Photo by: Sun News Publishing
Governor Godswill Akpabio is set to issue a stern warning to churches in Akwa Ibom, particularly those of the white garment stock. And the message is simple: Stop your pernicious influences which are tearing down the fabric and cohesion of families in the state.
According to the governor, in an interview with a team of senior editorial staffers of The Sun, arrangements have been concluded with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to arrange a forum where the churches will be given a talking to.
Hear Gov Akpabio: “All these white garment churches deceiving and destroying families should stop what they are doing. I intend to address the entire church congregation in the state. I’ve arranged with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to talk to the churches because they’re destroying many families.
In Akwa Ibom State, we have over 150 children who have been thrown into the streets by pastors who claim the children are into witchcraft. They even attempted to burn some children alive in the state. We’ve rescued children who have been almost burnt to death on the basis that they are into witchcraft.”
Still talking on the need for strong family ties, Gov Akpabio went down memory lane, and recalled how he was brought up solely by his mother, having lost his father early in life. He said he took such good care of the mum later in life, and she blessed him on her death bed at the Universityof Calabar Teaching Hospital. “She said that if she came back to the world, she would ask God to give me back to her as a child. Otherwise, she would ask God to allow her to be born to me.”
Below are excerpts from the interview:
“I wish to tell parents, love your children, don’t take out the frustration of life, your temper, on your children. Don’t turn them to boxing objects. Sometimes, some parents beat their children unnecessarily because of frustration. Don’t listen to stories that your mother is a witch, your father is into this, as long as you don’t have clear evidence.
“All these white garment churches deceiving and destroying families should stop what they are doing. I intend to address the entire church congregation in the state. I’ve arranged with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to talk to the churches because they’re destroying many families. In Akwa Ibom State, we have over 150 children who have been thrown into the streets by pastors who claim the children are into witchcraft. They even attempted to burn some children alive in the state. We’ve rescued children who have been almost burnt to death on the basis that they are into witchcraft. Very recently, shockingly, a man threw two of his twins into the pit toilet on the basis that a pastor said the twins look like children who will bring him misfortune. He said from the eyes of the children, they will cause his death unless they are destroyed. And he threw them into the pit toilet. We’ve arrested him, and he will be charged with murder.
“And sometimes they come to you and say your mother is into witchcraft, your father is into this, they’ve destroyed so many homes. They won’t even allow some pregnant women to go to the hospital. They tell them this is not hospital matter, you have to deliver inside the church. So many maternal mortalities have been recorded as result of deceit from the church.
A woman who cannot deliver a child, that should actually go through caesarean section, is being made to go through painful labour, and at the end, the leg of the child comes out, and the woman dies with the pregnancy. I’m telling you what is happening in the society. So, we need to call the churches to order, so that they won’t continue to cause confusion among families. And that we intend to do because it’s a big problem.”
Me & my mum
“When my mother was alive, she never lacked anything. She was happy and blessed me before she died. Sometimes I regret that she’s not alive to see me continue to grow, but the little she saw of me, as a lawyer and responsible man in society, was very good.
“She was the only father I knew. That was the way I described her when she died. I never knew my father, as he died when I was very young. She was the only father I knew. I was too emotionally attached to my mother. When we came back from the war, and we were struggling, living in a thatch roof house, and it rains, it is my mother who will tell me to hold the ladder for her, and climb up. She will drag the thatch to cover the place where the roof was leaking. And that should have been the role of a man. When I remembered some of those things, that was why I told the church congregation when she died, that she was the only father I knew. And I know what I’m talking about. It’s an emotional part of human life, and sometimes you get so sad losing a dear one. She was 64, and died in year 2000. I can only tell parents, love your children, do your best for them. When things are good, your children know, when things are bad, they know. Don’t take frustrations out on them.
“My mum’s name was Lucy Obot Akpabio. Before she died, she told me at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, that if she came back to the world, she would ask God to give me back to her as a child. Otherwise, she would ask God to allow her to be born to me. She blessed me, and that is why I tell people, honour your parents, and your days will be long.
That is what the Holy Bible says. But I think it goes beyond just length of days. It goes also into the things you touch. Anything you touch will be blessed. And anything you curse will be cursed, because your parents have blessed you. So, I tell fathers to bless their children when they do well. They will carry that blessing wherever they are going in life. Governorship may not be such very big position. But God has given me peace of mind.”
• Watch out for more in an oncoming Special Report series on Gov Godswill Akpabio and the new Akwa Ibom State
The Burning times hasn't ended so it seems. There is no such thing a a witch. Any church that promotes this type of rhetoric are indeed a criminals as far as I am concerned. They need more then a good talking to.
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