I Am that I Am
The Founder and Leader of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Olumba Olumba Obu was born in a community called Biakpan in the forests of South East Nigeria in 1918. (Biakpan is located about 150 kilometres north of Calabar, capital of of Cross River State. It is predominantly a farming area. It has a mild vegetation and further more bisected by beautiful streams and rivers. Biakpan is in Ugbaghara clan. It is made up of five villages).
Olumba’s birth was expected because it had been prophesied many years before. Around 150 years previous, in a time before the great missionary activity of the late nineteenth century, a prophetess of Biakpan by the name of Otom Eggan Otim Oshim had a number of revelations concerning the coming of the World Ruler, the Word of God, the King of kings. Her story along with these revelations and others were recorded and handed down by the ‘Visioners Council’ of Biakpan. This body was inaugurated in 1770 by Prophetess Otom who was its first chairman and she handed the records over to Prophet Enun Nkpa.
The Visioners Council
As well as being the custodian of the prophecies, the council would give advice to the Biakpan community, especially regarding major decisions such as those involving war with their enemies. It had taken over from the ‘Sorcerers’ Council’ which had been made up of sorcerers, herbalists and witch doctors who would advise the ‘Onun’ or chief. This had often made him to be too autocratic in his stance, causing the elders and the youth to rise up in protest against his obnoxious laws. Because of the good services rendered to the community by the Visioners Council they took over from the Sorcerers Council which as a result died a natural death.
The Visioners Council only shared its secrets with those who had been initiated into it but it was said that ‘in the fullness of time all would be revealed to the world. The man who was to disclose this secret was the last and final member Pastor Kenneth Etekpi Bassey. This is in a booklet titled ‘I am that I am’ published by Brotherhood Press from which the information above is sourced. Below are edited extracts from this booklet.
‘Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.’ (Revelation 3:12).
‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever’ (John 14:16).
‘I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.’ (John 16:7).
‘He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12).
Some testimonies, from renowned personalities about the Promised Comforter form the introduction to the book I AM THAT I AM.
‘Dr David E. A. Okparaeke of Owerri, in Imo State of Nigeria is a man with impressive credentials. He is a medical doctor and a psychiatrist and a member of the British Board of Surgeons. He writes:
‘In 1975 the British Medical Council sent me and some other doctors to India, to undertake Cancer Research Project. During one of our leisure hours, we decided to climb the Himalaya Mountain for relaxation. While on the mountain, there came a whirlwind that sent me into a trance. While in that trance I saw a rainbow in the sky with an inscription on it, OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU, 34 AMBO STREET, CALABAR, NIGERIA.
‘Under the rainbow I saw a GOLDEN CHAIR with a figure sitting on it. He was robed in a purple soutane with the Holy Bible on his thighs, He held a sceptre in his right hand and on his head was a GOLDEN CROWN with a crescent. People of all races dressed in white prostrated before the man and knocked their heads on the ground three times to him. Then a voice rang through saying, ‘PEACE ON EARTH, LOVE ONE ANOTHER.’ ‘I must confess that before I saw this vision, I had never before heard of OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU or Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. Then I started wondering if, Olumba could be a human being or a spirit. Could there be a place like 34 Ambo Street, Calabar. In August 1976, after my return to Nigeria, I decided to go to Calabar where I discovered Olumba Olumba Obu to be a real human being.’
Dr S. J. Bazie (alias J. B. Narula) is an Indian. He is an internationally renowned astral projectionist who holds a string of university degrees including doctor of psychology, medicine and of nature therapy. In August, 1975, he wrote as follows from his far away India, as a result of his miraculous discovery of Olumba Olumba Obu during his astral projections and meditations: ‘Your Highness I am your child Dr.P.C Aggarwal (Dr Bazie) of Eastern world. I have long recognised your DEITY and wish to come and see your physical face. I have been wondering what sort of a man you are. Each time I try to visualise you in meditations here in India, all I could see was a ball of radiating rays of bright light, even brighter than PEACE AND LOVE, which increased my curiosity, hence my resolve to visit Calabar at the earliest possible moment.’
Dr. Bazie testified as follows after his arrival and subsequent meeting with Leader Olumba Olumba Obu on the 10th October, 1977: ‘When I was about to enplane from Bombay India, on my way to Nigeria I started feeling home sick and lonely. The feeling increased after the plane had taken off. Suddenly, I found a man sitting by my side talking to me and comforting me. When I finally met Leader Olumba, I was astonished to see that the man talking to me on the aircraft was the very Olumba Olumba Obu."
Assasu Inyang Ibom, the Director of Esom Order and author of Beyond Prejudice writes: ‘Without delay, investigation upon investigations was made from the earth to other planes of manifest. Every result was that the Leader of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star was a Super-Human Being. If this was true, he must have come from any of the planes we have searched for: But he would not be found in any plane except that he is found everywhere independent of space and infinite to potencies. In each plane that Olumba Olumba Obu is found, from the earth to the moon, the sun and the stars, from one heaven to another, no one questions his spiritual potency. Before him the cosmos submits as the Son of man. Excessive astral projection was effected and the achievement, which we expected in those planes, was in entire confusion. Olumba Olumba Obu would not be a native of any of those planes the experts reached by astral projection. However, this being is found in all planes without doubt, even in hell in special form.’
In 1967 the following headlines appeared in an American newspaper. "THE GREATEST NEWS OF THE WORLD JESUS HAS RETURNED TO THIS EARTH". It was carried by the VOICE, a universal newspaper published by the spiritual unity of nations in the issue of June - August, 1967.
