The controversy surrounding the purported death of the General Overseer of the Christ Revival Victory Chapel International, Prophet Ireti Ajanaku, has taken a dramatic twist as his members are insisting that their spiritual leader is alive.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that this is also the family’s position, even though his family and some of his pastors had earlier reportedly announced his death to the landlords’ association around his residence at 15, Folarin Williams Close, Ikola-Odunsi in Agbado/Oke-Odo Local Council Development Authority, Lagos. An evangelist, who had spoken as an authority in the church, but declined to give his name, told Saturday PUNCH on Wednesday that Ajanaku was alive.
He said, “There is still life in him and we are praying for his recovery. That’s all I can say. People are peddling rumours and saying so many bad things about the church, but those things are wrong.”
Ajanaku reportedly died on Saturday in his hometown, Gbongan, Osun State, after returning from a trip to South Africa. But the family is yet to make any public announcement on his death.
Residents of the area said they already suspect that he was never dead, but information on the true state of his condition is what they seem to be divided on. Some of the residents were of the opinion that Ajanaku was in a coma, while others said he must have been in a trance.
Although, Ajanaku’s wife, Joy, had not been seen in public since last weekend, it was learnt that she and some old members of the church had been holding vigils at the family’s residence since news of her husband’s death broke.
But a landlord on the street, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said Ajanaku might have been ‘back’ from the supposed coma or trance. Speaking on Thursday morning, he said, “At the vigil they held from last night till this morning, we heard what sounded very much like Ajanaku’s voice leading the worship for the first time since the news that he was dead got to us.
We were discussing it this morning and some of us believe that it must have been him. “Although some of his family members and pastors came to tell us that he was dead on Sunday, we were not allowed into his compound and none of us has seen his body.
It’s just what we were told and there is no proof so far that he’s dead. “We heard that the family has again claimed that he’s not dead. So what we heard may be proof that he was sick or in a coma or in a trance.
But one thing we’re sure of is that his body (Ajanaku) is still in the house.” Also, some residents said there was drama on Ajanaku’s street on Monday night while a vigil was ongoing in his house.
Eye witnesses said that some men in white attire and holding bells, who were suspected to be cultists, stormed Ajanaku’s residence singing and chanting. A resident, who did not want to be named, said the suspected cultists, who were about 20 in number, arrived the street at 10pm on Monday and left around 2am, the next morning.
The source said, “The alawo (cultists) were not allowed inside Ajanaku’s compound. So they moved up and down the street, singing and chanting. They were all dressed in white and came with all the kits cultists normally wear and even had small bells in their hands which they rang as they sang.
The cultists really disturbed our sleep that night as everybody was glued to the walls. We, residents, suspect that the pastor must have belonged to a cult group, otherwise those people would not have come as they did.”
Saturday PUNCH also observed a general disappointment among the residents, following Monday’s experience.