Olufunmilayo Immanuel Odumosu declared himself as Jesus who had come to lead the people from darkness to light in 1959. Although when he announced many people laughed, shook their heads in utter disbelief while some believed and were grateful for witnessing the second coming of Jesus Christ.
He said “I am Jesus, the very kind whose second coming was foretold in the new testament. I have come and those who believe in me will have everlasting life and joy. I am the missing of the trinity. I have to prepare the faithful for the judgement day”.
After declaring himself as Jesus Christ, he was loved, honoured and even gained disciples and followers. But those that do not believe him packed their belongings and left the community for him. He taught his followers that he was the actual Jesus Christ and his presence on this planet turned into his second coming. In the beginning of his ministry, the gathering was little, around 30 individuals could be included in 1954. His church was named universal college of regeneration (UCR), it was first in the Oyingbo suburb of Lagos but was later moved to Awoyokun street in palm grove and later to Immanuel street, Maryland Lagos. The first area where his church was built was where he got the alias “Jesu Oyingbo” from. Eventhough he called himself a religious leader and declared himself Jesu Oyingbo, he never imparted any attribute to Jesus Christ. After moving to the church, he told his members to leave their house and rent a house near the church premises. Later on, a lot of his followers packed into the church compound and they became enslaved.
Odumosu was born in 1915 to Jacob Odumosu, his grandfather was Joseph Odumosu, a famous traditional healer in Ijebu Ode. Trained as a carpenter, he served with the Post and Telegraph Department during World War II. An active member of the postal workers union. He later took carpentry work and opened a shop in the island. However, he struggled as a carpenter and was always in debt. He went to jail for 6 months as a result of huge debt from his creditors. During this period, Odumosu attended various Protestant churches in Lagos but soon claimed he received dreams and visions from God. He deciphered a portion of the dreams as messianic dreams and that he was placed as a saviour that has come to redeem the world.
It was alleged that there were books written by his grandfather on herbalist practices.it was also alleged that those books were passed on to him, especially the books are known as “iwe iwosan”, “owe Egboogi”, “iwe isoji” and “iwe Ala”.translated as books of healing, hens and revival and dreams. It was rumoured that these books were the sources of his powers. There is even a Yoruba song that acknowledged how divinity claims despite not quite accepting of the claims which go thus
Emi o mo Jesu Oyingbo
Emi o mo Jesu Agege
Emi o mo Jesu Maharajii
Jesu ti mo l’apata Ayeraye
I don’t know Jesus of Oyingbo
I don’t know Jesus of Agege
I don’t know Jesus of Maharajii
The Jesus I know is the rock of ages.
Though he never taught or act like Jesus, he still claimed to be Jesus. His pattern of teaching was distinctly different from the Bible records of Jesus Christ or any of His disciples. His mode of conversion is to whip the new male convert with 9 strokes of the cane, the cane which some said was inherited from his grandfather. He described the strokes as a baptism that they needed to become a part of the flock under his care.
He ventured into numerous enterprises to find a new Jerusalem and reduced his sermons. Some of the ventures were Jolly Makers and Happy Day meals canteens, Deluxe bakeries makers of Goodluck bread etc.
It was also revealed that Jesu Oyingbo was married to over 30 women and was a father to dozen. Members of his commune slept with one another’s wives. He justified his liberal and abundant life by saying that while the first Jesus came to sacrifice and suffer. He, the second Jesus simply came to enjoy life.” I have come to enjoy my life”, he often said.
Eventually, nature called the supposedly immortal “Jesu Oyingbo” and he answered. He was gripped by the cold hands of death in 1988 when he was 73, and he died in a hospital outside the commune. But did he rise on the 3rd day just like he had prophesied?
No, he did not. And stories about the rain, lightning and thunder on the 3rd day of his death were unconfirmed in any reports. What happened after his death? There was a prolonged chaotic battle between his wives, children and members because he left without a will. But at the end of the day, the court ruled in favour of the children who then evicted their father’s followers. That marked the end of the Nigerian self-acclaimed Jesus.
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