In 1973, an American woman, Dr Esther Weils of Malibu, California, United States of America, who is regarded as a personologist of note, wrote to the Promised Comforter thus: "Dear sir, last night I had a dream in which you were present. You gave me your address and stated you were in Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. I believe this note is short. But if you do exist and you are able to write please answer. For in my dream the world was at an end.’
From the United States of America James Ellerbe, now Bishop, has this to tell the promised Comforter. "Truly you have convinced me beyond doubt, that God is now on earth in our midst, dwelling not only in Calabar but all over the earth. Right now many Americans want to visit Calabar to spend sometime with the Holy Father. I talk about you to them all the time. I know you have said that we should not tell them that God is in Africa. But I do not know anything else to tell them except that God has come and has started his New Kingdom."
PASTOR K. E. BASSEY’S TESTIMONY
A Special Invitation
It was in the month of December 1945 and schools had closed for the Christmas holidays. I had gone to pay homage to the head of our family Bia-Ada, Onun Okpo Ogboni and whilst there, Prophet Enun Nkpa, a surviving member of the Visioners’ Council, sent word to me that he would like to see me that evening. We met at his house and at the end of my visit we agreed to meet again the following evening at about 7.30pm.
The next day, before 7.30pm I was already there, knocking at his door. After a pause, I heard a voice saying ‘Kugere’ which is Biakpan for ‘open’. I opened and closed the door behind me and entered the dimly lit room. Prophet Nkpa raised the wick of his lantern and the place became brighter. ‘Avu ma?’ (Have you come in peace?) he asked ‘Mvu ma’, (I have come in peace) I answered. He then offered me a seat and I sat down on the flat carved wooden seat or ‘ekke’. He brought out a native plate or ‘itut’, made of calabash. The plate contained some quantity of unpeeled kola nut (igbu). There was another pot (ezei) containing bitter kola (yogiri) and he also brought out two native spoons (igori) and an animal horn of a medium size to serve as a cup (upe). There was no table so everything was placed on the floor.
Before the initiation, Prophet Enun Nkpa prayed in the following words: ‘God in Heaven and God on Earth, we give thee thanks. I am following exactly the footsteps of my predecessors. I am admitting this your son into the Visioners’ Council (Egba gba Anu-uyen eshi-shi). At the end of his prayer he revealed the prophecy of the expected world ruler to me. I was warned to keep it secret till the fullness of time. He served me the feast, one component after the other and I in turn served him, then we drank from the same cup. ‘You will live to tell the story to the whole world’ he concluded, ‘May He be with you.’
Keeping the Secrets
Frankly speaking, I did not understand the significance of my initiation into the Visioners Council. I forgot about it and in 1950 left for the then Western Region of Nigeria. In 1964 around October I returned to Calabar and then on the 2nd February 1965, I got baptized into the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. The late Pastor Lawrence Itam performed the baptism at Henshaw Town beach.
Inquisitive minds might query why I did not publish this book all these years. I have this to say: nobody in my position could have done more than what I did. For one, I was under the oath of secrecy and secondly, I met with Prophet Enun Nkpa after I had been baptized and asked for permission to publish the revelation. This he refused. In fact, on one occasion, he referred me to an adage. ‘An old man knows that no one can run faster than his shadow but a young man feels he can’.
After the Nigerian civil war, while at Akamkpa, where Biakpan people were camped as refugees, I saw Prophet Nkpa. I requested him to come to Calabar to give the revelations. He replied that he was not elected to tell the story. He pointed out that if he had been elected to tell the story to the world, he could have done it without me. Then he warned me not to be a fool.
The Fullness of Time
In October 1983 I fell terribly ill and at one stage became completely deaf. I was being gradually transferred to the world beyond and started enjoying life there. One night, the Leader came and operated on me. My hair and my fingernails were removed together with my skin and dumped at a corner of my room. The Leader brought out new skin, hair and finger nails from a small bag and gave them to me to wear. He breathed into my nostrils and put His two fingers into my ears and asked me to sit up. He then removed his two fingers from my ears and I became once more a living soul.
I had prayed as I was going to bed that night that if I was really assigned to disclose the secret concealed by the Visioner Council about Olumba Olumba Obu for several years, it should be revealed to me; if not I should be made to forget all about Pastor Enun Nkpa and the rest of them. I slept off and dreamt, in my dream I found myself in a room sitting on a chair at a table, writing. Suddenly, the Leader and ‘Asebereti’ (a popular name for Prophet Enun Nkpa) came in and sat directly opposite me. When I lifted up my head and saw them, the two of them smiled and looked at each other. The Leader gave a pen to the prophet, who subsequently passed it to me. This pen was the old type called ‘pen-holder’ with a nib. I was very happy when I woke up, for it was there and then that I knew that this was the fullness of time and I had now been assigned to write the revelations below.
About five centuries ago, the people of Biakpan, a peculiar nation, from amongst whom the greatest cosmic Teacher, the Ruler of the Universe and Promised Comforter was destined to be born summoned themselves together and deliberated on the vexed question of the intermittent outbreak of inter-tribal war with their neighbours, the Okoyong people, who lived and still live along the Cross River.
The outcome of that deliberation was the decision to move out of the land and look for a more peaceful land to settle in. Though it was a painful decision to make, it had to be taken. The movement was to start without delay so that more lives would not be lost. The point of departure was called Ebe Oton in the Creek Town area. It was a swampy area full of wild palm trees.
