…Devotees desert the Sect
…Children join Pentecostal, Orthodox Churches
…Whereabouts of wives, women, unknown
The sprawling estates, businesses, and the religious sect of the late maverick religion sect leader, Pa Emmanuel Olufunmilayo Odumosu, popularly known in the mid-seventies as ‘Jesu Oyingbo’, in Maryland area of Ikeja metropolis and other areas outside Ikeja, are in desolate and in total ruins. And this is authoritative.
Pa. Odumosu, the self-styled Jesu (Jesus of ) Oyingbo’, a maverick religion sect leader, while alive, had claimed he ‘was Jesus Christ returned’. Aside from the Sect, Universal College of Regeneration he led, he also had an illustriously expansive estate and chain of businesses in and around the Ikeja area of Lagos metropolis. He delved into real estate, furniture, restaurants, bakeries, hair barbing, books’ selling, and sundry other businesses. All these businesses were scattered around the outskirts of Ikeja, leaving only his harem, Universal College of Regeneration in his Emmanuel Street, Maryland, Ikeja. He was well-know; rich, hugely popular, and influential, especially in the 70s and 80s. He died in January 17, 1988.
Late Pa Odumosu, was born in 1915 in the hinterland town of Ijebu Ode, now Ogun State. He trained as a Carpenter. He later joined the Post and Telegraph Department. He was a focal member of the Postal Workers Union. He was disengaged following the general strike embarked upon by the Postal workers in 1945. Upon his disengagement from the Department, he went back to his carpentry work. He opened a workshop in Lagos Island, later moved his workshop to Oyingbo area of the then Colony of Lagos
He had many women in the harem and sired many children. As he claimed ‘he was instructed to produce the next messiah’. One of his daughters, Ms. Adeyinka Odumosu, put the numbers of his women at 46 and his children at 153. He neither married any of the women as he ‘claimed it was against the doctrine of his Gospel’. He practiced what he called, ‘brotherhood and sisterhood of the body and soul’
Pa Odumosu was a local carpenter whose carpentry shed was located in a back street in the Oyingbo area of Ebute Meta, then in the Federal Colony of Lagos. He had the habit of gathering together those around his workshop in the evenings for worship.
Now his children, apparently unable to sustain the sect and the harem left behind by their maverick patriarch, has taken some harsh decisions. They have started dismantling whatever is left of the Church, the Universal College Regeneration.
FEFERITY MAGAZINE visited the remains of the once sprawling estate. It was all in total ruins. Our investigations revealed that most of the wives, children, and devotees had fled the enclave.
A roadside artisan nearby told our Lagos correspondent that ‘most of them have left. Only a few still come to oversee whatever is left here. One son and a particular woman like this. I believe they are children of Papa. The place is in total ruins as you too can see. God is great!’.
Truly, many of the buildings in the vast estate have been pulled down. The purpose of pulling down is, however, not known. But we gathered that some Pentecostal churches might have bought some parts of the land. This is evident by numbers of Pentecostal churches springing up within the estate.
All the businesses are said to have wound up too. The barber’s shop in Mende area of Maryland and Ketu are long gone, while the bakeries and restaurants have also wound up operations.
The reasons for the collapse of the businesses were not far-fetched. We gathered authoritatively that they were not really set up to make profits. The man ran them as social services. Even in the Church, he was said never to have collected neither Offerings nor Tithes from devotees. Rather, he saw to their welfare and needs.
Our investigations further revealed that not after the demise of the patriarch of the enclave, Pa Odumosu, the enclave found it extremely difficult to sustain their lives. Their feedings, welfare, and general well-being were totally taken care of by the Leader.
While alive, there are many myths and tales woven around the man. He was said to have serially procreated from women of all status. From wives, mothers, daughters of devotees, from mother to daughter, siblings, sundry others. The artisan who decided to speak to us off camera laughed off the numbers of women or children the late leader might have.
According to him: ‘That Papa himself might not likely know the numbers of women he had children from or the numbers of children he had. He had them in droves and dozens. Ah, my brother, they are many and varied’, he said.
One easily noticeable development is the Church building, directly opposite the enclave. It looks desolate and largely unkempt. Also, some Pentecostal churches are seen springing up in the estate.
Further checks by our Lagos Correspondent revealed that most of the children of the late sect leader had transmuted, against the wishes of their late father, into Orthodox and Pentecostal Christianity. The man was said to loath white garments’’ churches while alive. They have abandoned the line of the doctrine of their late patriarch.
Scores of the wives and devotees, who could no longer stay in the enclave have since left for unknown destinations.
We eventually got in touch with one of the daughters of the late Jesu Oyingbo. She happens to be his surviving eldest daughter, Ms. Adeyinka Odumosu. She reluctantly about her late father and happenings in the estate. She disclosed that in total the enigma religion sect leader had over 150 children from some 50 women. According to her, he did not believe in marriage or husband and wife theory, he believed in brotherhood and sisterhood relationships. He called everybody brothers and sisters.
On the apparent crises rocking the family, the Sect and the business left behind by their late father, Pa Odumosu, Ms. Odumosu traced that the crunch of the crises in the family, which have eaten very deep into other areas to poverty: ‘When people are unhappy and angry, it brings out the worst in them’, she retorted.
She recalled sadly that all efforts resolve the family disputes were been spurned by her elders in the family. ‘I am a woman. I have elder brothers. I have called them. I told them we should gather everybody and listen to their grievances and give each what is due to him or her, but they refused’.
Story by Afolayan Adebiyi, Lagos, Nigeria
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