By Ikeddy ISIGUZO
WERE Pastor David Ibiyeomie not the owner of his church he would long have been on suspension for Sunday’s abuse of the pulpit from which he seemingly delivers messages he says the Almighty inspires. I suspect he would have been more temperate if he was under someone’s supervision.
How could a simple disagreement, a different view, a suggestion that people should look at other sides of the scripture, annoy Ibiyeomie that he uttered those words from a pulpit? He totally lost it.
Ibiyeomie was not even party in the divergent views that Daddy Freeze offered on Bishop David Oyedepo’s stand on submission. Oyedepo held that women should submit to their husband taking his bearing from Ephesians 5, 22.
Freeze, a broadcaster, countered that the teaching was incomplete. He drew Oyedepo’s attention to Verse 21 of the same chapter of scripture from which Freeze inferred that husbands should also submit to their wives.
There was no abuse though Freeze had acquired fame (some would say notoriety) for staking his views, drawing from biblical interpretations, against what most pastors preach. The most contentious – for which many pastors would not forgive him – has been his position on tithes, a major source of incomes for pastors. Freeze is against tithes.
Ibiyeomie decided to weigh in on behalf of Oyedepo who he calls his father. He warned Freeze that there would be consequences if he continued to speak against Oyedepo. He threatened to finish Freeze, tear him to pieces if he ever said another word of criticism of Oyedepo.
His congregation listened as he dredged words used in street fights to berate Freeze, wondering how much he made from being a professional broadcaster to join issues with the eminent Oyedepo. Some congregants were urging him on. It was possible they did not understand that their pastor had strayed.
The shock was profound. It utterances were embarrassing.
Ibiyeomie chose words that are rarely heard from the pulpit. He deliberately used them repeatedly. The emphases were important. People are still debating what happened to the pastor.
“That half-caste who is born by a Somalian? The day I hear him insult Oyedepo, I’ll deal with him. Oyedepo may not talk, but I can’t be alive, and you’d insult my father. I can’t take it. I’ll tear you to pieces, bastard. People who have fathers don’t insult fathers. He’s insulting him because he has no father. Does he (Freeze) look like a Nigerian? Somebody they gave birth to on the ship,” Ibiyeomie said in the video that has created much consternation in the social media.
He continued in his unrestrained anger, “I curse the day he was born. Tell him. This should be the last time he’d talk about Oyedepo. A man who is not married; he has no wife. He can’t take care of his home but he’s coming to talk on TV. If he has one, let him show us his father. Somebody that is a broadcaster, does he have a good job? I will never be alive to see someone insult my father. You’re not born! I’ll kill, arrest him.”
What came over Ibiyeomie in that Sunday message? Which spirit gave him a message to threaten Freeze’s life and unleash dedicated hate speech on him and Somalians?
Ibiyeomie said Freeze was a Somalian of dubious paternity, birthed in a ship. He challenged him to produce his father. All these were said from the pulpit.
Could anything be wrong with being a Somalian? The truth is that Freeze is not Somalian. He is Nigerian. Another truth is that Freeze has a Nigerian father whose picture Freeze had shown on social media two years earlier.
Olarinde, Freeze’s dad from Osun State, according to reports, is a a medical doctor with a practice in Bodija, Ibadan.
His mother Smaranda is a Romanian. Freeze got his looks from her. She is a Professor of Law at Afe Babalola University, and had taught at the University of Ibadan, apart from works she does for the United Nations.
Born Ifedayo Olarinde, in Romania, Freeze grew up in Ibadan and studied Sociology at the University of Ibadan.
Freeze said of Ibiyeomie’s attack: “I found it very devastating that just to get at me, Pastor Ibiyeomie, would drag the whole Somali nation. I am very proud to associate with Somalians because they are very beautiful people. Beautiful African people like you and I.
“It is hate speech to undermine them with derogatory words: ‘Is he not just a Somalian?’
“To all my fans and followers in Somalia, I love you all and proud to be associated with you, even though by birth I am not a Somalian; my mum is European, my father is Yoruba.”
Freeze also drew the attention of the public and the law enforcement agencies to the pastor’s threat to his life life. “If anything happens to me, I hope you know who to hold responsible? This has been on social media space for the past 24 hours now. I am yet to hear anything from the police.
“What happened to our laws on hate speech, racism, discriminatory statements, a threat to life, which is actually criminal?,” he asked.
The law is too busy to arrest the likes of Ibiyeomie even when their utterances should be legally reined in for the sanity of society. Ibiyeomie embarrassed his calling in that video.
Whether Ibiyeomie apologise or not, his words have left more lasting stains on the emerging picture of pastors who claim the Almighty directs their actions, but behave as if they are spirit-filled.