Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, is the largest city in Nigeria and the third in Africa after Cairo and Johannesburg. The city which lies in the south-western part of Nigeria is known for its rich and fascinating cultures, lifestyle, history and spellbinding tourist destinations. One of the most visited tourist destinations in Ibadan is the University of Ibadan zoological garden which proudly houses different animals ranging from lions to rabbits. It is a popular custom of many families living in Ibadan to visit the zoo during festive periods to hang out and have fun as well. So, on a fateful (later bloody) day in the Easter season of the year 1991, visitors stormed the U.I zoo as usual to enjoy the serene environment of the enclosure and have fun seeing different animals they have only seen on screens. Of all the animals in the zoo, the lions attract the highest number of visitors. It can even be concluded that a visit to U.I zoo without seeing the lions is not complete.
As aforementioned, on that day, everybody was at the zoo to have a nice time seeing the animals and taking pictures, except a man, a bold and daring prophet by the name Daniel Abodurin who wanted to show people the ‘work of God of Daniel‘ by walking into the lions’ cage to touch them like Daniel did in the bible without getting mauled. Prophet Abodurin’s intention was to recreate the biblical story of a young man named Daniel who out of envy was thrown to some lions that turned out to have been mysteriously tamed. The biblical story has it that God sent down some angels to shut the mouths of the lions.
The determined Prophet Daniel Abodurin walked up to some staffs of the zoo and pleaded to gain entry into the lions’ cage. No one in his or her right senses will give ears to this kind of plea, so the prophet was turned down. But after much disturbance and persuasion, the prophet’s insane wish was granted. Another account has it that Prophet Abodurin sneaked into the lions’ cage. Sneaking or no sneaking, he eventually found his way into the cage. Many people present at the scene could not believe what their eyes were seeing, and realizing it was not a dream, they prepared their mind for the worst result. Prophet Daniel Abodurin was clothed in a red robe and under his armpit was a big bible. As he entered the cage, he began reciting bible verses and speaking in tongues and calling unto the ‘God of Daniel’ to perform wonders. OldNaija.com gathered that he was shouting jah, jah, jah which was believed to be a shortened form of Jehovah. At first, the lions retreated to a corner of their cage. Unknown to the to-be African version of Daniel, retreating is the first thing lions do when they see something unusual in their territory and later they get rid of it. Prophet Abodurin thought his faith was really working. He moved nearer to the lions and kept chanting bible verses, then in a flash, the lions pounced on the bemused, confused and horrified prophet. A cold stream of shock ran down the spines of the terrified onlookers. Prophet Daniel Abodurin battled for his dear life but his strength was no match for that of the hefty lions, and in a moment, he was torn into pieces and devoured. His bloody red robe laid in shreds and his bible which he had flung away at the beginning of the attack was covered in dust. Stampede ensued in the zoo as people took to their heels after seeing such a horrible sight they will never forget in their lives. The prophet’s remains were collected and later buried. That was how Prophet Daniel Abodurin met his bitter and horrible end.
Many people condemned the prophet for such a bizarre act while others believed the lions were possessed by demons stronger than the prophet and demanded that they should be killed.
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