In News by Oluwaseun Samuel on the 09th, August, 2020

This Is What You Do not Know About Onitsha-Based mostly Controversial Pastor

This Is What You Don't Know About Onitsha-Based Controversial Pastor

Odumeje

Odumeje

The present sensation within the Southeast is Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanemere popularly referred to as Odumeje. The President and founding father of Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention Ministry Worldwide (a.okay.a Land of Freedom), has virtually turned faith to a social enterprise with massive dose of leisure.

The controversial Onitsha-based cleric lately set the social media on hearth on account of his slightly unorthodox and unapologetic strategy to his vocation.  He has trending video clips of his deliverance periods, which go away individuals questioning what method of pastor he’s. He’s widespread amongst celebrities, with a excessive dose of Nollywood stars. He leaves tongues wagging.

Prophet Odumeje means various things to completely different individuals: a person of God, an entertainer, an consideration seeker or an enigma whose true being is but to be understood.

Odumeje, fondly known as The Lion, positive is aware of methods to maintain his viewers spell-bound to the fullest. Name him an unintended pastor and one might not be removed from the truth. He’s a present stopper when he handles the microphone.  Singing brightens his face and he enhances it with distinctive dancing kinds.  He’s at house with highlife beats. He relishes and rehashes the duvet songs of most famous highlife greats, which he dishes out inside his church.

His church service seems to be like a social gathering, spiced with music, drama, jokes and novelty wrestling matches. Whether or not he acts out an already rehearsed script is a narrative for an additional day; however a routine strategy is that he doesn’t enter his church till the auditorium is in full capability.

With a retinue of bodyguards principally wearing lengthy black fits, he takes the lead whereas the guards come behind him. Instantly he enters, the guards take strategic positions whereas he initially takes a psychological view of the whole congregation.  He then staggers out with a swagger, wanting straight, however to nobody specifically. He would then give a wry smile earlier than ‘flying’ into the pulpit.

Pastor Odumeje would first kick his proper leg as if kicking a soccer. He would then launch the left leg, severally kicking within the air. He stretches his arms forth and again like a wrestler within the ring. Then he jumps up practically two meters excessive, stops and smiles at his congregation once more they usually burst into a number of shouts of “The Lion”, the “Indaboski,” amongst his different widespread quite a few clichés.

The thunderous ovation of his church members prices him the extra; then he begins his acrobatic present correct, as one in a Kung Fu fight. He beats his chest in self-praise just like the legendary boxing king, Mohammed Ali within the ring.

Immediately, one in every of his assistants comes out with bundles of cash and arms over to him, which he begins to spray on members of his congregation and the whole church goes wild with enjoyable and pleasure as others rush to choose the cash.

In a dramatic twist, his assistants fetch extra bundles of cash which they start to spray on the pastor and each the pastor and his aides go on frenzy within the cash spraying spree lasting for an hour or extra.

Welcome to Mountain of Holy Ghost Intervention Deliverance Ministry, Onitsha, an uncommon church with an uncommon pastor in cost.

The person Odumeje

He hails from Orsu Ihite Ukwa in Orsu Native Authorities Space of Imo State. Born on September 9, about 41 years in the past as third in a household of six kids of Mr & Mrs Pius Ohanaemere, Emeka Intervention as he was addressed when he began newly, started life as different Fegge/Odoakpu boys who went to early faculties from their household homes and in addition performed soccer and different video games on the streets of the neighbourhood. He was mentioned to have attended each main and secondary faculties in Fegge Onitsha earlier than changing into an apprentice dealer dealing in leather-based supplies.

As a younger man, he was a religious Roman Catholic who worshipped at Sacred Coronary heart Parish, Odoakpu Onitsha. Sunday Solar gathered that at some level, he deserted Onitsha and lived with the monks on the Awhum Catholic Monastery, close to Ninth Mile, Enugu, earlier than quitting and floated his personal personal ministry within the yr 2000.

The ministry began formally on  September 10, 2000, in a public yard at Odoakpu earlier than its current location alongside Creek Street, Fegge by Modebe-Bida junction.

Chukwuemeka realised his present of singing and music early within the ministry as he launched a gospel album a number of months after, with the hit monitor, “Odumeje,” that means ‘God, the one who leads me.’ The tune marketed by Marwooly Leisure then had one other hit monitor titled “Muo Nso na Eburum Agha Abatago” (The Holy Spirit that fights for me has arrived) however the monitor “Odumeje” grew to become an anthem that ultimately took over his identify; Emeka and folks began calling him Odumeje.

