation responded with ‘yes papa’ and taxed themselves silly and bought the “man of god” or god of man a jet. He did not prophecy on ways to make money and buy himself a jet. The people had to pay.

Advocates of christianized exploitations in Nigeria love to raise the flag of “holiness”, one that over the years, they have found it hard to substantiate. But the truest test of holiness is when whom you are and what you do is truly found to be whom you said you are and what you do.

Christianity in Nigeria to a large extent, represents an appeal to an in-group assault on common sense, an assault that has taken a bias garb with arrogant certainty. And like it has always been said, few things are as dangerous as a people who think they are right in their attempt at mental enslavement. To build a nation that we all can be truly proud of, we must evolve our ability to submit to emotional and divine blackmailers and be able to question our own biased servility.

In the build-up to the 2016 presidential election that saw the emergence of Donald Trump as the president of the United States, Prophet TB, Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations had claimed he saw a woman sitting at the Oval Office. Thanks to the popular opinion made possible by Democrats-influenced American media which had in all their opinion polls, predicted a win for Mrs Clinton. She lost, poking holes into the prophecies of a man who just few years back, could not prophecy that an illegal structure he put up as a hotel, would collapse with over 140 persons, mostly visiting South Africans, losing their lives in the disaster. It took those events and others to unveil the prophet not as the man he claimed to be but as another Jesus merchant who is too reckless to think.

One key problem with Nigerians, especially those afflicted by the Nigerian-style Christianity is our our poor sense of history as we naturally love to pretend that there is not ancestry to events. Nigerian Christian community easily forgets sequences. For them, history only begins the moment the “man of god” or god of man begins to prophecy rather the ones that were fabricated years back that did not materialize. It is clear that these prophecies lack substance.

More saddening is the fact that the westerners who afflicted Africa with religion, have since abandoned it to lead a life driven by logic and science, a lifestyle where you are forced to justify your claims. Nigerian Christians must force these opportunists to justify their claims to divine powers. This is the crisis that must confront all us if we are to make progress.