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Pastor Ibiyeomie
Pastor Ibiyeomie
In a time when social media attacks have reduced the guts of so many pastors, forcing them to keep quiet in the face of wrong doings, because of the fear of being “dragged”, Port Harcourt based cleric, and presiding pastor of Salvation Ministries Church, David Ibiyeomie has refused to be caged by the derogatory comments of some Nigerians on social media. Instead, he continues to speak against the ills of internet fraud and other menace ravaging the society, not minding whose ox is gored.
Pastor Ibiyeomie during the annual program hosted by his church admonished young lads from engaging in internet fraud which is mostly referred to as “yahoo”. He also went ahead to curse it’s root.
As expected, Ibiyeomie’s outburst against internet fraud and those involved in it sparked a lot of controversies. While some backed the position of the revered cleric, others attacked him for choosing to speak against internet fraudsters and not corrupt politicians. For me, I am pretty sure that those who attacked him for speaking against yahoo boys, did so, not because they don’t know that internet fraud is evil, but because the outburst emanated from the mouth of a pastor. This category of people don’t like pastors, no matter what they do, because I don’t see anything wrong in what the pastor did.
But let us look at it from a more sincere angle. In recent times, we have seen and heard a lot that has happen due to this immoral act. Crime perpetrated by internet fraudsters including ritual killing, all in the quest to make money has become a common news on the media.
A lot of young men from the age of 17 have started killing their loved ones just to “make it in life” through this diabolical means. The heads of their victims are being cut off, some of them even take off the private parts (breasts and vagina) of the people they kill to use for rituals. This is the new trend and people have refused to speak against it. It is more like the society has accepted to live with it. Even the one who boldly condemned the evil act was criticized for doing so.
Now, my question to those who criticized Pastor Ibiyeomie for speaking against yahoo boys is, when did it become a crime to speak against societal ills?
Is internet fraud now a good thing or something to be encouraged? Did pastor Ibiyeomie do anything wrong by admonishing internet fraudsters to stop? or were they expecting the pastor to speak in favour of internet fraudsters?
Some even tried to defend the act of internet fraud by saying that the reason why young men engage in it is due to lack of jobs and that they (yahoo boys) use it to help themselves. Again, I wonder why people in their right senses will try to justify something evil with the excuse that the government does not create jobs. Yes, I understand that the government has not created enough jobs, but that is obviously not enough reason to engage in such barbaric act. There are a lot of Nigerians without jobs still struggling to make ends meet. They do not scam, neither do they use people for ritual, yet they survive. So why then should someone be engaged in this immoral act because he is unemployed.
I have also seen young men who live with their parents and do not lack anything. They do not pay their bills, their parents provide everything for them. They are not suffering, yet they still do internet fraud, why?
The truth is that those who do “yahoo” do it because they want to. They do it because they want to live in luxury. They want to drive flashy cars, They want to live above their means and not because they are poor.
Let us not in any way try to cover up evil. We should learn to speak the truth and also identify one when we see it. Lastly, I commend Pastor David Ibiyeomie, the fearless preacher who is never afraid of being in the eyes of the storm, for speaking his truth to power and condemning evil.
Tobin, a Journalist, writes from Port Harcourt.