Worshippers of river goddesses in Nnewi, Anambra state have opened a new church called Ogbanje Church of All Nations.
Members of the congregation had their first worship service at the church, where they sang and danced to a compilation of songs eulogising the names of some popular river goddesses in Nnewi.
This was corroborated by a video currently trending in social media, showing members of the church as they rejoiced and danced to the tune of songs composed in praise of goddesses of some popular rivers in Nnewi.
While addressing the congregation at the uncompleted building, the cleric, presiding over the service, advised the congregation to worship what they know, rather than what they don’t know.
The clergyman, who did not mention his name, spoke in Igbo and said people had used the names of Bethsaida, Jericho, Samaria, and some other biblical locations to compose songs without knowing the meaning of those locations.
Supported by echoes of joy and commendations from the congregation, the cleric who did not mention his name, thereafter began singing a praise song in reverence to the Ogbanje, while the church members cheerfully dance around in joy.
He said, “People usually sing and dance to songs composed with names and places in the Bible while they do not actually know who, what, or where they are and what they represent. It is high time we started going back to our culture and tradition.
“People should start singing songs composed with names of rivers that are known to them and the goddesses of those rivers, rather than singing and dancing to the names of what they don’t know.”
Together with the congregation, he mentioned some names of rivers and some river goddesses in the area including Obò River, Mmiri Ele, Orasò River, Mmiri Edo, Ofala River, Ota, and Ezu River, among others.
While proudly identifying as an Ogbanje, the cleric claimed that he and other people who were Ogbanje “usually shine, prosper and live fine from year to year because they worship the rivers and the goddesses of the rivers they know, rather than those unknown to them”.