A community feud fueled by superstition almost resulted in the gruesome murder of an elderly woman – but for the intervention of Nigerian Pastor T.B. Joshua.
A video uploaded to YouTube sensationally titled, “Will ‘This Witch’ Be Burned Alive” reveals how the scenario dramatically unfolded at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN).
Etom Bassey, a Pastor from Assiga, Cross Rivers State cried out amidst the church service that an elderly woman has been accused of being “a witch” and labelled the malevolent cause of all her family misfortunes.
According to Bassey, another lady similarly accused of witchcraft was a victim of ‘jungle justice’ just a fortnight earlier and burned to death as a primitive punishment for her alleged diabolic actions.
With the same cruel fate awaiting Mrs Ukwo Ufia – who had been ostracised by her own children amidst the furore – the pastor insisted the family should bring their dilemma to T.B. Joshua’s church before rushing to any rash action.
“Every church and prayer home they have taken her to confirm she is a witch,” he explained, as the elderly woman looked forlornly on.
The community monarch penned a letter to Joshua, pleading for his ‘prophetic involvement’ to settle the contentious issue and reveal the truth surrounding the damning allegation.
Community representatives alongside the aged woman’s direct family were all present in the church when Joshua addressed the complex case.
“What is happening to the family is an ancestral issue. Her mother was also labelled a witch and she died out of frustration,” the cleric revealed, much to the amazement of the family who corroborated his prophecy.
Joshua then declared he would “join the family”, affirming that Mrs Ufia was not a witch or the brains behind their calamities.
Kneeling to comfort the distressed woman who burst into tears upon hearing his words, Joshua called on the family to embrace forgiveness.
“It is an abomination – for someone who is not a witch to be called a witch,” he told the sombre family. “We can beg her and she will listen. What of the one in the grave?”
After the service, Joshua prayed for the entire family and gave them N500,000 as they returned to Cross River State with an emotional reconciliation.
Due to deep-rooted superstitions, it is common – especially in Southern parts of Nigeria – for elderly women and young children to be accused of witchcraft and subsequently stigmatised.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist