You are an ATR adherent but used to be a Catholic priest before you decided to abandon the priesthood. What informed such a decision, which many see as radical?
I was taken away from African traditional religion in primary school. The missionaries saw that I was not going to church and sent their men after me to ask me why. I told them that I was a traditional worshipper but they told me that there was no contradiction and that I could practise ATR and go to church. So, they played on my infantry intelligence and I started going to school. God is a conspirator because he brought a Catholic priest to sponsor my education after primary school. I don’t know how he (the priest) connected my uncle and took me back to the church. One day, I started feeling like becoming a priest and went to consult a diviner when I was a mission boy. The diviner looked at me and shook his head and said I was to become a priest. I asked him what he meant and he said what he told me was what he meant. I became a priest and later left to oppose the uncharitable ways of Christians and Muslims.
When did you join the priesthood and how long did you stay before quitting?
Ah! It’s a long story. I started with St Kizito’s Minor Seminary in Ede (Osun State) in 1973. After that, I attended SS Peter and Paul Catholic Seminary, Bodija, Ibadan (Oyo State) in 1977. In 1981, I was sent to Rome with the current Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Emmanual Badejo; we studied together in Rome and that was where we completed our seminary training with a university degree. We returned to Nigeria and I was ordained in 1985 and left in 2000, 15 years after.
Fifteen years as an ordained Catholic priest is a long time. What specifically convinced you to leave?
Along the line, I saw that it (priesthood) was not where I belonged but I could not just rush out of it. In the first instance, I never saw myself being celibate, that was why I was surprised when I saw myself joining the priesthood and I had to consult a diviner. I started envying married people. That is what I can tell you.
How did your parents, community, bishop and fellow priests react to your decision to abandon the priesthood? Were they shocked or did they see it coming?
Yes, they were shocked. They were disappointed but my bishop said he was happy that I did not accuse anyone of being responsible for my decision to leave.
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