As a migrating people, they did not have any particular piece of land in mind. But the propelling force, the unseen Power that had led them out of Ebe Oton knew that they were heading towards the Promised Land. Having resigned themselves to this Force, Providence took control of them. The journey was tedious and exhausting. They met and fought wild beasts. New babies were born who turned into grown men and women. Some fell by the way side, yet still the journey continued.
The first place they arrived at was Okput Ipia. Here they were not comfortable because of other unsolved and complicated problems both internal and external so they moved on to Otim Enyo where they settled, farmed and took to other occupations. Life began to be normal but this peaceful condition was punctuated and interrupted by outbreaks of inter-tribal war, this time with their kith and kin, the Ikun people. The decision to move from the land this time was not difficult. The Biakpan people departed leaving the Ikun people behind and moved on to Ozoi Etono.
At Ozoi Etono they became fully established and here they formed their government and cabinet and crowned their ruler (Onun). However, they only enjoyed a brief period of peace and stability because as we shall see, disaster struck and the people were compelled to move to the present day Biakpan.
THE PROPHETESS OF BIAKPAN AND HER REVELATIONS
Prophetess Otom, the Visioner, was the daughter of Onun Ogim Eleh. She was married to Onun Eggan Otim Osim but the marriage was not a successful one because Prophetess Otom had protested from the outset that she would not like to be given in marriage to anyone. She felt that with all its attendant problems and commitments, marriage would seriously affect her spiritual power. Her parents were unhappy with her protests against her marriage to Onun Eggan Otim Osim and showed their displeasure, but by persuasion a compromise was reached and the marriage was contracted.
For many years, there were no offspring because of her refusal to be intimate with her husband. After continual pressure from her husband, the prophetess eventually threatened him with divorce to enable her to serve her God with devotion. This threat brought prolonged argument between husband and wife for some days but once again, the matter was partially settled by the parents of both parties in a befitting traditional manner.
Eggan’s Death Foretold
One early morning Prophetess Otom woke her husband and narrated to him a dream she had had about their farm. ‘We were working on our farm when we heard shouts coming from different directions. They were from other farmers also working on their farms who were drawing attention to on-coming animals. The animals turned out to be bush cows and you ran out with your special weaved net (ukpo) and a club (izai). A moment later the bush cows started chasing people. Unfortunately, you were knocked down by one of them, later to be carried home, stone dead. At home all efforts to bring you back to life proved abortive.’
Prophetess Otom then pleaded with her husband not to lead the hunting expedition (Uyim) that had been planned the previous night. She said she was afraid of what would happen because of her dream but her husband replied sharply, almost in anger, ‘I have never been known to be a coward, my word has always been my bond. Even the smallest child in Ozoi Etono knows that Eggan Otim Osim is Eggan Otim Osim. Death is death and life is life. I cannot fear death. To not lead the hunting expedition as planned would be an act of cowardice on my part.’
On the following day Eggan Otim Osim led the hunting expedition. But some hours after they had started hunting, he was knocked down by one of the wild beasts and carried home on a stretcher, stone dead. The news of Eggan's death spread like wild fire. ‘So Eggan is dead!’ shouted Prophetess Otom at the top of her voice as she lay flat on her back, weeping. The crowd that gathered could not be controlled; Eggan was dead! They all wept. While the weeping and wailing was going on, the two families of Eggan and his wife were meeting to finalise some befitting burial arrangements for Onun Eggan Otim Osim.
The death of Eggan confirmed that Prophetess Otom was indeed serving a living God. It was to let the people know the efficacy of her dreams and visions which in the future would come to reveal so much to a still doubting world.
During the night following the day that Eggan died, something spectacular happened. Prophetess Otom was weeping alone in her room. Every attempt to console her had failed but she eventually dozed off due to fatigue. She later recounted: ‘As I was fast asleep an elegant young man dressed in simple white clothing (ugba ebubut) appeared to me smiling and said, ‘Weep no more Prophetess Otom. Your husband is not dead, he is alive.’ The young man got hold of my fore-finger and helped me make three circles (izuk) on the deceased; one ‘O’ on his forehead, one ‘O’ on his abdomen and one ‘O’ on his right knee.’
‘After this exercise, the young man disappeared and I woke up to see my husband opening and closing his eyes and mouth at short intervals. I watched him raise his hands one after the other very gently and then he turned his eyes to my direction where I was sitting and watching but he couldn't recognise me. He struggled to get himself into a sitting position, but failed. It was at this stage that I went and helped him to sit up.’
‘After a while, he fixed his eyes on me and called me by name, 'Otom! Are you Otom my wife?’ I answered in the affirmative. He then asked, ‘Where am I? What am I doing here?’ I narrated the events that led to his being there. He wept and I joined him in weeping.’
‘As we were consoling and embracing ourselves, we heard a knock at the door. It was my father, Onun Ogim Eleh and it was the first knock in that early morning. He almost collapsed when he saw the out-stretched hands of my husband trying to embrace him, as I swung open the door. ‘Stop, don't embrace me! I’ll have nothing to do with a ghost. We shall give you a befitting burial. You were a great hero, we all know this,’ screamed my father, pointing his walking stick at Eggan who was standing motionless, staring back at him. I fell on my knees weeping before my father, holding firm his feet. ‘Father, what you are seeing is my husband Eggan, my real husband, not his ghost!’ Ogim Eleh dropped his walking stick and the two men embraced each other.’
