Investigations into some behind the door activities of syndicates of pastors operating in Asaba, the Delta State capital, and its environs have revealed that no fewer than 26 persons seeking ‘spiritual salvation’ have been duped of about N4.6million in the last two years.
The Guardian investigations indicated that the self-acclaimed men of God, armed with mind-blowing prophecies, often hoodwink unsuspecting individuals that troop to their churches.
The victims are made to undergo rigorous prayers, including alleged use of multiple colour candles and olive oil, to increase their business sales.
Victims within Asaba and its environs, who did not want their names in print, said the syndicates operating around Okwe community in the state capital had swindled them.One victim, who spoke to The Guardian in pidgin language, said: “We no go school so much. The pastors asked us make we bring money. In short, N50, 000 each for them to prepare soap for us to bath with and since two years now, we don spend about N4.6million.”
When asked if they had reported the case to the Police, the victims said: “We go tell police and they arrested one of them called Pastor Mike and the police released him the following day. We were surprised.”
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zama Ibrahim, who confirmed the incidence of pastor syndicates in the state, said the Police were working with a view to exposing the fake pastors who swindled worshippers in the name of God.
He regretted that ‘salvation seekers,’ as the victims have come to be known, have become preys to fake men of God and cautioned the public to be careful in attending churches where prophecies made as ploy to ripping them off.
He said: “Men and officers of the Police Command in the state are working hard to bring to book fake men of God who under prophecies,
rip-off ‘salvation seekers.”
The Police chief disclosed that about six cases of alleged rip-off of victims by ‘pastors’ are currently being investigated by the command.