A sermon by a Nigerian pastor, Chris Oyakhilome, captured in video has been making the rounds on social media. The viral video is being shared multiple times on social media, including WhatsApp. A part of the sermon was shared by a Twitter handle where it has now gathered over 100,000 views on just that single account. The user of the account, according to her caption, believes vaccination is the mark of the end time, the biblical allusion referenced in Oyakhilome’s message.
BBC Pidgin tried to retrieve the full length of the video but discovered it has been removed from both Love World Television Ministry’s website and YouTube page.
In part of the video still being circulated, the pastor claimed that the 5G network is making people sick and not the novel coronavirus. This claim, and some others made by him during the sermon, was put before experts who debunked it.
Abdulrahman Odunaye, a Network Solution Architect based in the Middle East, explained to BBC Pidgin that 5G has no connection with the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is no correlation between 5G and coronavirus. If we are to go into the science of the whole thing, even if electromagnetic waves will be harmful to you, it does not metamorphose into a virus. If coronavirus had manifested in cancerous form, it could scientifically be linked to it because of some school of taught that have linked to some forms of cancer,” Odunaye said.
A Harvard University-trained medical doctor currently based in the U.S, Joshua Adeoye, further expatiated in an interview with the BBC Pidgin that viruses behave differently in the body from cancer.
“Viruses are organisms, like bacteria. So when they enter the body, they are always looking to take over a host’s cell system, so they can use that system to replicate themselves, he explained.
“Cancer on the other hand, is deranged growth. Abnormal cells that are supposed to die continue replicating at an abnormal and uncontrolled rate.
“While a virus takes over the cell apparatus to create itself (so the cell won’t be replicating itself), the cancer cell replicates its own self. Every single symptom of coronavirus is explained by its being a virus,” he concluded.
The lockdown is so 5G cables can be installed in Abuja and Lagos
Oyakhilome also claimed the reason the Nigerian government, like other governments in the world, locked down Abuja and Lagos was to enable them install the 5G cables.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy had earlier said Nigeria does not have the new wireless technology.
Odunaye said he was part of a team put together by a leading telecommunication company in Africa for the implementation of 5G network in the continent.
The use of 5G is limited in Africa. According to a DW report, 5G is commercially available in Lesotho and South Africa but with very limited use. While some African countries have had demos, Odunaye said the actual network is not in application anywhere in West Africa.
It is also noteworthy that even though Lesotho has some presence of 5G, there is no single case of coronavirus in the country at the time Oyakhilome made the statement, and still none at the time of filing this report.
Odunaye said: “If the 5G is directly related to the coronavirus, then I would have said Nigeria should not bother about coronavirus at all because there is no 5G in Nigeria. It is only one network that has test run 5G in Nigeria and right now they have stopped it because of a major roadblock.”
‘Staying indoor is not scientific’
Oyakhilome also said saying indoor is not scientific and protects no one against the virus. He mocked the global regulation advised as one of the measures to flatten the rising curve of coronavirus death.
“Why are we inside the house,” he asked. “Is it that the virus is flying past, so we should wait till it passes? Why are we inside? Scientifically, this is the most foolish thing I have seen. There is no science to this, it is so stupid.”
The World Health Organisation advised that social distancing is the way to reduce the spread of coronavirus which is spread through droplets.
A new study from the Imperial College London COVID 19 Response Team finds that lockdown “policy is predicted to result in a reduction in critical care requirements from a peak approximately three weeks after the interventions are introduced and a decline thereafter while the intervention policies remain in place.”
Reports have also shown that cases began to drop in Wuhan, China, where the virus originated, after a lockdown was put in place. Following the lockdown, cases began to slow, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.
5G, coronavirus were both created to give people digital identity
The pastor, who has been indicted of financial misconduct by the UK government, made an elaborate theory on how the 5G network and Covid-19 are all part of a ploy to get the world vaccinated, thereby giving everyone a “digital identity”.
In buttressing this theory, Oyakhilome used an article published by a website called ‘Biometric Update’ on September 30, 2019. Oyakhilome interpreted the title of the article to mean that digital identity is a number on a human body.
“It’s a number on your body. it‘s on you. It’ll be on you,” he emphasised.
Having identified ambiguity in the publication, the website later included the definition of digital identity. The website also disclosed— as ethically required— in the article that a change was made to the article “to clarify that the program is intended to allow people to receive vaccination and prove they have received it, not to track individuals, as claimed by some conspiracy theorists.”
But Oyakhilome said “that’s a lie. It’s to track individuals”. This vehement dissent was not backed by any empirical evidence beyond allusion to biblical references.
BBC Pidgin spoke with the editor of the website who explained why they had to include the definition of digital identity.
“We updated the post in question after becoming aware that it was being misunderstood or otherwise misinterpreted by some readers,” Chris Burt, the Editor of the website told BBC Pidgin.
Odunaye said “digital identity” is not in the human body but instead “it is the representative of things on the internet.”