That early morning drama drew the attention of a few passers-by who formed a small crowd and the news of the resurrection of Eggan started spreading. The extra-ordinary had happened.
Controversy in the Community
Those who heard the news could not believe their ears. Everyone wanted to see Eggan with their own eyes and to know more about the Mystery Man who had brought him back to life through the mysterious inscription of the three circles. Arrangements for the burial had now been overtaken by events and while a cross section of the community was overwhelmed with joy at the amazing news, there were some disgruntled elements. These people were led by the necromancers, sorcerers and native doctors. They quickly held a series of meetings with people in the community telling them not to believe the story of Prophetess Otom Eggan Otim Osim.
The community became divided on the matter and so Onun Eggan and Prophetess Otom were summoned to the palace of Onun Egim Edu. At the palace, Onun Oppia Etoti stood up when the couple took their seats. He was an intelligent young man who had acted for Onun Egim Edu on several occasions as his spokesman when serious matters were brought to the palace. The meeting took the form of a small court session with Oppia for the prosecution. The interrogation ran as follows:
Onun Oppia Etoti: Prophetess Otom, everyone in this community was seriously disturbed by events in your husband's house the other day, were you aware?
Prophetess Otom: Yes!
Onun Oppia Etoti: Among other things, you said that the resurrection of Eggan Otimm Osim your husband, was as a result of three circles made by this your mystery man. Could you confirm the story?
Prophetess Otom: That is a true story
Onun Oppia Etoti: Could you tell us what this your man in the dream looked like?
Prophetess Otom narrated the story of the young man, how he looked and the miracles he had performed in the dream to the anxious audience who were held spell-bound by her account.
Onun Oppia Etoti: Did this your man tell you his name?
Prophetess Otom: He said his name is Orok Sughuren (The Word of God), Etuk (The Way), Kakorok (The Truth), Ima (Love).
Onun Oppia Etoti: Did this your man know that you would be subjected to this series of questioning?
Prophetess Otom: If he did not know why did he furnish me the answers I have given you?
The Onun’s council members then consulted with each other for a brief moment and came out with this statement. ‘You can go with your husband. You may be re-examined any other day.’ They left the palace much more respected.
Three Nights of Dreams
Prophetess Otom returned home with her husband full of thanks to God. As a token of appreciation to the God who had sent the Mystery Man that had brought Eggan back to life through the inscription of the three circles, she declared for herself seven days fasting and praying. Three days to the end of this period, Prophetess Otom had a succession of dreams. She was so disturbed after the third night’s dream that she decided to tell her revelations to the Onun the following day.
She arrived at the palace early enough to be among the first set of people to meet with Onun Egim Edu. Words had reached the Onun that morning that Prophetess Otom wanted to see him, this time in private. He ordered that she be ushered in. This gesture was unexpected but all the same, it happened. ‘Onun arai ma’ (Good morning your majesty), she greeted the Onun. ‘Edibo Onenwana! avanama’ (The great woman! Good morning), replied the Onun. Then she reached for the small pot of native chalk (Itut Esu), took some quantity and rubbed it around her neck as is the custom. She made the usual traditional greeting ‘Emen utu esasara. Ze Kamanu ikom uko enwe’ (Long live the Onun. May the God of the land grant your request), then knelt before the Onun and narrated the ordeals of the past three nights to him.
The First Night
‘That night,’ Prophetess Otom began, ‘I saw in my revelation many people in white, both male and female, young and old. Some of them had beards and wore white garments. Some were white in complexion and some were black, tall and slim. They sang many songs in different languages that I could not understand. Those in Biakpan ran thus (English translation): ‘The King of kings is making his physical appearance here on earth, He is called the Word of God, He will come like the fire, He will come like the storm, He will come like the thunder, All power in heaven and on earth have been surrendered to Him, There is great joy, joy, joy in heaven and on earth.’ The people sang and danced around the town. Some of the onlookers were moved to join them and dance too.
The Second Night
The revelation of the second night came with a warning:
‘Everyone should refrain from all manner of sins. There should be no more prostitution, stealing, making of charms or bearing of grudges. A man should marry only one wife. Witches and wizards do not exist. The only thing in existence is God the Creator.’
The Third Night
The events of the third night took a different turn. Prophetess Otom continued her narrative: ‘It was the day of the introduction of the Greatest of them all, the King of kings (Onun gu tai utai). At the village square, many people had gathered. They sang and danced continuously, knocking their heads on the ground from time to time. All of a sudden, silence descended over the whole scene but this was then broken by flashes of lightening, deafening thunder and a rushing wind that brought a torrential downpouring of rain. This was to herald the next event: ‘The Coming of the Son of Man.’
‘No one was left in any doubt as to who the man was. When He finally arrived, He walked straight to his elevated seat that was fully decorated. Everyone I saw was on his or her knees and when He finally took his seat He too knelt down and knocked His forehead on the ground. After a while He stood up and addressed the gathering in many languages including Biakpan.’ The Onun then cut in, ‘What did he say in Biakpan?’ ‘He said that His coming has saved the entire world from imminent destruction and added that the manner of gathering being demonstrated would continue forever,’ answered Prophetess Otom. ‘He then waved his hands to the audience as he was leaving them and the audience reciprocated. I then woke up.’
