… our children have refused to eat since Saturday – Parents
… they’ve been hypnotised
… Ondo govt moves to rehabilitate victims
By Dayo Johnson, Akure
Parents and relations of some of the victims rescued by the police from the dungeon of The Whole Bible Church in Ondo state said their children have refused to go home with them and also refused to eat since Saturday.
The victims insisted that they would not go home and leave their pastors to languish in cell.
They insisted that they would stay at the police station so as to be raptured with their pastors.
Recall that the church pastor, David Anifowose, and his assistant, Peter Josiah, kept 77 worshippers in the church underground apartment in readiness for the Rapture, which they said will take place in September.
Many of the victims have stayed in the church for a period of six months, abandoning their work while students also did not go to school.
Some of the parents who besieged the state police headquarters in Akure from Kwara State and other parts of the country, said their children who relocated to the church have insisted that they will not leave the police station until the arrested pastors are freed.
The police commissioner, Oyeyemi Oyediran, had directed that the victims be released last Saturday, while the two pastors be remanded for questioning.
meanwhile, the parents lamented that their children had been hypnotised with what they described as black magic.
According to them, the victims would have to be thoroughly examined psychologically.
In an interview, one of the parents who came from Ilorin, Oluwole Omoseebi, said his son, a 400 level student of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ayobami Omoseebi, has been missing since 2020 during the COVID-19 period.
Omoseebi said: “I have a brother here in Akure who my son is living with. He is a pastor too, but he told me my son has been coming home on weekends and suspected his movement.
“I had to come down to Akure to find out what is happening and I was told he was in a church in Ondo town.
“I met the Pastor and explained that I have been looking for my son, but he was violent that day and drove me away from the church with one of his sons.
“The boy returned to Ilorin thereafter, and I warned him against returning to the church. But he went back to the church after the school resumed and we never set our eyes on him again.
“I called him in April, when one of his sister was getting married. But he told me he will rather obey his spiritual father than obey his biological father.
“And he did not come for the wedding because ‘he doesn’t have anything to do with us again’, saying we are idol worshippers a Deeper Life Bible Church members.”
Also, another parent, Michael Olorunyomi, said that her 21-year-old daughter, Priscilla, had refused to eat since Saturday, claiming that the pastor must be released.
“I was a member of that church and I was there for 32 years. Everything about the church changed when Peter Josiah became an assistant pastor in the church. He brought in destructive heresy.
“After they were brought to Akure on Saturday. My daughter was released to me, but my daughter said she will not follow me.
“She said until all those who were arrested are released, she will not follow me. At the end of the day, I overpowered her and took her home.
“Since we got home on Saturday night, she has refused to eat up till this moment. She didn’t eat throughout yesterday. I’m seriously bothered because of the situation.”
Also, a brother to one of victims, Wande Oladapo said that: “My brother, aged 40, has refused to go home after he was released on Saturday. He said he will not leave his pastor alone in the cell.
“I came all way from Lagos to Akure because of him and he was telling me that he will not follow me; that he would rather be in the cell with the pastor.
“I think they have all been bewitched by the pastor. This is not ordinary, it is a pure case of black magic.”
Briefing newsmen, the spokesperson for the state police command, Funmi Odunlami, said: “Despite all our attempts and placation some of the victims refused to go home, saying there were going to stay here.
“We have a child who said she will follow the Lord and not her parents. She said she was okay staying within the police compound since their pastor is still here.
“We are trying to work out a modality on how the Ministry of Women Affairs in the state can rehabilitate them.”
Odunlami, however, said that the pastor, Anifowose David, and his 45-year-old assistant, Josiah Peter, will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, in the state, Mrs Julianah Adebunmi Osadahun, said: “We just interviewed some of the children who are aged 11 to 17 years. The way they spoke seems they have been hypnotized.
“They speak with so much confidence that God will soon come (rapture) and they are on a seven day camp. They have not eaten for seven days and they still want to go on fasting.
“What baffles me as a mother is that these children are already hardened from the interview we conducted with them. They are indoctrinated.
“Some of the parents of the children even told us that they left the church when they started seeing some strange things.
“We also want to know if the Pastor partially believe there should be no education, then was his own children not educated?
“But we were made to know that he has two children who are educated and graduated and now equally members of the church.”
The Commissioner noted that “the parents also alleged that the children refused to take immunisation and the children confirmed that. They said it’s evil to take immunisation.
“We also want to have a data base of the children through family tracing from the Ministry so that we can get how these children were hypnotised and indoctrinated.
“And if they need rehabilitation, then we would have to go legally by taking custody of the children.
“The way some of the children are talking, so of them should even be taken to the rehabilitation homes. They are living in different world entirely. They look so wired.”