By Precious Igbonwelundu
The illegal healing centre discovered at Isheri-Osun where about 15 chained persons were rescued was uncovered following a distress message to Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, The Nation learnt on Sunday.
It was gathered that someone had sent an SOS to the governor on activities in the place Blessings of Goodness Healing Church situated at 26, Alafia Street, Oriofe Ijegun Isheri-Osun.
The governor, it was gathered, forwarded the SOS to the State Police chief Zubairu Muazu, an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) who directed the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Chike Ibe to investigate.
The Nation reports that the church, an uncompleted building surrounded by dirty and stinking water was a beehive of mosquitoes and other reptiles found in standing water.
The only benefitting sight was a well netted room self-contained said to have been occupied by a female epileptic patient whose parents visited regularly.
It was gathered that most of the inmates were desperate to go home but could not as their folks were yet to pay certain amounts of money. While some of the victims were mentally unstable, others sounded coherently and claimed they were brought by their parents for either alcoholism or irrational behaviours.
According to one Adewale Adetona, he did not know how he got to the church, claiming he was just kidnapped at the instance of his mother Alhaja Monsurat Tiamiyu.
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“It was one early morning, while I was sleeping, I heard that some people want to take me before I noticed I was just kidnapped and brought there.
“I was not happy staying at that church. I have my own life to live but I couldn’t all the while I was there. I couldn’t perform my daily routine. I was brought to the place without an option. I was not given a choice.
“They said it is a church but these are mad people. What am I doing where there are mad people? The only thing they used to tell me is that I was already there and there was nothing I can do.”
Denying claims by his mother that he was unstable, Adetona said if that was the case why was he not taken to the hospital instead of being brought to a centre that makes people go mad?
But Alhaja Tiamiyu said Adetona usually misbehaved and put her to shame.
“He might lock himself up in the house while people will be knocking and he won’t open up. People might be in the compound and playing, he can just start saying gibberish. On the first of January, I was in the police station
“Everyone was celebrating the new year, he just went out and said the Igbo man is staring at him and that was how it started. Suddenly, he came back with a cutlass and that was how the neighbourhood scattered.
“I have taken him to a hospital and when I heard that a prayer is being held about spiritual hazards and those that have gone there before gave their testimonies, I arranged to take him there from home because if I told him to follow me, he would not agree.”
Another inmate Solomon Ogboki, an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) holder said his condition had improved since his parents took him to the church mainly because he longer had access to alcohol.