Warning and Counter-Warning
The Onun was greatly touched by the revelations of Prophetess Otom but as he dismissed her he included a strict warning that she should not tell the revelation to anyone else until after he had consulted his advisers. Before leaving the palace, however, the prophetess delivered a counter warning to Onun Egim Edu; ‘Should the people fail to adhere strictly to the instructions in these divine revelations your kingdom will fall and be taken away from you.’ At this the Onun became furious, seeing it as an unpardonable insult and immediately summoned to his palace his advisers along with other personalities in the community including the sorcerers and witch doctors.
The Trial and Punishment of Prophetess Otom
Addressing those assembled he wasted no time with a preamble, being far too angry for that. ‘Most of you must have heard that Prophetess Otom Eggan Otim Osim, the daughter of Onun Ogim Eleh met with me this morning. I am quite sure that everybody here has been over-eager to know the outcome of that meeting.’ There was a unanimous affirmation from those assembled. The Onun then went on to inform them of the outcome of the meeting, of his warning to her to conceal the revelations and her counter warning to him concerning the fate of his kingdom should the instructions in the revelations not be heeded.
The council did not take kindly to the counter warning from Prophetess Otom and called for her to be brought to the palace. Some even demanded that only her head be brought. There was great uproar but finally she was sent for and brought before those who were to determine her fate. The prophetess was ordered to tell her story by the council’s spokesman and after repeating it, they had to agree that the revelations could no longer be regarded as secret. That notwithstanding, however, the council concluded that she should not be set free because of her insult to the Onun and the community by her threats. A suitable punishment for this would be made public the following day. As for the revelations, the council maintained that these were mere imaginations from her small mind and that no one should therefore take cognizance of the whole matter. The issue should therefore be regarded as closed, at least for the time being.
The next day, a town crier was sent out to announce to the whole community that Prophetess Otom Eggan Otim Oshim was from henceforth to be ostracized for lying and insulting Onun Egim Edu. She was not to associate with anyone in the community nor them with her, and anyone found contravening this order would be severely punished.
Seven Barren Years
Three days after the decree and without waiting for any repeal, Prophetess Otom cleared herself of the false accusation. She declared her innocence by rubbing herself with native chalk and dancing around the town talking to as many people as she met on the street. She danced to the tune of her own chorus: ‘You rogues, you wicked people, full of evil thought; people who do not wish others well. How do you expect good things to come your way? Imagine, you saying I should not talk to people. How many people have you created since the world was made?’
Continuing to dance round the town, she announced a further revelation to the entire community. She proclaimed that the worst was yet to befall them for failing to strictly adhere to the divine revelations from the Son of Man, the Ruler of the Universe, the Word of God, the Way, the Truth and Love. ‘The Owner of the World has directed that from now on there will be confusion among the Onun’s advisers and the necromancers, between husband and wife and among the men, women and children.’ She then concluded by saying, ‘The Ruler of the Universe has ordered that as a punishment for your disobedience, for a period of seven years from now, no woman will become pregnant and therefore there will be no births neither will there will be any deaths. In addition, the kingdom of Egim Edu has fallen and is taken away from him. There will be famine and the yields from the farms will continue to be disappointing for each succeeding year.’
This announcement threw the community into great confusion. Questions came from all sections of the community: ‘Who is the Ruler of the Universe and Owner of the World?’ Prophetess Otom would reply, ‘The One who is called the Word of God, the Way, the Truth and the Love.’ But still the people argued that it was all too incredible. At this point the Prophetess would tell them that they should therefore await their doom.
One year after the declaration, no conception, birth, or death was recorded in the community. There was alarm and confusion everywhere. The Onun looked to his advisers for a solution and many folk asked the Onun to appeal to the Prophetess to speak to her God that He might have a change of heart. But of course, the prophecy continued to be fulfilled.
After exactly six years the unexpected happened. Prophetess Otom broke her silence with another revelation. ‘The land has been defiled’ she revealed, ‘The remaining one year of the seven will be used for the mortification of the flesh to enable us all to move to the promised land. There the Son of Man will be born to the family of Olumba.’ Because of the unfolding of her revelations, people were now very eager to hear more of the prophetess’s messages.
The first day of the seventh year fell on ‘Eke’ (or market day). The following day is usually ‘Ibum’. From Ibum to Iquo is seven days and these seven days were declared fasting days. Each family was ordered to conduct its own fasting and this went on throughout the community with all seriousness.
Exodus and Arrival
At the end of the seventh year the great exodus began. And true to the revelation, Onun Egim Edu did not return to the Promised Land as a real Onun because the regalia and paraphernalia that constituted the kingship was not found intact. By tradition, no Onun without the complete relics had ever been regarded as a true Onun of Biapkan.
A year after the arrival of Biakpan people at the Promised Land, women began to give birth to children thus fulfilling the prophecy of Prophetess Otom Eggan Otim Osim.
THE REVELATIONS OF PROPHET ENUN NKPA
Popularly known as Asebereti, Prophet Enun Nkpa was a human achiever, a spectacular human being who did not forget events once they were registered in his memory. He was one of the greatest historians of his time, a gifted dreamer and visioner. He was the oldest man in Biakpan reaching over 110 years before he returned to his Creator in 1970. He was the man who became the custodian of all the records about young Olumba, before and after His birth which he passed on to Pastor K.E. Bassey. These records were handed over to Prophet Enun Nkpa by Prophetess Otom Eggan Osim. Prophets Onun Eggan Otim Osim and Onun Ogim Eleh were the first members of the Visioners’ Council which was headed by the prophetess.
