This story happened years ago and I always wondered how it really went down. I now present it to you, as narrated by Abiyamo. It is very interesting and eye opening.
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.
– Isaiah 54:17
The city of Ibadan in Oyo State, southwestern Nigeria is one of the largest in West Africa. It is home to the first university in Nigeria, University of Ibadan, established by the colonial masters in 1948. One of the most famous features of this great citadel of learning is its Zoological Garden, which is one of the oldest in the country. The zoo plays host to various animals but the most legendary of them all are the lions. For many visitors, a trip to the famed zoo is not complete without seeing the majestic lions. So it was during the Easter Lenten season of 1991, all of Ibadan was buzzing with excitement of the season and naturally, one of the prime spots of attraction for many families was the University of Ibadan Zoo. Families, couples and tourists trooped into the zoo that fateful day.
However, unknown to all of the other visitors, there was one particular visitor who had another sinister agenda. Bishop (some referred to him as a pastor or a bishop) ‘Daniel’ Abodunrin’s intention that fateful day was not to see the lions and take some memorable pictures with them.
His goal was to demonstrate something that had never been done before. His plan was to replicate what was written in the Holy Bible thousands of years ago. It was the story of a Jewish boy in Jerusalem named Daniel who was captured by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon who served in the king’s court until the time of Cyrus, the Persian emperor.
ENTERING THE DEN OF THE LIONS
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” – Genesis 1:26
Fast forward to 1991 AD. Location: Ibadan. A pastor in West Africa attempts to recreate what was narrated in the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel. Pastor Abodunrin donned a flowing red robe and clutched his big Holy Bible. As he made his way for the lion enclosure, alarmed zoo keepers shouted and warned him (some other records stated that he sneaked in and it all happened very fast while another version has it that he managed to convince one of the zoo keepers to allow him enter and let God demonstrate signs and wonders saying that the God of Daniel is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow).
One thing was clear: Abodunrin did not listen to any of those warning him. Terrified families who were enjoying their picnic looked on with a bewildering mixture of shock and terror, screams rented the serene atmosphere of the zoo but Abodunrin was just chanting Bible verses at the top of his voice and speaking in tongues. He made it into the enclosure of the lions and stared at them. The lions stared back at him. It was a most discomforting sight for everyone, including the lions. An exchange of death stares and at a point, a deafening silence fell over the whole place. It was all like a movie. Devout Christians in the crowd were waiting to see a faith-enhancing miracle while some others toughened their minds for the bloodiest drama of the century.