Members of the Whole Bible Believers Church, aka Ondo Church, have crowded the Ondo Police headquarters where the General Overseer of the church, Pastor David Anifowose is being detained, refusing to leave the premises.
Large number of members which amount to Seventy-seven were cleared from the church basement last Saturday following an outcry from people that their children and wives were held captive in the church.
They had claimed that they were waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ in September this year.
Members of the church at the Police headquarters also refused to eat any food, insisting that they were fasting and eating only fruits since the fasting began in preparation for Jesus Christ.
The Ondo State government said it would conduct a crucial investigation on how children in the church became so indoctrinated.
Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Adebunmi Osaduan, who spoke to journalists at the police headquarters, said some of the children were between the age of seven and 17.
Osaduan added that the children were confident that God would soon return.
She said, “The way they were speaking showed they had been hypnotised.
They are speaking boldly. They are speaking with confidence that God will soon come. They have not eaten since seven days and they are ready to do more fasting.
They said they only eat fruits. They said the basement was a camp. What saw from the interviews indicated the children are already hardened.
They are ready for any interview. We have found out that the Pastor has two children who are graduates and are now members of the church.
“Some of the parents said their children refused to take immunisation. The children said it is evil for them to be immunised.
“We want to have correct information about what is happening. The data base of the children and how these children became hypnotised. Some of the children need to be taken to rehabilitation. This is indoctrination.
“We know Pastors who are doing things according to the rules. We want to have the statistics. We are yet to speak with the Pastor. We need to see him to confirm the coming of Christ to us.”
Omoseebi James Oluwole, whose child was among those detained, expressed that he was still in shock.
He said, “Around February last year, during the COVID 19, we didn’t see him at home. I called my brother and he said I should come to Akure. I started suspecting something was wrong. I went to his school and called his school guardian and our search for Moses Ayobami led us to Ondo town.
“When we got there, we saw the man who called himself the General Overseer, Pastor Anifowose.
“We told him we were looking for my son who was supposed to be in school in Akure. He said he was helping my son. He and one of his sons were violent.
“They wanted to beat us. We later took our son home. When we got to Ilorin, we told him not to go back to the church. During last Christmas
celebration, my son said he was going to Ondo to attend a prophetic service.
“I said he should not go. When my daughter was about to wed in April, I called my son, but he said he has to obey his spiritual father more than his own biological father.
” He said God called him as God called Abraham. He said God told him to leave his parents as Abraham did.
“He said I worship idols in Deeper Life. He is in 400 Level and a brilliant student but this pastor told them not to go to any school again or do any work. I want to take him back home.”
A teacher, Olaniyan Patrick, said his pregnant wife also refused to leave the church when he left alongside three of his children.
He said the wife gave birth in the church and refused to return home. He said all entreaties he made including involving the police failed. He said the wife’s parents went to the church but were driven away.
Police spokesman Fumilayo Odunlami said the members refused to leave the police headquarters.
“They exclaimed that they want to stay here since their pastor is still here. They have refused to leave the police station,” Odunlami said.