A lot of Nigerians every day fall for the scams of fake men of God because they are desperate.
On May 2, 2015, Pulse Gist published a story of a 'prophet' who allegedly defrauded a business woman of N70m.
The woman has been dealing with fibroid for years. Desperate for a cure she went to the supposed man of God. In the process of healing her, Prophet Oladele also took three houses, two cars, a Lexus Jeep and 2014 Toyota Highlander from her.
The obvious but sad part the whole story is that the woman still has a fibroid. Prophet Oladele is now in the custody of State Police Command.
The healing ministry in Nigeria is a big business. Charismatic and flashy pastors clean out and smile out to the bank after every crusade. Thousands of desperate people in search of healing attend these miracle crusades and services hoping that the Lord will touch them.
It would be wrong to generalise and say pastors who major in healing are scams. There are some of them genuinely called by God to heal the sick. And there are others who are false prophets. They feed on the desperation of people and their blind faith in pastors.
The health system in Nigeria is non-existent. In the case of a fatal ailment, the only option you have is God if your account cannot accommodate the financial demands of your illness.
People with cancer and other serious health issues run from pillar to post, looking for the man of God who would provide a miracle. Most of the time they are duped by charlatans.
These false prophets do not only prey on the sick. They take advantage of barren women, the unmarried, the unemployed and the fortune seekers.
In 2013, a video went viral of a so-called man of God sleeping with a woman who was in search of the fruit of the womb. The 'Power Enter' video depicts how fake men of God feed off the desperate and gullible.
In 2016, a 52-year-old prophet was arraigned in court for taking N800,000 from a man under false pretence. In 2015, Samuel Omileke, who claimed he was a 'Prophet', was arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates' Court sitting in Lagos State, for swindling a woman, Taibat Rafiu, of the sum of N355,000.
Samuel Omileke, was slammed with a two-count charge of obtaining by pretence and stealing after he duped the lady of the amount in the guise of providing spiritual help for her.
People look up to God for help and miracles. Unscrupulous people have however taken advantage of this to dupe people of their hard earned money.
The emphasis we place on religion and miracles is allowing these fraudsters to thrive.