From gospel music to prophecy and exhibits

Emeka Intervention was comparatively unknown within the early days of his ministry between years 2000 and 2010 when he operated with a Mitsubishi bus crystallite roofed, although some individuals attended his weekly ministrations then. Transferring to its current location, which is a reclaimed swamp,  however now housing an enormous church fitted with air conditioners, his church has turn into a beehive of actions attended by massive crowd from various backgrounds, together with rich businessmen, prime politicians and celebrities.

With time, Odumeje has reworked from a reserved pastor to a flamboyant prophet, social media influencer, rave musician, socialite and controversial preacher. He has turn into one thing of a social media sensation.

His church parades the very best of highlife instrumentalists with hi-tech sound tools. Severally, he phases music performances with them as the lead vocalist whereas the viewers gyrate to his supply and admire him with varied wads of naira notes.

Final yr, he launched a nine-tracker album titled “Alabasidi,” the place he unleashed his highlife ingenuity within the tracks. Although he sang principally in unusual languages, the music gained extensive acceptability that many both purchased the CD plate or downloaded by means of the MP3 stuff.

One of many songs within the album titled ‘Iron, Lion, Zion’ was initially completed by the legendary Jamaican Rastafarian, Bob Marley, however the bass line from Odumeje’s personal remix was a masterpiece. The video of the songs directed by Cyril Dova was lately launched into the market and has been making waves too.

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It will not be misplaced to explain Odumeje’s church as showplace. A number of occasions, the church parades the presence of some film stars who not solely attend their providers, but in addition be part of him within the pulpit enviornment singing, dancing and spraying cash.

A member of the church, Doris Ada Kamuche defined that the artistes normally storm Onitsha from Asaba, the favored location for films in search of salvation, favour, safety and profession development.

Among the many stars seen severally within the church included Rita Edochie, Zubby Michael, Jerry Amilo, Harry B and Yul Edochie additionally noticed as soon as.  Odumeje additionally did a music collabo with one other highlife artiste, Onyeoma Tochukwu in an album titled “20 billion; take it”. He was additionally noticed lately hanging out with Flavour and beat maker, Grasp Kraft whom pundits mentioned did a collabo with him, already ready to hit the market.

There’s additionally a trending dwell efficiency on YouTube the place he reportedly carried out alongside the Umuobiligbo Brothers and Phyno. As if to crown all of it, he, in June, signed a administration take care of a media and communications firm; Liquid Steel Administration.

In keeping with studies, model growth and administration specialists can be working with the cleric on media/communication, expertise administration, and Public Relations methods.

He has now turn into the primary pastor in Nigeria to formally signal an endorsement deal.

Uncommon strategies and techniques

One of many issues which have set tongues wagging about Odumeje is his queer and peculiar model of conducting deliverance periods on the troubled. Whereas many typical clerics apply ‘Olive oil’ and invoke the identify of Jesus Christ whereas praying for the troubled, Odumeje performs wrestling drama to conduct his personal sort of deliverance. Lifting individuals and throwing them on a chair like smack down wrestling present, he additionally does the unthinkable by hitting such individuals with iron or different exhausting objects in areas the place they’ve seen accidents.

Apart that, he additionally performs a number of stunts of elevating the lifeless again to life after mendacity straight on prime of such presumed lifeless our bodies introduced to his church. Such individuals reportedly get up and rise to the deafening applause of the congregation.

From Indaboski to Gandu Gandusa

Odumeje in his regular controversial method has enriched the communication house with a number of avenue slangs which not solely caught hearth among the many youths, but in addition had been unfold throughout the Web by bloggers and social media customers. Although a few of the phrases haven’t any recognized that means, the slangs caught up with the flamboyant of the youths that they’re getting used all over the place.

Whereas on a go to to widespread musician, Flavour, Odumeje in an ecstatic temper mentioned that persons are questioning how he got here in regards to the identify Indaboski,  however they need to slightly anticipate the principle dish coming.

He mentioned: “2020, I advised them that I’m Indaboski, however earlier than the tip of 2020, I’m going to usher in one other new energy calledDabuskabashi. Then, if we’re coming into the tip of December 2020, I’ll deliver Gandu-Gandusa.  Nwanne gbalu ogwu gi nwuo, maka na iju na ima gbalu ya nwuo, nga agbanye gi ya. (Brother, take your drugs and drink as a result of for those who refuse to take it, I’ll give it to you by drive.)”

