The Bible verse from Isaiah 54:17 declares that no weapon formed against you will prosper, and every accusing tongue will be condemned.
Ibadan, located in Oyo State, southwestern Nigeria, is a significant city in West Africa. It is home to the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s first university, established in 1948 during the colonial era. Among its notable attractions is the Zoological Garden, one of the oldest in the country, where visitors often seek out the majestic lions for an unforgettable experience. In 1991, during the Easter Lenten season, the zoo became a popular destination for families, couples, and tourists.
However, unbeknownst to other visitors, one particular person had a different motive. Bishop Daniel Abodunrin, also referred to as a pastor or bishop, had an unconventional plan for that day. His goal was to recreate a biblical story from the Book of Daniel, in which the protagonist, Daniel, faced lions unharmed.
Wearing a flowing red robe and clutching a large Bible, Pastor Abodunrin marched towards the lion enclosure, despite the alarmed shouts and warnings from zookeepers. Some accounts suggest he snuck in quickly, while others state that he managed to convince a zookeeper to allow him entry, trusting that God would demonstrate signs and wonders.
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Terrified families enjoying their picnics watched with shock and terror as Abodunrin chanted Bible verses and spoke in tongues. He believed that his faith and spiritual powers would protect him, just as they did for Daniel. The crowd anticipated a faith-enhancing miracle, while others prepared for a potentially disastrous outcome.
As Abodunrin approached the lions, they retreated to a corner of their cage, instinctively avoiding the intruder. The tension in the air was palpable as everyone watched in disbelief. The man in the red robe, armed only with a Bible, confronted the fierce creatures, attempting to subdue them with his spiritual authority. Unfazed by warnings of imminent danger, he persisted in chanting, gesturing, and commanding the lions to be still.
In a tragic turn of events, the lions abruptly charged at Abodunrin, overpowering him. The crowd witnessed a gruesome struggle as he was torn apart and devoured. A single bite from a lion can swiftly kill a human. The red robe stained with blood and the torn Bible were haunting reminders of the ill-fated encounter.
The aftermath of the incident sparked controversy. While some believed that the lions should be killed for attacking the pastor, others saw the lion as a beast acting according to its nature. A journalist who experienced the events wrote an article defending the lion’s behavior, emphasizing that it was not a rational being. Nonetheless, some individuals insisted that the lion must have been possessed to harm the anointed “man of God.”
This incident serves as a cautionary tale, prompting reflection on the importance of rational thinking and questioning religious ideologies that may lead to tragic outcomes. It highlights the need to balance faith with common sense and respect for the natural instincts of creatures.