By Yemi Ogunsola
(First published on Saturday, march 3, 2012 as ‘Gani Adams And Other Men Of Faith’. Now updated)
News reached me lately of a Christian woman threatening to leave her equally Christian husband because bullets rained on the man by armed robbers who invaded their home fell off the fellow harmlessly. In fact, the robbers fled in fright.
The woman’s grouse is that all the while both of them were attending church faithfully like “children of God”, she never dreamed her husband packed such devilish power.
Imagine. O woman of little faith! Does she not believe that the power of Jesus can render bullets harmless?
The first time the robbers called on the same house, I hear, an attempt was made to molest this same woman. But this same husband, God bless him, recited some “Ifa Psalms” and ordered the robbers to try their luck elsewhere.
And the robbers filed out “obediently” without harming anybody.
It’s this same woman who is now threatening this able protector. Well, let her leave him. I’m sure there are many Christian women out there eager to fill her place.
When shall some women learn to be grateful for big mercies?
Has this woman not read of Jesus ordering the storm to “sharrap”?
And it did.
That’s ase. But of course the Hebrews, Greeks or the English won’t call it that because they did not speak Yoruba.
The other day too, while Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he was angered by the uncooperative attitude of a fig tree. The naughty tree did not fruit because it was not its season to fruit. So when Jesus sought fruit on it, he found none. (Matthew 21:18-19).
And Jesus cursed it.
Put in Yoruba: Jesu ta a l’ase. Of course again, you don’t expect that Yoruba phrase in the Bible because, the account was written in Greek.
Well, I deliberately held back this next one. There was this occasion when Jesus preached in the synagogue of his own village of Nazareth. Somehow, the congregation did not like his candour. And they mobbed Jesus. The mob dragged him outside the synagogue towards the cliff with the evil intent of pushing him to his death. (Luke 4:26-30)
But what happened? The son of Mary vanished. O poora. That’s afeeri.
But those who wrote the account were Hebrews. So they would not have called it exactly that.
Jesus probably hung up a leg to break the circuit of visibility. O ka’se ro.
But, in fact, it could actually have been outright teleportation: Egbe
Yoruba, people say Ohun agba fi nje’ko abe ewe l’owa.
(What the wise elder uses to complement his eko meal is hidden away under the leave wrappings). You don’t expect Jesus to broadcast his secrets to Omoaraye (people of the world).
In fact, he was wisely secretive. He told and showed some things to only his innermost caucus of three — with strict instructions not to tell others.
Philip, one of the disciples, apparently inherited Jesus’ egbe skill. Shortly, after baptizing an Ethiopian eunuch on Gaza road, we are told, Philip “dematerialized” at that point to “rematerialize” in Azotus several kilometers away.(Acts 8: 39 & 40)
Sometime in 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot twice in the chest. But for an emergency surgery, the pontiff would probably have, God forbid, passed on.
How could an Ogberi (non-initiate) snuff life out of an awo (initiate) like that? The church could have been saved that embarrassment, if the Pope had moved closer to Pa Abraham Adesanya (now late).
Sharp shooter(s) wielding the best gun(s) in town rained bullets on Abraham Adesanya’s car — up to 25 by some accounts! None touched him. It was not a case of missed target. The bullets penetrated the car alright. The bullet holes were there. But neither Adesanya nor his driver was touched…
Adesanya headed to church to give glory to God.
And Olodumare accepted his thanks. Hallaluya!
You see, Adesanya was a man of faith. He knew the power of Jesus could stop bullets.
Many in the audience were aghast sometime ago when the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) and now the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, disclosed on a television programme that he’s a Christian who attends church.
How could he be a Christian? The audience obviously wondered, when so many “miracles” occur in his life?
You see, Brother Gani Adams is a man of faith – and courage. No wonder miracles are common in his life.
Killer Fulani herdsmen have been raping, looting, burning and killing innocent persons for years. None of the men or women who boast of their faith had ever dared to confront them, live and direct.
Then came Sunday; Sunday Igboho, another man of faith — and courage.
Igboho did not disown his “father” because of his teacher, Jesus; and he did not abandon his teacher, Jesus, because of his “father”. He applied the age-old wisdom of his “father”.
And the criminal Fulani fled!
It was amusing to see both Christians and Muslims (who had disowned their “fathers” because of their teachers) uniting with traditionalists in jubilations and praying fervently for Igboho!
Oye ni o kilo f’oni tobi…
There is so little real faith around nowadays. That’s why when some miracles happen, many Christians are quick to attribute them to non-Christian powers.
Should a pastor or reverend in full regalia be stabbed in the thick of a revival or fellowship, and the knife or dagger fails to penetrate, the congregation won’t shout “Praise the Lord!” Why? Because they
lack sufficient faith in Jesus.
Why is it that what is unanimously acclaimed as “miracle” inside the Bible is condemned as devilish when it occurs outside it?
No wonder Jesus wondered shortly before he left our planet whether he would meet faith on his return.
Let’s round off with a story. I witnessed it. But you don’t have to believe me.
A certain neighbourhood in Ibadan was once under siege by armed robbers. The bandits stormed the area three times within a month – looting, raping and killing.
The first two times they called, the robbers raided the houses one after the other. But they omitted the compound of an Egba Muslim in the same neighbourhood. Nobody in the compound was molested not to talk of killed.
Some neighbours claimed that those two times, the robbers got to the door of the house, but they turned back for no apparent reason.
This compound boasted no fence. And the door was never locked even before the robbers’ siege.
Rumours were rife after the second robbery that the Baba Egba was either in league with the robbers or he was definitely using jazz.
I was one of those who subsequently preached vehemently in my church against Baba Egba and others like him who seek protection under the Devil.
Baba Egba never bothered to respond to the allegations nor to me. At least, not in public.
Then the robbers came the third time. It was around 10pm. Of course, by then many had lost faith in the security of their fences and iron doors.
You needed to see how neighbours shamelessly fled to Baba Egba’s humble house.
Many who remained in their houses that night suffered various injuries from the robbers.
But as many as sought refuge in Baba Egba’s residence were “saved”.
But the story did not end there.
All lights in Baba Egba’s compound were switched off throughout the duration of the robbery. So, nobody really knew for sure who was cowering and shivering beside him/her.
Then, too few minutes after the gunshots and screams had subsided and the robbers gone, while the refugees were still collecting their nerves, someone switched on the lights.
Come and see faces!
The first face I saw was mine…
But again, the story did not end there.
There followed another rush as Baba Egba’s guests scrambled out — to evade recognition. This time, the panic was mild; but it was panic. A handful of us who stayed to properly give our thanks to Baba Egba could only watch mouth agape as men and women covered their faces in flight.
Amidst the assorted sandals and slippers left in their hurry were hymnals, half completed sermons scribbled on sheets, candle packs, a prayer staff, a tesibiyu (muslim rosary), two bibles one of which bore the name of the landlords’ association chairman and a Mecca wear (muslim cap)…
( Happy weekend. Make it a date next weekend)