The First Revelation
One night after falling asleep, Prophet Enun Nkpa saw the roof of his room split open and a ball of light descend into the room, growing ever larger and brighter. It finally perched on the wall and he heard a voice saying, ‘Go and inform the family of Olumba that the Word of God by name Olumba Olumba Obu will be born into their stock. The child will rule the world with an iron rod. The world will reject Him as an impostor but He is my beloved Son! All my angels shall serve Him and He will rule the world with love. Go, Be not afraid for I am with you!’
When the prophet woke, his room was very bright and the message was still ringing in his ears, quite audibly. ‘As I came out of my house, the first cock crowed and the ball of light was right before me. It seemed that one had taken control of me. As I moved forward, the ball of light moved; it became my guiding light. When I entered Akpotim (the forest between Imienyo and Onoronwanza village units), I felt like easing myself so I stopped. Amazingly the ball of light stopped too. The unusual thing was that in this forest was a strange sound that shook the forest as though great animals were fighting among themselves or some people were felling huge trees. To my astonishment, when I moved forward, the whole place became as quiet as a graveyard.
‘When I arrived at Ano Obu's compound I discovered that the family were discussing the same dream that I had had, the one which had brought me to see them,’ Prophet Enun Nkpa later recounted. A delegation was then dispatched to the residence of Onun Mba Obazhi's to whom it was revealed by Prophet Enun Nkpa that he would have a daughter who would be called Ibum Mba. She would come to be the mother of the Holy One, Olumba Olumba Obu who would make His physical appearance into the world through Biakpan. The name Ibum Mba, would be remembered throughout the length and breadth of the universe.
The Second Revelation
‘I was sitting on Ukwe (a tree trunk on which people sit to relax from time to time) on that fateful evening when I heard a voice saying, ‘Get up and go home.’ I left immediately for my house and as soon as I arrived I felt as if I was drugged. I went to bed and immediately closed my eyes and slept. Suddenly, I found myself at the stream (Edu) and it was bright day light. Many people were taking their bath then all of a sudden it started to rain. It did not last and the weather soon became clear again and then there was another shower even though the sun was still out. This was followed by shouts of ‘Anegen na me keyen agure’ which means ‘Strangers are arriving from above’. I looked up and behold, I saw the heavens opened and many steps all joined together were lowered down. The multitudes that followed were indescribable. The steps descended with the people who were dressed in immaculate white and in their midst was a woman with a wrapped child in her arms. The people were singing and dancing and you could hear the sound of trumpets.
‘As the steps touched the ground, many people gathered to receive those arriving from above. They surged forward to take a glimpse of the child and the greatest woman among women. A voice was repeatedly saying, 'Obhok ikut mi inana. Gwan gwu me ke nyo ke Eyen ujine ushushi.’ This means, ‘Touch Him not for He who is from Heaven is Holy.’ I heard a chorus singing: ‘Ukwok, aneyen ugure ma mme anotom Ame, zim zim, ishima aneyen gud. Aneyen anara ma,’ meaning, ‘The Ruler of the Universe has arrived with His angels. Peace, peace is bestowed on the entire world. The world has been salvaged! This was followed by another voice saying, ‘Ano bhe akut akom emon ame ngwu anara, ano bhe akut ate emon ame akomo ngwu atak.’ This translates as, ‘Those who will hearken to His voice shall be saved but those who will not hearken to His voice shall perish.’ I was then disconnected from the dream and woke up.’
YOUNG OLUMBA’S MIRACLES
Leader Olumba Olumba Obu’s parents were peasant farmers who loved themselves dearly. They practiced nothing more than Love, Peace, forgiveness, and all other godly virtues. None of them had been a stumbling block to the other in any form of life. They were always at the service of their own fellow human beings.
Olumba’s mother, Queen Mother Ibum Olumba had always been a source of inspiration to other women, she was born a Leader, who would forgo her food and sleep to attend to others, who needed her services even in the darkest night. Often, she would be accused of being liberal to a fault. But since this was her nature she would not help being liberal to a fault. A devoted practical Christian, she knew that she would reap her reward from her Creator, who rewards according to one's services.
A Blind Woman Receives her Sight
Olumbawas only four days old when He alerted the world that He was no ordinary child by restoring sight to a blind woman called Onori EkeEko, fondly known as 'Akeku'. She was not born blind but mysteriously lost her sight when one morning she woke up to find herself blind and had remained so for many years.
On that glorious morning Akeku had taken her bath and was on her verandah sharing jokes with some well-wishers when the news came of the feast of a new-born child. Called 'uvom' in the Biakpan language, this feast is usually conducted eight days after the birth of a child, but on this occasion it was only after four days on the advice of the 'Visioners' Council' (see 'I Am That I Am' for an explanation).Akeku immediately called for her guide to take her to pay homage to the new born baby. On arriving, she called out 'Jak aneken ari ikana, jak me,' meaning, 'Where is that our new visitor, where is he?'
Having put down her walking stick, she asked to be shown the child and was helped into the room. She stretched out her hands, feeling for the child and someone placed Him there. Immediately she gripped the boy she shouted: 'What a thing to happen in your life! People of Biakpan, this is truly a wonderful child. Oh you look so plump and healthy!' Miraculously,Akeku's sight had been restored as soon as the child had touched her hands.
Everyone present was dumb-founded as they looked at one another in amazement.Akeku then tried to carry the baby away but she was prevented and the wonderful baby boy was retrieved. She leaped out of the house shouting and danced away joyfully, embracing everyone she met. It was a wonderful morning and the people glorified God for the miraculous healing.
