Paul Obayi, a popular Catholic priest in Nsukka Diocese, Enugu State, has disclosed how he went from being a tout and a part of a secret cult to becoming a Catholic priest.
Father Okunerere, also referred to as Mr. Obayi, is the spiritual leader of the Okunerere Adoration Ministry in Nsukka.
On October 8, the cleric threatened to leave the church due to what he claimed to be tyranny by Godfrey Onah, the diocese’s bishop.
Among other things, he had claimed that on October 7, a group of Catholic priests, purportedly acting at the bishop’s orders, had broken into his adoration ground and broken down his gate in an attempt to take his belongings.
However, it was claimed that the priest said on Sunday that he had changed his mind about leaving the church.
The priest said in a video clip that was posted on his ministry’s official Facebook page on Sunday that he had already made up his mind on where he would go, but he changed his mind due to the “barrage of calls” he received following his threat.
HIS MEMBERSHIP OF SECRET CULT
Mr. Obayi, an associate professor, was upset with fellow Catholic priests who he claimed had attacked his ministry’s grounds and broken down his fence in another video footage that was also posted on his ministry’s Facebook page on Sunday.
“Let no one remind me of (my past) yesterday. This person you are seeing was worse than any of you,” Mr Obayi began, apparently addressing the priests.
“I am a retired Onitsha tout. I used to play karate. I had my black belt. So those people who were kicking this gate, if I get you, I will rubbish your name,” he said in a mixture of Igbo and English languages.
Anambra State’s Onitsha is the town where the priest had previously lived.
The clergyman then revealed that he was a member of a cult.
“All of you who are cult people. I was the secretary of the occult kingdom in 1985 (and) 1986. Why are you throwing me back to the old time,” he said.
However, he did not mention the name of the occult group he belonged to.
The cleric is renowned for his exorcisms and for demolishing shrines in Enugu and other places.
HOW HE BECAME A PRIEST
Mr Obayi narrated that it was at the time when he had no intention of becoming a priest that he had the manifestation of his calling by God.
He recalled, “When I was in an office, God called me directly and said, ‘Paul Paul, why not go to seminary school?'”
Mr. Obayi claimed that after receiving the call and becoming completely perplexed, he called to ask about the Catholic priesthood and seminary school, which is the training ground for aspiring Catholic priests.
The priest claimed that he had no one to mentor him in the seminary when he accepted the call to become a Catholic priest.
“I said (to God) raise someone who will sponsor me if it is true that your hand is in it (the call to the priesthood),” he recalled.
He added that after asking for a lift in a car, the owner unexpectedly invited him to think about enrolling in the seminary, promising to cover his tuition and other expenses.
“The man was an ex-seminarian,” he said, promising to give details of his priesthood journey “next week.”