EBHA bans exorcism, cautions pastors against fake prophecies

Supreme Desk
11 July 2024 9:04 AM GMT
EBHA bans exorcism, cautions pastors against fake prophecies
Abiri said that fake prophets had taken the advantage of the gullibility of people to desecrate the land, thereby jeopardising the developmental strides of Gov. Francis Nwifuru at the rural communities.

The Ebonyi State House of Assembly (EBHA) on Wednesday adopted a motion banning the practice of exorcism under religious guise by'men of God’ in Izzi Land in Ebonyi.

Exorcism is the act of spiritual cleansing and driving away evil spirits and witchcraft from a person or object.

The motion was sponsored by Mr. Godwin Abiri, representing Izzi West State Constituency in the Ebonyi House of Assembly.

Highlighting the motion, he said that exorcism had become a highly disturbing incidence in his constituency and Izzi Land in general.

“Mr Speaker,colleagues, permit me to bring to the knowledge of this honourable house the highly disturbing incidence of threats to lives, destruction of property, looting, and breakdown of law and order in my constituency.

“The crisis at Agharaoza village, Ndi-Ebo Ezzainyimagu, in Izzi Local Government was allegedly occasioned by the prophecy and activities of the so-called man of God, Prophet Ubadimma (whose real name is not known).

“The youths of Agharaoza village, according to a reliable source, allegedly hired one prophet, Ubadimma, and his cohorts recently for a spiritual cleansing to fish out witches and wizards in their village.

“He came and prophesied that one Chief John Ekpono and others tied the destinies of the youths of the village, which was the reason nobody is progressing while Ekpono and his children are the only rich people in the village.

“This prophecy ignited unimaginable tension as the youths of the village went on rampage, destroying Ekpono’s houses, those of his three wives, and looting all his property, including cash.

Abiri said that roads leading to the village were blocked and ditches dug to prevent the movement of people in and out of the village.

The lawmaker, however, said that the timely intervention of the Chairman of Izzi Local Government Area, Mr. Steve Nwankpa, saved the situation, as Ekpono and all his family members were rescued.

He disclosed that the entire family was now taking refuge at Abakaliki, and youths suspected of being involved in the crisis were arrested.

“Ubadimma and his accomplices fled to an unknown destination,” Abiri said.

Abiri said that fake prophets had taken advantage of the gullibility of people to desecrate the land, thereby jeopardising the developmental strides of Gov. Francis Nwifuru in rural communities.

He added that such a barbaric incidence had been a sad occurrence in so many communities in Izzi and other areas of the state and implored his colleagues to support the motion.

“Mr. Speaker and colleagues, if urgent steps are not taken to stop all those fake prophets of doom who capitalise on the gullibility of our people to wreck havoc in our communities, their activities will desecrate the land.

“Mr Speaker, from the foregoing, I rise to move a motion that fake prophets like Ubadimma, his cohorts, and their activities, including prophecy, be banned henceforth throughout the three local government areas of Izzi Land.

“That any village or community that may wish to engage in the activity of any pastor henceforth must get the approval of the LGA chairman, the Development Centre Coordinator, the President of the town union, and the document duly signed by the village head and the stakeholders.

”I further urge my honourable colleagues to throw their weights behind this all-important motion to enthrone peace and harmony in our rural areas. I so move.”

Mr. Kingsley Ikoro, the leader of the house, supported the motion and expressed displeasure that the property of Chief Ekpono was vandalised.

He described Prophet Ubadimma as the real wizard in the community and enjoined the security agencies to do the needful by arresting the perpetrators.

“Mr Speaker and my colleagues, we see the type of sad circumstances we found ourselves, because I do not see where a man who is in the village, who does nothing as a youth, who wakes up in the morning, and does not go to work claims that his destinies are tied.

“Who tied your destiny when you do not work? You cannot give what you don’t have.

“You will not earn if you don’t work. I am totally in line with this motion, although sad, because a man’s wealth and buildings have all been destroyed.

"Mr. Speaker, colleagues, the Prophet Ubadimma is the actual witch and wizard all joining together, because I do not see where you go to claim that the entire community, that a man has tied their destinies.

”It is very sad. I will say that security should do the needful by fishing out the perpetrators of this criminal act and making sure that they rebuild and restore the wealth and property they destroyed.”

Mr. Moses Odunwa, Speaker of the House, put the motion to voice vote, and members overwhelmingly voted in support.

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