A Bird Apologises to Young Olumba
Young Olumba was aged only four when a very surprising incident happened. He was playing with his friends in the village when some birds flew by and a dropping from one of them landed on his hand. His companions laughed at him for what had happened but without taking any notice of them, he looked skyward for a moment then with a smile said, ‘Ngi ikughe ngwe inone enwe ividebene’ meaning, ‘The bird shall soon come to apologise.’
Some people passing by were attracted by what He had said. They laughed and mocked the young boy saying that that was not possible. But a moment later, the bird flew back and perched on His hand. He then took hold of it and stared straight into its face as though they were engaged in deep conversation. After this silent encounter, He allowed the bird to fly away. When asked why He did not use the bird to wipe the mess off His hand He responded, ‘Ge egbi gwe ono uyeni etoto ame akwa arem gbon yidani?’ or, ‘When one has apologised for what he has done, what else would you want him to do?’
A Barren Woman Made Fruitful
One day while playing with His mates, the young Olumba became thirsty. As luck would have it, He saw a woman returning from the stream with a vessel of water. He approached her and asked for some water to drink. The woman replied that unfortunately she didn't have anything for Him to drink from. Young Olumba then turned round and plucked a green leaf which He turned into a cup (ogorogot). The woman poured some water into it which He drank. He was not satisfied so asked for more and the woman obliged. A third time He requested more and once again the woman served Him willingly. This time He only sipped it then said, 'Woman, I do not want to waste your water, drink this.' He gave the remaining water to her and without hesitation she took it and drank. By this time a crowd had started to gather and He said to the woman, 'Your patience has saved you. Having conquered patience, you are no longer barren. Go home and tell your husband the good news.'
The woman was shocked and those who had witnessed the event were confounded. That evening she went to see young Olumba's earthly father and reported the incident to him. He responded saying, 'I am always afraid of that my child. If He said your womb is blessed, then it is so.' A few months later the woman became pregnant and went on to become the mother of many children. It so happened that her husband had come to settle in Biakpan from a neighbouring village as a farmer and for eleven years they had had no offspring. There was great rejoicing when they eventually returned to their village as parents blessed with children.
Mr Obutu's Corpse Brought Back to Life after Two Days
Mr Obutu was shot dead by a man who suspected him of having sex with his wife. The incident happened in the forest where he was hunting. His assailant had shadowed him there to commit the crime. After two days with no sign of Mr Obutu, search parties were sent out to find him. One such party found his body dumped in a pit and carried it home.
The necessary preparations for burial were made and relatives and sympathisers were weeping and wailing when young Olumba walked in. He asked why they were weeping and they told Him what had happened. With a smile He responded, 'Weep no more for the Saviour has arrived.' Shocked by the statement, the whole place became as quiet as a graveyard. He went in to where the corpse was laid and to those watching over it He said, 'Be witness unto the one who has come to save the world.' He then shouted at the top of His voice, 'Obutu! Obutu! Obutu! Vana ava arem oven anye Sughuran a.' this means, 'Wake up and serve thy God.' Mr Obutu immediately woke and sat up looking dazed.
The young Olumba then questioned him, 'Abhan ubhet wok e uso?' or 'Who is standing before you?' to which Mr Obutu replied, 'Mme awo,' 'It is you.' Still only aged four, Olumba told the shocked audience, 'He has come back to serve his God, my God and your God.' Before leaving, he seriously warned Mr Obutu to refrain from adultery.
Chief Okot's Slave is Resurrected
Between 1923 and 1924, another miracle was performed by young Olumba which shocked the whole neighbourhood. News had spread that a woman had died in labour and was lying dead at Anokot compound in Onoronwanza, one of the settlements that make up the community of Biakpan. The compound was that of Chief Okot Okpan Okot, the Land Chief of Biakpan, an important figure in the community who presided over all issues to do with the land and its uses. Young Olumba was at the playground with His playmates when He overheard a group of people discussing the woman's death. He told them that the woman was being tried and could be brought back to life if He'd be allowed to pray for her. When this information reached the ears of the deceased's relatives they became confused as to the authenticity of the statement but since the life of the woman was paramount, they wasted no time in pleading for young Olumba to prove His worth.
On hearing what was to happen, Olumba's earthly father seriously objected considering His age. He felt the boy was too young to be taken to such a place but Olumba thought differently. He told the anxious spectators that His earthly father had little or no power over Him but, 'I am waiting for my Father in Heaven to give me the green light.'
On finally receiving the green light, He went straight to the room where the woman was lying stone dead and requested that the room be cleared of people. This having been done, He prayed fervently: 'Awo Asaso akim gwe arem eyen arem ozoi, ado ate yen onenwana egwe ure ke irai,yen ubhu ubhe, rem me uvana, ikughe uvana,' meaning, 'My Father who art in Heaven, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, you say that this woman is not dead but asleep. Wake her up.' Instantly the woman woke up.
Although many were delighted at the tremendous feat, many more began to wonder whether Olumba was a ghost rather than a human being. To those who questioned the miracles He performed He would say, 'I am not the one doing them but He who has sent me.' One of those not happy with all this was Chief Okot Okpan Okot in whose compound the particular miracle had occurred. Because he had not been present, his advisers, who would always brief him on any important event during his absence, recounted the story. Contrary to what they had expected, the man criticised those who had allowed young Olumba into his compound.