Different  widespread sayings launched by Odumeje which have turn into avenue slangs embrace: “Nwanne, I’m the strongest” , “I’m greater than a dragon” , “I’m the liquid metallic” , “Nwanne, iga-anu uda ya”(Brother, you’ll hear the bang), Ofu onye adighi anu uda egbe” (One particular person alone can’t hear gunshot), “Ada ahu oka na filling station”, (You don’t roast corn at a petroleum filling station”, “Onye battery ya folu one bar adighi agba sport” (One whose telephone battery is left with solely a  bar doesn’t play sport with it); amongst others.

His prophecies

Although extensively known as prophet; not a lot is understood about Odumeje’s prophecies that got here to fruition. Nonetheless, members of his church lay declare that he’s really an genuine prophet.

An ardent worshipper who has attended the church for 2 years advised our reporter that Odumeje had foretold the petrol tanker hearth in Ochanja market;  prophesied a significant accident within the film business, and different bloodshed in Anambra State, they usually all got here to go.

His co-in-law who additionally worships within the  church, Kenneth Ezeabigba, claimed that Odumeje had prophesied the emergence of the chief of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to drive the Biafra actualisation wrestle greater than two years earlier than Kanu surfaced on the scene.

As well as, he alleged that the prophet had additionally foretold the emergence of Peter Obi and Rochas Okorocha as two-term governors in Anambra and Imo states, respectively.

Lifetime of controversy

Many imagine that Odumeje’s life is synonymous with controversy. One of the key controversies was the allegation that he had boasted that he would stroll on the River Niger  a declare he later denied. His church members mentioned that he merely mentioned that those that have religion like Jesus Christ might stroll on the River Niger.

However what went like wildfire was his current face-off with the individuals of Arondizuogu in Imo State, the place he was alleged to have derided a famend traditionalist and musician, the late Chief Pericoma Okoye, in a video. He was accused of getting described the individuals of Arondizuogu as fetish, and allegedly vowed to place a cease to the Ikeji pageant of the city.

In a swift response, the kids of Pericoma had entered the ‘evil forest’, and made some incantations in a video that went viral too, the place they swore to garbage Odumeje. Additionally they challenged him to a religious duel  to determine the efficiency of their respective powers.

Whereas the mud raised by the Pericoma video had hardly settled, one other clip went viral the place he allegedly attacked Awka individuals of Anambra State, describing their widespread masquerade pageant, ‘Egwu Imo Awka,’ as being fetish and a way of worshiping monkeys, which is the image of the god.

Within the video, Odumeje was seen boasting that if he got here in touch with the monkey totem of Awka individuals, he would destroy them.

Although the cleric’s house group, Orsu Ihite Ukwa in Imo State had written and apologised to the communities involved, on behalf of their son, but, he remained detached, sustaining his silence, whereas extra movies of him deriding the communities surfaced.

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However lately Odumeje allegedly apologised to the individuals of Arondizuogu and Awka over the hurtful statements he had made about their conventional beliefs. A press release allegedly launched by the favored pastor claimed that he had watched and located his movies on them hurtful and degrading.

It said: “Within the mentioned posts, I used to be portrayed as declaring struggle on the individuals of those communities and their respective conventional festivals and beliefs. It was additionally alleged that I had vowed to destroy Imo-Awka pageant and put a cease to the Ikeji pageant of Arondizuogu.

“Consequent upon the above, I want to acknowledge that the individuals of Awka and Arondizuogu communities are peace-loving and I’ve over the years come to share fellowship and repair in church with an awesome quantity of them. These two communities and their famend indigenes have been recognized and recognised as main contributors to the event of their states, Igbo land and the nation at massive.

“Awka and Arondizuogu communities have produced nice women and men of integrity and pedigree and have all the time remained on the prime of nice little children of Igbo land.

“Towards this backdrop and with all humility; as a servant of the dwelling God, I sincerely apologise to the nice individuals of those two communities, to the whole individuals of Igbo land and to my elders for my utterances. I can’t make any makes an attempt to justify my assertion as even I can see that it’s hurtful in all its ramifications.

“I additionally need to specifically apologise to the household of Mazi Pericomo of Arondizuogu who I perceive till his passing was a diligent servant (Evangelist) of God. I apologise and put it on file that this expertise has taught me that phrases that talk any type of divisive dialog amongst our individuals have to be checked. It is a time for unity, love and unwavering assist for one another”.

