By Ebele Orakpo

I get sick to the pit of my stomach when I hear what Nigerians do in the name of religion,” said Mercy in the Oshodi-bound commuter bus as a radio presenter narrated how a couple was arrested for defrauding a man of over $13,000 and N500,000 in the name of delivering him from evil spirits. “This is sheer madness.”

“Ol’ boy, those demons must be very strong to have needed dollars before they could leave,” commented Abel.

“Of course when politicians now deal in dollars, the fraudsters must step up too. Who no like better thing?”  asked Nike.

“This is not funny. How could somebody carry his hard earned money to another man for deliverance? Do you have to pay to be prayed for? That should have been the red alert but because he was so gullible, he couldn’t see. Someone rightly said that a gullible man is a walking disaster,” said Emeka.

“A perfect example is the Boko Haram guys. Someone tells them they should go and fight perceived enemies and blow themselves up as martyrs and then get rewarded with 70 black-eyed virgins in Paradise. They never stop to think why these people do not want the goodies for themselves and their children. They tell them that Western education is evil and yet send their own children to Western countries to study,” said Bob.

Narrated John: “A few days ago, I heard of a woman who was defrauded of N245,000 by a so-called prophet to cast out the evil spirit in her. He had claimed that something was covering her glory and that was why she was barren and then requested for N245,000 to cast out the evil spirit. The woman obliged. Some days later, he asked for N450,000 to buy a one-eyed cow to prepare something for her to ward off the spirits.”

“One eyed cow indeed! And the foolish woman obliged?” asked Abel.

“No. At least she had the presence of mind to invite the police at this point. And the man was arrested and charged to court,” replied John.

“It’s possible they use diabolical means, or hypnosis. I don’t believe that someone can be so foolish ordinarily,” said Stella.

“My sister, they are just gullible, pure and simple. A guy narrated how he was beaten black and blue by a so-called prophet in the name of praying for him to get healed. In the end, he came out worse, adding headache and body pains to the original symptoms,” stated  Mercy. “He had to go and buy pain killers.”

“I swear, if I were the man, I would have given him the beating of his life and left him with a mark he will not forget in a hurry; what nonsense!” exclaimed Ade.

“Beat a prophet?” asked Abel to which Ade replied thus: “Which kind prophet? He is not a prophet of God. Maybe he is a prophet of hell.”

“We should wake up from our slumber. We are too docile and mentally lazy and that is why Nigeria is where it is today. Most of its citizens are ready to believe anything. We are too lazy to hold our leaders accountable so it will continue to be business as usual. At least, if we are not lazy, the Bible is clear on how to deal with demons; so why would these people fall prey to fraudsters in the name of religion?” asked Bob.

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