By Olawale Jokotoye/Abeokuta
An Ogun state based pastor, Adewale Fagbere, reported to have been struck dumb after violating a community shrine, has denied the story.
Pastor Adewale Fagbere, also spelt Fagbire, was widely reported to have been struck dumb and motionless when he invaded his community shrine at Ketu – Ayetoro in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun state while pulling it down at the weekend.
Fagbere, a pastor at the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in Ayetoro area has debunked the story, according to The Nation newspaper.
He said though the town’s traditionalists assaulted him with “charms and other fetish objects,” he was not “harmed” at all.
According to him, he actually entered the shrine, evacuated all the fetish items that were kept there and also took a position beside the entrance to it in quietness as instructed by God.
He claimed God instructed him to stay calm and not utter a word at the shrine, while the custodians of the shrine assaulted him.
Fagbere, son of the past Alaye of Ayetoro, Oba Taiwo Fagbire, who joined his ancestors in 1981 after his 20year reign in the agrarian community, said his late father and monarch, used to take him to the shrine occasionally when he was alive.
The father of two noted that his not talking or not uttering a word on the site of the shrine had nothing to with his being beaten with “charms and fetish objects” by the traditionalists as what they did had no physical or spiritual effects on him.
He spoke at a press conference in Abeokuta organised by the Ogun branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
“About what happened at Ayetoro, it was from God and direction from the Holy Spirit for the deliverance of Ayetoro from darkness.
“God told me that I should go to the shrine to bring out those things for the liberation of Ayetoro.
“When I started what God told me, He told me to do three things in the shrine .
“He said that when I get there, I should evacuate; I should step aside and remain silent when people come out to see me .
“So, I did exactly as instructed by God on that Sept. 20 .
“I got there around 5.a.m. and after I took out those things ,God told me to wait and stay and I did so.
“It was not their gods that held me transfixed or struck me; it was the idol worshipers that struck me with their charms.
“When I was taken to the palace, I told them that all my actions were directed by God and not human beings or the church of God.
“Although, they tried many charms on me, none was effective on me.
“I only followed the instruction of God that I should be quiet and they too know the truth .”
The state Chairman of CAN , Bishop Tunde Akin-Akinsanya , described the reports, especially those on social media, as exaggerated.
He said that the body intended to correct the misconception about the incident.
The Regional Coordinator of Yewa/Awori Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Apostle Lola Dada, alleged at the briefing that the custodians of the shrine demanded for money from the family and CAN to appease the gods.
“They demanded for things they claimed they wanted to use for sacrifice.
“They asked the family of the pastor to pay N300,000 while CAN should bring N200,000, making it N500,000 for the sacrifice to appease their gods.
“However, no money was given to them and peace has returned to the town,” he said.
Although the police had moved to charge Fagbere for malicious damage and act capable of breaching public peace, the case may not continue.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Abimbola Oyeyemi, told newsmen on Thursday that the case might not continue because the traditionalists “were dragging their feet on the case.”