Nonetheless, on June three, information went viral on social media that the prophet had been arrested and detained by the Anambra State Police Command at Awka,  nevertheless it turned out later that he had merely honoured a police invitation. The prophet was really invited by the police on Monday, June 1, over alleged petition in opposition to him on malicious broadcast, hate speech, incitement and extremely offensive and provocative conduct main to imminent breach of peace.

A member of his church insisted that the prophet didn’t apologise to any of the teams that felt derided, however confirmed that as a law-abiding citizen, he honoured the invitation the place he met with the State Commissioner of Police, John Abang.

“Prophet Odumeje as an exemplary Christian chief and a job mannequin to many, honoured the invitation over the petition made in opposition to him by some people who felt offended by his spiritual preaching”, he mentioned.

Our reporter visited Ideato final Tuesday; to search out out whether or not the individuals of Arondizuogu had pardoned the controversial prophet, however the conventional ruler of Ndiawa group, Eze Ozumba Dike mentioned that the Arondizuogu Nation wouldn’t make Odumeje related.

The monarch mentioned: ”The difficulty of Odumeje will not be related as a result of for anyone to say that the nation of Izuogu has no males exhibits that particular person doesn’t know who the individuals of Izuogu are. We don’t need to give Odumeje prominence, which he doesn’t deserve as a result of he isn’t a severe character.”

In the meantime, one other controversy that may quickly erupt across the pastor is the style he handles the Naira and different currencies.  Human Rights Writers Affiliation of Nigeria (HURIWA) had earlier this yr urged the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to order the arrest of Prophet Odumeje for his serial abuses of the Nigerian naira and different denominations throughout his public ceremonies in Onitsha.

Nationwide Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the Nationwide Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, in an announcement mentioned it had resolved to put in writing formally to the Minister of Finance, CBN Governor and President Muhammadu Buhari to implore them to defend the naira in opposition to international defacing of the notes.

HURIWA mentioned: “Now we have watched with disappointments as this self-professed prophet, Odumeje, stored abusing and defacing the nationwide forex and each the police and the CBN have failed for a lot of months to stamp their authorities and prosecute these serial abusers of the nationwide forex.

“We ask the CBN to make sure that the authorized provisions that ought to have protected the naira notes from abuse that are right now being noticed extra within the breach than in compliance ought to be reversed.”

HURIWA recalled that in response to Part 21(three) of CBN Act 2007, “spraying of, dancing or marching on the Naira or any notice issued by the Financial institution (CBN) throughout social events or in any other case howsoever shall represent abuse and defacing of the Naira or such notice and shall be punishable below Sub-section 1 of this part”.

Regardless of the criticisms that path Odumeje’s pastoral life-style, he doesn’t appear to care a hoot. Responding to those that castigate his model, he mentioned he isn’t solely cussed, however radical whilst he warned such individuals to be cautious of what might befall them for speaking about what they didn’t know the way it took place.

“I’m a cussed man, a radical man. I advised you don’t right me.  If I knack someone on my chair, don’t ask me man of God, this isn’t the approach we’re doing miracle elsewhere. Who born you and the place do you come from? What have you learnt about religious?  You discuss when a lifeless man is speaking. Who born you, you that touch upon my miracles, you no de concern? You’ll die recklessly.  You don’t enter to my miracles to speak garbage.  What have you learnt about earth and religious earth? I’m not ashamed of my behavior. That is me. I’m a cussed man, a fireman, a radical prophet, I’m Indaboski, I’m a dabus; I’m a libaduu, a seplee!”

On the issues of the spirit, Odumeje mentioned that these of them working in excessive religious wave size have the ability to change the message of God due to their prophetic unction.  He additionally referred to himself as one other Jesus who died and got here again to life.

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“We’re not after life. I died a few years in the past identical to my father Jesus Christ died over 2000 years in the past. My father died and resurrected and that’s the reason He’s nonetheless alive right now. I died too and that’s the reason I’m a lifeless man. Like father, like son. I converse as authority.”

In a video he posted on-line early this yr, he challenged native medical doctors to return to the stadium for an open contest for energy.

“No mercy for Devil, no mercy for native medical doctors. Anticipate my battle. You don’t have anything to supply. All native medical doctors are criminals accumulating fowls, goats and cows from individuals.  Anticipate my battle this yr. There is just one God and there is just one energy and that man is Jesus Christ. You probably have energy, come out within the stadium to compete with me.  They provide you and I, two lifeless individuals, anybody that resurrected the lifeless, have the ability”, he mentioned.

