A self-appointed prophet in Edem community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State has threatened to blow up the catechist of a Catholic church in the area for allegedly discouraging people from going to his prayer house.
It was gathered that trouble started between the two men of God when the prophet, identified simply as Ekene, noticed that people no longer trooped to his church.
Ekene was said to have made inquiries and gathered that the catechist of St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Mr. Joseph Ugwu,, allegedly acting on the orders of the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Patrick Ujah, had repeatedly announced in the church that members of the congregation should desist from visiting the prayer house.
Sources stated that this did not go down with the prophet who had stormed the town like a cyclone for some time, seeing vision for people and thereby pulling crowd to his church.
He held vigils almost every night and people trooped to his centre because of “mind-blowing testimonies” from those who visited him.
A source said: “Things assumed a dangerous dimension when the prophet allegedly applied some Catholic doctrines in his prayers apparently to attract more people. He began his prayers with the sign of the cross, while the rosary was also said in every gathering.
“However, the style of his vision brought confusion among people, enthroning rancour, and mutual suspicion. People began to see their brothers as the source of their problems, while some who visited the prophet insisted that the names of their enemies should be revealed to them.”
It was gathered that Ujah had sent for the prophet and told him to get authority from the Catholic secretariat in Nsukka and identification from his home parish before he could continue with the mode of worship, but he failed to do so.
Consequently, the priest forbade Catholics from visiting the prophet or risk excommunication.
Enraged by the adverse effect of the order on his church, the prophet sent emissaries to the catechist to mind his business.
Sensing that the catechist was unperturbed, the prophet personally confronted him and allegedly warned him to steer clear or risk being bombed out of existence.
Ekene was also said to have threatened to become ruthless with those who would not let him operate the way he deemed fit in the community.
Community sources also told Sunday Sun that the deafening noise from the prophet’s prayer ground had attracted the attention of the traditional ruler of the town, Igwe Odomeh of Ozi Edem, who also invited him to his palace.
On interaction, the prophet was said to have told the royal father that he was a Catholic, but when the latter asked if he had the permission of the parish priest before conducting prayers, he said he planned to do so.
The Igwe consequently told him that he ought to have met with those in charge of the community before pitching his tent in the place.
However, things took another dimension when youths of the community arrested the prophet for allegedly defiling some boys in the community and took him to the Igwe’s palace.
The accusation was further corroborated by two of his victims.
On interrogation, the prophet allegedly confessed that he committed the offence, adding he learnt the filthy act from an Onitsha-based popular musician.
Sources told the Sunday Sun reporter that he would have been lynched but for the timely intervention of the traditional ruler who handed him over to the police.
When contacted on telephone, the Police Area Commander, Nsukka, declined comment on the incident.
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, told Sunday Sun that he had not been officially briefed on the matter.
However, sources stated that the prophet was granted bail and has “temporarily” fled the community.