A 46-year-old pastor, Evangelist Chidi Eke has died while fasting for 40 days and nights in Eziala Nguru in Ngor Okpala council area of Imo State.
It was gathered that the deceased, who had abandoned his wife and two children in Lagos and came back to the village, was last year said to have embarked on evangelism.
Village sources told The Nation that the deceased had planned to start his own ministry and that he announced he would go to the “wilderness” to obtain power from God before operating his own ministry.
It was learnt that Eke started by first successfully fasting for 21 days before embarking on 40 days and 40 nights dry fasting.
One of the village sources told journalists, “During the first and second week of his fast, people who had gone to their farms heard him singing and praying loudly. But after the third week, nobody heard his voice again and most people thought that perhaps he must have gone deep into meditation.
“But one of his church members, one Cyriacus Opara who became worried and insisted that he needed to visit him at the forest.
“When Opara approached the family that he wanted to visit Chidi Eke in the “Wilderness”, they told him that they don’t actually know the exact location where he was and that Eke had earlier issued a stern warning that he did not want any visitors because he had left his phone and money at home and had only gone with his Bible and gown.”
The family members, it was learnt, had directed Opara to one Cajethan Nwaneri as the only person who knew the location of the “Wilderness” since he had assisted the deceased evangelist in clearing it.
According to Duke one of the relations of the deceased, it was Nwaneri who had directed Opara to the location and when he got to the place discovered that Eke had long died as his body was already decomposing and immediately raised the alarm.
He said, “Eke had abandoned his wife and two children, a boy and girl in Lagos and returned back to the village saying that he has come to answer the call of God. His corpse was discovered by one of his members who had gone to check on him in the bush where he had gone. Eke is the only son of his mother. In fact it was members of the community under the leadership of Tochukwu Ekeh (Angle 90) who are going to bear the burden of burying him.”
It was learnt that as a result of the unfortunate incident the community has henceforth banned people from fasting and praying inside the bush and that if they must fast and pray it must be in their own homes.