Household life

The prophet is married with 4 kids. There’s, nevertheless, a controversy over his spouse. Fashionable Nollywood actress, Rita Edochie had as soon as risen in defence of Odumeje, whereas revealing that the supply of the prophet’s energy was from God.

Edochie in a submit on her Instagram web page, gave particulars in regards to the prophet’s spouse. She posted thus: “Uju Ohanemere-Odumeje’s spouse will not be associated to Eddy Nawgu (the occult practitioner) or Eddy Nawgu’s spouse.

“Transient historical past of Odumeje’s spouse; she was born within the household of Rufus M. Ogbatuo in Obinikpa village in Ideato South L.G.A of Imo state.

“Rufu M. Ogbatuo married two wives with 11 kids (six boys and 5 women). The mom of Odumeje’s spouse was the primary spouse and her identify is Rose E. Ogbatuo.

“No member of her household is said to Eddy Nwagu or Eddy Nawgu’s spouse in any method in any way. Please, any info on the contrary is intentionally concocted by mischief makers for egocentric and mysterious functions. Any such info ought to be disregarded.”

Nonetheless throughout the realm of controversy, Nollywood actor, Zubby Michael had lately denied that the controversial prophet was his pastor.

Michael on his Instagram web page additionally blasted Nigerians for claiming that he received religious powers for his Nollywood success from Odumeje.

Unusual flamboyance and philanthropy

From his designer dressing to the unique automobiles; the inside of his house and his model; opulence is written all over the place round Odumeje. Sunday Solar was advised by one in every of his church members that he has about 200 varied manufacturers of pricey automobiles parked in his expansive storage.

The prophet is reputed for his philanthropic acts which have earned him accolades. Other than dashing out automobiles to a few of his church members, he was among the many first to go to the victims of Ochanja market hearth catastrophe the place he doled money present of N4 million shared among the many victims. Because the COVID-19 pandemic raged, he additionally distributed a number of meals objects and money quantities each in his church in Onitsha and his hometown in Imo State.

Through the distribution of baggage of rice and cartons of noodles as properly as money items to the individuals of his city on April 11, he assured them that he would absolutely increase extra nice individuals there as a result of, in response to him, “iron sharpneth iron”.

In individuals’s eyes

An Anambra Chief and politician, Omife I. Omife, berated those that throng the person’s church, saying that they’re being misled.

He additionally mentioned that the federal government was imagined to have waded in and curtailed the pastor’s excesses by now.

He mentioned: “This should not be allowed to go on, as if we’re all hypnotized, together with the federal government and human rights businesses. How lengthy shall we glance the opposite approach?

“Pastors carry out house deliverance (Olu ezi n’uno); native medical doctors carry out nkpocha na nzacha na ezi n’uno. Pastors declare to see imaginative and prescient; native medical doctors carry out divination and fortune telling. Pastors do deliverance; native medical doctors carry out ‘ichu aju’ (sacrifice).

“Pastors administer olive oil indiscriminately on their members; native medical doctors administer varied religious concoctions on their shoppers. Pastors converse in tongues, native medical doctors carry out incantations. Pastors carry out harvest and thanksgiving; native medical doctors carry out ‘inye agwu nni”, and lots of extra. So, there is no such thing as a distinction between these faux pastors and native medical doctors.

“I’ve been to tons of of church buildings and I found that 90 in each 100 pastors in Igboland are faux and solely only a few are real and these real ones hardly publicise their miracles.  It’s believed he employs this gimmick to mesmerize the congregation and as cover-up for his faux miracles,” Omife mentioned.

However a member of the prophet’s church in Onitsha, John Osundu, sees Odumeje because the messiah who has come to ship his individuals from bondage, hardship, backwardness.

“The Lion is a sensible man of God with pure coronary heart to ship individuals from evil spirit, poverty, barrenness, enterprise failure, marriage, upliftment in job and profession and so on. He provides cash to individuals, he’s very charitable. Persons are in opposition to him as a result of Nigerians don’t like good issues.

“Individuals all the time assault him in no matter he does. They don’t like him as a result of he all the time says the reality and dwell by it. They accused him of spraying cash and preaching in opposition to deities in some communities; the identical factor that different church buildings preach and do. In our church, generally throughout all-night programmes, these the prophet had helped in a method or the opposite will come for thanksgiving. What’s unsuitable in that, generally, the prophet will likely be dancing and they are going to be spraying him cash out of pleasure and appreciation,” Osundu mentioned.

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Supply: Solar Information

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