THE MULTI MILLION BUSINESS
‘shweeeeeeeee’ the POS paper printed. He reverently picked it as if taking care to make sure the amount in the pos paper does not wipe or may be reduce. He carefully perused it, obviously impressed ‘God loves a cheerful giver like you, because you have not withheld but gave generously to God, If I be a man of God, your mother will certainly live and you will get married before the end of the year’. ‘Amen’ replied Onyedi.
‘God bless you my daughter, kneel down and let me pray for you’. The pastor placed his hand on her head, spoke in tongues for not less than thirty. Onyedi did not mind the pain she was feeling on her knees, her mind was occupied in the incomprehensible words that were freely pouring from the pastor’s mouth and always quick to say Amen whenever he punctuated the indecipherable words with ‘in Jesus name.’
He prayed for a very long time casting every demon and devil that had held Onyedi in the bondage of singleness. When he finally said the last ‘in Jesus Name’ Onyedi screamed Amen with her hands raised up as if to receive in her open palm the answer to the Pastor’s prayers.
The pastor moved to his seat reassuring her that pretty soon, she would have well off men pleading to marry her. She stood up from her kneeling position after the pastor had poured the last ‘anointing oil’ on her head. ‘ thank you pastor, I shall leave now’ she said in a crouched position.
‘Go ahead God be with you’ ‘Amen’. When the door shut behind her, the pastor picked up the POS slip and other POS slips from his drawer. ‘Wow! 250k plus 30k plus 80k plus 60k. Today has really been good. How much cash did I get today? He brought out his calculator 20 plus 8. People don’t like going about with cash these days. Thank God I have my POS machine.
Pastor Mathew fretfully struts from one corner of the room to another looking very worried. ‘just look at mess now; how are we supposed to escape this. I don’t understand you anymore; how could you have recruited those brainless scorn bags’ quizzed Pastor Mathew in an exasperated tone.
‘ Those men were supposed to be professionals. They have been the ones working for us all these while. I don’t understand why they chose not to use their brains in this case’, pleaded Deacon Abel.
Pastor Mathew and Deacon Abel were together in a hotel room worried at what will become of them on hearing that a young man, Chris who happened to be the only son of a high ranking police officer, whom they told that his father is the reason why he is so dumb and will not be able to pass his exams is investigating them. Pastor Mathew told him that his father had used his brains for some sort of rituals and is using his brains to grow in his own career. Pastor Mathew had directed him to ‘sow a dangerous seed’ of one hundred and fifty thousand Naira into the church account to enable him pray and deliver him from bondage. Deacon Abel who was in charge of the church finance quickly gave him the account details ‘the quicker, the better’ he added as he gave him account details.
Some weeks after Chris had paid in the money, he complained to his mother, Loveth, that his 2nd semester exams would soon start and he has not been able to register his courses ‘what happened, why haven’t you registered your courses’? Grilled Loveth. ‘ I need another money to pay my school fees. You see, I sowed a ‘dangerous seed’ with my school fees.
Did you know that the reason why I seem so dumb is because father had done some ritual with my brains and has made it impossible for me to comprehend anything the lecturers teach? With the ‘dangerous seed’ I sowed with my school fees, am sure to receive back my brains?
Loveth was dumbfounded, she just watched and listened to him. ‘Last Sunday I visited a church and there God revealed that, to the pastor. Very soon I will become very smart and score A in all my courses because the pastor is fasting and praying for me’. ‘so you gave the pastor 130,000 that was meant for your school fees.’ ‘Actually I borrowed 20,000 to complement it.’ Loveth, quickly summed up the amount ‘150,000!’ she exclaimed. ‘Yes mum, nothing is too much to buy back my brains.’
Loveth tried very hard to suppress the anger that was boiling in her and maintained her cool. ‘you are right nothing is too much to buy back your brains, I need to go and send your father a mail to send me another money for your school fees’ she said sarcastically.
He hugs her ‘thank you mum, I hope you will augment it to enable me pay my debt and next week is Nancy my girlfriend’s birthday, I need to buy her a lovely gift’. Loveth stood up without giving him reply, ‘Very important, what is the name of the pastor?’ She blurted Chris told her the name of the pastor, the name of his church and even encouraged her to visit the church. She walked straight into the study room without another look at her son, turned on the computer, and typed a mail which she sent to her husband.
Two days later, Commander Anosike, Chris Father was faced by two investigators that he had sent to investigate pastor Mathew. They gave him detailed report of where he lived, where his church was, where he was right then and some other detail about his activities. ‘Good, you people are the best in your field’ he immediately assigned some police officers to go and arrest pastor Mathew.
What are you people still doing here; Can’t you see things are in disarray; Won’t you get lost? Deacon Abel asked ‘wetin that one come mean, you wan make we commot wen you neva pay us our moni’ Deacon Abel sighed, without arguing, opened a small bag , brought out two wraps of 1000 Naira notes and threw at the two prostitutes that were in the hotel room with them. ‘Get lost now’ ordered the deacon. ‘wetin concern us, abeg make we commot.’
