18 June 2017
Daily we hear new tales of heartbreaking conducts of religious leaders in Nigeria which more often than not leads non-believers to cast aspersion on the respective religions.
The latest we have to report is how Christian and Muslim leaders defrauded former Super Eagles winger, Femi Opabunmi, of his hard earned money after he went blind a couple of years back.
Opabunmi who represented Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup he was duped by Pastors and Imams, while looking for ways to cure and regain his sight.
The winger who last played in Nigeria for Shooting Stars FC, in a chat with Complete Sports said, he lost his sight while he was training with his French second division side, Niortais in 2006.
Opabunmi had two unsuccessful surgeries in France, and when neither helped him regain his sight, he relocated to Nigeria to find a cure for his partial blindness.
According to him, rather than get the help he desperately needed, he got duped by so-called men of God.
He said: “Many believed I was cursed, even my mother because in Paris the doctors medically said there was nothing wrong with my eyes.
“Funds were given to me to survive by my former teammates (including Osaze Odemwingie) and well-wishers. I gave pastors some of the money, hoping that if I got healed I would start afresh with a coaching career.
“I visited several churches and mountains in search of a cure but it never happened.
“They duped me of my small cash. I paid more than 400k to Pastors to see that I got cured but nothing happened.
“I also went to see some Imams as well. But they all turned out to be false men of God who duped me all the way.”
Opabunmi played for a few clubs, including Shooting Stars FC, Grasshoppers Zürich and Chamois Niortais in France.
He scored a goal to help Nigeria win the African U-17 Championships in 2001. He was a key player at 2001 FIFA U-17 World Championship where he scored a hat-trick against Australia and won the Silver Shoe as second highest goal scorer.
He also won the Bronze Ball as third best player in the tournament, helping Nigeria to reach the final where they lost to France.
Opabunmi represented Nigeria at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan and had a total of three caps for the Super Eagles.