THE STORY OF SHINA RAMBO, NIGERIA’S MOST NOTORIOUS ARMED ROBBER Shina Rambo is known as the most notorious armed robber in Nigerian history. His name sent shivers down the spines of people who lived in the Southwest of Nigeria and even outside Nigeria in the 1990s. Shina Rambo was born in 1958 to a military man who was a bad egg in the service. His father had over 18 wives, as it was the norm for soldiers to impregnate virtually every woman they met wherever they were posted to. His father used his military influence to rob innocent citizens, and always brought huge amounts of money home. This used to entice little Shina. Shina Rambo: “I remembered when I was about 7 years old, my father came home with a lot of money, foreign currencies, with blood on it, and they were using something like a woman’s scarf to wipe it, then I asked him, is this an animal’s blood or human blood? But he wouldn’t answer me, they were just drinking, smoking, and merry making.” Shina was already indoctrinated into the underworld by his father at a tender age of 7 without his knowing it. His father would often sit in front of his son to dismantle and assemble all sorts of weapons and then polishing them in preparation for an operation. One day, little Shina entered his father’s room while he had stepped into the toilet, and saw a dismembered gun on the floor. He sat in front of it, and bit by bit, assembled it effortlessly in no time at all. His father came out of the toilet, and saw his son with a loaded gun in his hands. Shina said, “That day my father was so disappointed, that he wanted to kill me, he grabbed the gun from my hand and shot straight at me, but I miraculously escaped out of the room. Then he waited for me to be less alert at night. He came to my room with a machete and tried to behead me, but once again, I escaped, but the machete caught my left leg. It cut me so deep I thought I was never going to walk again. After this, Shina Rambo became so notorious in no time, and was hell bent on succeeding in his career as an armed robber, that he even did the unthinkable in order to secure spiritual powers for his protection. In order to gain these spiritual powers, he pounded over 27 live new born babies in the mortar with a pestle, cut off about 100 human tongues and cooked them to eat. But first, he took them to the spiritual river called River of life in Ogoja, Cross River State, He lived in an Iroko tree for days, and slept in the cemetery. He was also given a spiritual wife who always followed him for any operation. She dressed like an Alhaja. People thought she was human, but she was a spirit, which was why they never saw her face. He said she was his personal driver, that she could drive from Nigeria to Cotonou, at the speed of light. “I was involved in so many rituals, that I can’t start naming them now, I was so powerful, I went underground, inside trees that looked like a city, a lot of beautiful houses inside the tree, I had my own too. I went into a river called River of life in Ogoja, where a lot of politicians and wealthy men used to come. I had several personalities, I could change my form whenever I wanted to, that’s why the police were busy killing innocent people, and thought they were killing Shina Rambo.” “The 9 herbalists that gave me that power, I became stronger than them. One day I went to their shrines, and killed all of them, so that they wouldn't reveal my secrets. I had too many powers; my spiritual wife could drive any car in this world or out of it, no police vehicle, or anyone for that matter, could ever chase and catch me during an operation. She was out of this world, and when she had completed her operation, they took her away from me. I could give anything to get powers, and the elders knew, so they also gave me anything I wanted. I once beheaded hundred men, and gave them the heads fresh, they were so happy with me that they made me invincible.” He revealed the most painful thing he had to do to gain his powers. “No matter the kind of bullet you shot at me, it was just like pure water on my body. I could give anything to get power, but of all the things I did to get power, the one that still breaks my heart the most, is sleeping with my mother. My father is dead now, but my mother is still alive, and she lives with me. She is 85 years old. Whenever I set my eyes on her, I just start crying. I can’t bear it.” Shina Rambo was a raging terror, he was infallibly dangerous, the police dreaded him, both in Nigeria, and Benin Republic, his place of interest for business. He would go to police stations, in broad daylight and kill every policeman there, drive to check points and open fire on every policeman on duty. He once robbed 40 exotic cars in one day and drove all of them in a convoy, from Lagos to Cotonou, unstopped. He was powerful; he was wealthy and impenetrable. He had a wife and three children, but he lost all of them in one day during a bloody police raid whilst he was away on operation. His wife was his stabilizing factor and his life changed afterwards. He says “my wife was everything to me, I was forbidden by the elders to sleep with any other woman apart from her. I could gather about 50 women around me in a hotel, and they will just be playing with me. We would smoke, drink, and sniff cocaine, I will give them money but I will never sleep with them. I will go back home to my wife and sleep with her. That was why the police never caught me. She knew my job, she knew what I was and I never left them alone at night, I operated in the day time and went back home to my family at night.” “I had everything, I was very wealthy, I sometimes spent 50 million naira in a day, I did that a lot. There was one day that we were coming from an operation and it seemed as if my powers were going to fail me, the police and the army were almost closing in on us, so we had to drive into a crowd and threw millions of naira in the air, there was commotion, everybody was busy picking naira notes...even the police, until we escaped.” “I was too rich, but anything the devil gives you never lasts, he will collect more from you, it’s only the devil that will give you Fila, (cap) and ask for Iro and Buba (wrapper and top). I lost everything, all the money, my family; I was so powerful the police couldn’t catch me but I lost it all. I had to surrender myself to the police and I was arrested and jailed for 11 years.” “While I was serving my jail term in Agodi prisons, Ibadan, Prophet T.O Obadare came visiting, and having been encouraged several times by the Christian brothers and sisters in the prison to give my life to Christ, he prayed for me and converted me, and changed my name to Oluwanifemi, and it was so miraculous, the next day I woke up and started speaking in tongues.” After serving jail-time for his crimes, he was converted by an evangelist. He had become a Christian evangelical pastor and had changed his name to Evangelist Mathew Oluwanifemi. Shina Rambo gave this exclusive confession on an open ground revival in the ancient city of Ibadan. CTA: What stories have you heard in the past about Shina Rambo?
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