It so happened that the resurrected woman was actually Chief Okot's slave. One night when in the forest while returning from a hunting trip, he had found her tied to a tree. According to him, she had been left there as a sacrifice to appease the gods of her village. He brought her home as his slave and called her Unye-akin, literally 'my gift'. To him, it was not spectacular news that his slave had been brought back to life. In fact he had become jealous of the rising fame of young Olumba in the neighbourhood and exclaimed 'Who is this young Olumba who would not allow me to have a sound sleep in my house? Today it is Olumba, tomorrow it is Olumba. Tell him I do not want to hear such news of him in my land any more. Enough is enough.' Olumba's response was to continue performing His Father's work unperturbed by this warning.
Some weeks after the above events, young Olumba went on ministry to two settlements within Biakpan. At the first of these, Imienyo, it was market day and He soon became surrounded by those who had heard of His miraculous feats. One asked 'Are you a human being?' to which he replied, 'If I am not a human being, what do you think I am?' As another man attempted to fire a question, one Ibo man from the town of Arochukwu pushed his way through the crowd to question the boy, 'Are you Olumba?' He confirmed He was and the man continued, 'Your fame has spread to other neighbouring villages but no one can believe the stories. I do not believe them either, as I am standing before you, because you are too young to perform such miracles.'
Young Olumba looked at the man steadfastly for a brief moment and then called him by name, 'Onuoha Ikechineke, you are the only surviving child from your mother's womb. Your wife, Oriakusia, has given birth to nine children, five boys and four girls. Two of the girls and one of the boys have returned to Mother Earth. Am I right?' The man slumped down almost fainting and one man from the crowd asked him if all this was true. Onuoha replied that everything was true and all were amazed.
Olumba Reveals He is 'The Word'
From Imienyo settlement, the young Olumba moved to Emibit where He met Chief Uno Iko (alias Ase Obie Uno) as he was coming out of his compound (Ano Obia Aja). The boy went to give the chief the traditional greeting, 'Saso nyoghoma O', meaning, 'Father I greet you,' and the man responded, addressing Him by name and asking as to His health. He then added, 'Is your father at home?' but young Olumba did not reply. Instead He made a very astonishing and amazing statement which confounded all those that were there. 'I have nothing to do with the man you call my father. I am the WORD. I mean the WORD that created everything in Heaven and in Earth, including the man you call my father and you!' Chief Uno Iko asked, 'Including me?' 'Yes, including you,' came the response, 'Every created thing obeys me because I am the WORD.' The chief was lost for words and all he could say was, 'It's alright my son.'
The Birds Obey Olumba
At that moment, He saw some kites flying above and said, ‘Even the kites obey me. They are my messengers.’ In response, someone in the crowd murmured, ‘If indeed they obey you as you claim, do something to prove your authority over them.’ On hearing this challenge, young Olumba beckoned to one of the kites saying, ‘I want to send you on an errand.’ The kite then descended and perched on His head. ‘Go and bring me a chicken but do not harm it,’ He ordered. The kite flew off and a few minutes later returned with one as asked. Young Olumba took the chicken, examined it and seeing it was unharmed, told the kite to return it to where it had found it. The kite did so and then came and reported back. Many who witnessed the feat were amazed as usual.
Young Olumba raised a dead Animal
People were still looking at the young boy in amazement when He stopped a hunter who happened to be passing by, returning from a hunting expedition. ‘What have you got in your bag?’ He asked. ‘A monkey,’ replied the hunter. Young Olumba ordered the hunter to bring out the monkey. He took the dead animal from the man and flung it into the nearby bush. The monkey jumped from one tree branch to another and finally disappeared into the bush. Turning to the hunter, He asked if he were annoyed. ‘Yes,’ he said, to which Young Olumba responded: ‘Go to your compound and you will see a young lady who died some hours ago. She has now come back to life because the monkey is a living animal again. Don’t you know that whenever you kill an animal anywhere or at any time, you have killed a human being?’ As this was going on, some members of Olumba’s family turned up having traced Him to Emibit village. They had come to take Him home for it was now evening.
Olumba’s parents tried to persuade their son to go to school but He refused. He told them He had no need of Western education, reminding them of His first comprehensible statement made at the age of only three: ‘Call me Teacher and Master. I am the Universal Teacher.’ This caused them to ease the pressure on Him but they didn’t give up entirely. By 1925, His statement was already coming to pass as he had gathered enough followers to start His evangelical work.
In 1927, having received consent from His Heavenly Father, He obliged His earthly parents by starting His education at primary school in Biakpan, but without passing through kindergarten. His first school teacher was an Arochukwu man named Mr Asabuto. However, because of the spiritual services He was rendering to the community, He did not have time to concentrate on His school work and so after only one year His parents took Him away from Biakpan. But despite the fact He did not concentrate fully on His studies, He nevertheless made it to Standard One, a level that took other children four academic years to achieve.
In 1928, therefore, Olumba was sent to Ebem Ohafia to continue His education. By December of that year He was already in Standard Two passing to Standard Three. The following year He quit schooling entirely, His departure prompted a massive withdrawal of Biakpan indigenes from the school in Ebem. Mr B.U. Bassey of Ikun Ubhaghara in Biase Local Government Area who was the headmaster at the time spotted young Olumba as the most intelligent boy the school had ever educated.
Extracted from 'I Am That IAm', a booklet describing the prophecies surrounding Olumba's birth and His early life in and around Biakpan.