When the two had closed the door behind them, pastor Mathew picks up his phone, dialed some numbers ‘please do you have flight to Abuja this evening? Thank God, please make two reservations for me. It is urgent’. He hung up.
‘ You don’t need to bother about me, I really am not involved in this scandal since I never prophesied to anybody. Don’t worry; I will stay behind to tell people that you traveled to see some relatives abroad. I will make sure I clear your name before you come back’. ‘Are you sure about that?’ “Yes” Deacon Abel answered firmly.
They quickly picked the few things they had in the room, opened the door ‘You are under arrest’ said one of the four police officers who swoop in, immediately the door was opened. ‘You are under arrest for financial fraud, purportedly mongering falsehood and destroying homes’.
‘Officers, you have the wrong person, am a man of God and I represent nothing but the truthfulness and holiness of God’ Spurted pastor Mathew. ‘May I inform you, that you have the right to remain silent as anything you say, may be used against you in the court of law, move!’ ordered one of the officers. Pastor Mathew looked at his deacon and reluctantly moved with the cops.
Deacon Abel on the other hand, stood where he was and made to re-enter the room. ‘My friend, stop right there!’ referring to The deacon. ‘Officer, am not the pastor neither am I his cohort, am only a member of his church, whom he had invited for special prayers, am not aware he is a falsehood monger, financial fraudster a………..nd’. ‘Shut up and move’ interrupted the officer.’ Officer, am totally innocent’. ‘Move now or I move you!’ yelled the officer.
Deacon Abel followed without further argument, thinking hard on how he was going to extricate himself from the net.
In the hospital, Agnes is slouched in the bed, looking very pale. ‘Thank you’ she mumbled to Mama Ebuka and Beatrice who have been visiting, since she has been on the sick bed ‘don’t mention it’ said Mama Ebuka. ‘I wish to see Onyedi, have you seen or heard from her? Did she visit me during the time that I was in coma?’
‘I haven’t seen her since the day you fainted in your house but I believe she will soon come to her senses’ how will she come to her senses when she is still attending that devious church?’.
‘You don’t have to bother about her so much and the doctor advised that you should put your body and mind to rest, so please, don’t worry about her. I curse the day she joined her friend to that church.’ ‘I really wonder how your daughter, who is a graduate, would believe such crap from the so called pastor’ said Beatrice.
‘I don’t understand how they manage to hoodwink people into believing them, how they manage to know the amazing facts about their members is still a mystery to me’ replied mama Ebuka. ‘God will disgrace them very soon, I believe strongly in my heart that their end is imminent’ squirted Beatrice.
But you shouldn’t have taken your daughter seriously, you should have been able to know where all that was coming from’, she continued. ‘My sister I didn’t see it coming, I was totally taken aback. I can’t still believe that she hasn’t regretted her actions up till now,
she is the kind of girl who doesn’t find it difficult to admit her wrong’. As they staidly chatted, condemning and comparing pastors, talking about the good, the bad, the true and the false ones, suddenly the door slowly opened.
Onyedi stood at the door unsure of what action to take, she contemplated going straight to Agnes bedside to ask for forgiveness or just ask for her forgiveness from the door where she stood.
Involuntaringly, she found her knees on the ground with tears rushing down her cheek. ‘Mum, will you forgive me? Will you accept me back as your daughter? Am truly sorry, I was deceived, am very sorry’. ‘What are you doing kneeling on the floor, come here and hug me my darling’ Agnes said gleefully.
Onyedi immediately rushed to her, burying her head in Agnes bosom she kept on sobbing and asking for forgiveness. Tears welled up in Agnes eyes ‘stop crying my dear, she said in a shaky voice that betrayed the tears in her eyes. Am very happy you came back to me. What could I have done if you had lasted longer in the manipulation of the false pastor’ she continued.
Aunty Beatrice, Mama Ebuka, am sorry for the trouble I caused you’. ‘It’s ok’ said Beatrice. ‘Thank you for taking care of my mum’. ‘No need to thank us’ said mama Ebuka. ‘ It’s unfortunate that I had to wait till he was nabbed before I could realize the kind of person he was.
What do mean he was nabbed? Is he in prison right now? They looked at her quizzically. ‘You don’t know?’ asked Onyedi. ‘No we really don’t know what has happened to him’ replied Beatrice. He was arrested by the police and has been sentenced to five years in prison and his ally, the deacon of the church to two years in prison by the law court for falsely accusing a high ranking police officer of using his sons brains for rituals that has made him succeed in his career and his son fail his exams.
In the court there was a lot of evidence against him proving that he had some hired agents whose job it was to study people’s homes and feed him with information which he would in turn use to make people assume he was a very powerful man from God.
‘Unbelievable! How could someone be so mendacious’ spurted mama Ebuka. Hmmm, there is even more disgusting evidence of camera footage that showed how he spent nights with prostitutes of different classes and age.’ ‘Errh, you don’t mean it’.
I mean it, you won’t believe how much he extorts from people everyday which unfortunately I fell prey to. Agnes brought her close to her bosom in an effort to comfort her ‘It’s alright now, thank God things turned out this way. We still have each other for support.
Please I will appreciate it if anyone can help criticize this story and offer some useful suggestions on areas of improvement.