Oluwole Omoseebi, father of one of the children rescued from the Whole Bible Church in Ondo State, said his son, Ayobami Omoseebi, abandoned his studies as a 400 Level student of Federal University of Technology, Akure, to join the church.
Omoseebi, who came from Ilorin to Akure when he heard about a police raid, said his son, Ayobami, went missing in 2020.
Police had raided the church on Saturday, taking about 77 persons into custody.
However, the members have refused to go home, insisting they were not leaving their detained pastors in cell as they wanted to be raptured together.
Speaking to Vanguard, Omoseebi said: “I have a brother here in Akure, who my son was living with.
“He is a pastor too, but he told me my son has been coming home on weekends, and that he suspected his movement.
“I had to come down to Akure to find out what was happening and I was told he was in a church in Ondo town.
“I met the Pastor and explained that I have been looking for my son. But he was violent that day and, with one of his sons, chased me away from the church.
“The boy returned to Ilorin (Kwara State) thereafter, and I warned him against returning to the church. But he went back to the church after school resumed and we never set our eyes on him again.
“I called him in April, when one of his sisters was getting married. But he told me he will rather obey his spiritual father than obey me his biological father.
“And he did not come for the wedding because ‘he doesn’t have anything to do with us again’, saying we are idol worshippers as Deeper Life Bible Church members.”
21-year-old lady refuses to eat
Also, another parent, Michael Olorunyomi, said that her 21-year-old daughter, Priscilla, had refused to eat since Saturday, claiming that the pastor must be released.
He said: “I was a member of that church and I was there for 32 years. Everything about the church changed when Peter Josiah became an assistant pastor. He brought in destructive heresy.
“After they were brought to Akure on Saturday, my daughter was released to me, but my daughter said she will not follow me.
“She said until all those who were arrested are released, she will not follow me. At the end of the day, I overpowered her and took her home.
“Since we got home on Saturday night, she has refused to eat up till this moment. She didn’t eat throughout yesterday. I’m seriously bothered because of the situation.”
40-year-old man, too
Also, a brother to one of victims, Wande Oladapo, said: “My brother, aged 40, has refused to go home after he was released on Saturday. He said he will not leave his pastor alone in the cell.
“I came all way from Lagos to Akure because of him and he was telling me that he will not follow me; that he would rather be in the cell with the pastor.
“I think they have all been bewitched by the pastor. This is not ordinary; it is a pure case of black magic.”
They need rehabilitation
Briefing newsmen, the spokesperson for the state police command, Funmi Odunlami, said: “Despite all our attempts and placation some of the victims refused to go home, saying there were going to stay here.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, in the state, Mrs Julianah Osadahun, said: “We just interviewed some of the children, who are aged 11 to 17 years. The way they spoke seems they have been hypnotised.
“The way some of the children are talking; some of them should even be taken to the rehabilitation homes. They are living in different world entirely. They look so wired.”