5:30 p.m, thursday evening and Pastor was already in town. By 6:00 p.m he was sufficiently lodged in an exquisite hotel along F- Line in Ewet Housing Estate.
The two girls were ushered in by Val and as they flirted and giggled seductively, Pastor sitting on one side of the giant twin- bed, sized them up. He was the lion; they were his prey. Signals were sent and understood, looks were exchanged, hush-hush talk and Valentine was out of the suite in no time.
5:30 p.m, thursday evening and the sixteen-sitter Hiace bus was sufficiently boarded from Ikot Osurua to Uyo main town. By 6:00 p.m, the twelve students had been lodged- in pairs- at Angler’s Hotels. 6:15 p.m and Valentine was driven into Angler’s by pastor’s driver. Valentine and Nkasi met, hush-hush talk and Valentine addressed the pack.
“Welcome, fellow Nigerian students. We are here on a purpose; while you eat free, drink free and make as much merry as you deem fit, remember that by tomorrow morning we shall be on our way to a church programme at Port Harcourt. There, we shall be told how to help our benefactor, all towards the success of his programme. If we shall do as we shall be directed- which I have no doubt, we will- then we should be smiling home on Sunday morning with good monies in our pockets. Enjoy your stay”.
Dusk was fast approaching and preparations were in earnest. The students had arrived Port Harcourt in the early afternoon hours. They were taken to the church camping ground: a large warehouse-type building along Trans Amadi. Loud prayers were heard as they were being herded towards a hall behind the main building. There, Valentine had addressed them. He was not surprised when none of them expressed any sort of astonishment after he told them the secret behind their trip and explained what they had to do and how to do it well. He smiled to himself. Nkasi had done his job well. He had systematically told them of what business brought them there long before they set their feet on the church camping ground.
The big Pastor came in next, dressed in black suede pants, an exotic body- fitting leather jacket over a green paisley shirt. His tie was noosed in the half- Windsor style with a dimple at the bridge. His Italian shoes accentuated the looks more. He was a generous dresser. As he strode gingerly towards them, he began to mutter in strange tongues- the language of miracles- swaying this way and that. He hissed and suddenly screamed “receive it”, whooping the air instantaneously towards the students pack. All but one fell down uncontrollably. The only one just stood there, his attention on the cell phone he had in his hands, as he typed away.
“O! Ye of little faith”, Pastor Kay shouted as he pointed towards him. Then he walked briskly out.
Anointing oil was brought by someone- probably an assisting pastor- and rubbed on each of the fallen students forehead. They rose like zombies. It felt weird to observe the unnerving calm that came over them afterwards. The magic had already worked.
As the students regained vigor, they were divided into two groups of six each. A team of miracle tutors attended to one while make-up coaches attended to the others.
The miracle tutors told the one team how to receive healing for minor ailments like stomach ulcers, pile, non- ceasing migraines, movement around the body etc. and how to render great testimonies.
The coaches taught the other team how to limb as cripples, totter like the blind and whimper like the dumb. Roles where assigned, wheel-chairs, crutches, black googles and other such gadgets where brought; they were all dressed in disguise, with make ups- balms and caulk rubbed on supposedly blind eye-lids, dust rubbed on pretentious lame legs. The students filed out into the bus; they bus headed out towards the church- venue for the miracles that will transform them to their normal forms again.
(to be continued)