Jehovah Witnesses: Fanatical Witnesses – Ray Ekpu

Jehovah Witnesses: Fanatical Witnesses – Ray Ekpu




The religious group that calls itself Jehovah Witnesses are a very unique group in Christendom. They hold their Church services on Saturdays, not Sundays. Also, they do not sing the national anthems of the countries in which they live. They do not respect the country’s national flag. In fact, they hold themselves as outlaws and do not give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.



Jehovah Witnesses think that their duty is only to give to God what is God’s. But the problem is that in their fanaticism; they have had clashes with municipal authorities in different parts of the world on corporate and even personal issues.



Recently, the family of Mr/Mrs Emmanuel Onokpise had to be rescued from ramping up pain and punishment for themselves. The Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Lagos State received a call from a good Samaritan that; a new born baby’s life was being put at risk by the religious fanaticism of her parents, the Onokpises.



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The baby girl weighed 2.2 kilogram as at birth. She was said to be jaundiced and anaemic. Doctors thought she needed blood transfusion. The parents who are adherents of the Jehovah Witness Sect; did not want blood to be transfused into the body of their anaemic baby; simply because blood transfusion is against their religious belief.



The Lagos State government through the Office of the Public Defender had to get a Court Order to enable them rescue the baby from possible death based on the irrational action of her fanatical parents. Their action has set teeth on edge. Thanks to the Child Rights Convention and Child Rights Act; the Lagos State government was able to save the baby from the fanaticism of her parents.




Jehovah Witnesses: Fanatical Witnesses - Ray Ekpu




The State Director, Office of the Public defender in Lagos State, Ms Olayinka Adeyemi says that; “when a child faces the threat of harm, the State Government has the authority to wade into it. We are not violating the family or parents’ right over their child because we have not assumed full responsibility for the care of the child but just to make sure that the child is in good condition. Nobody is interested in taking the child from her. But no parent of a child can infringe on the rights of the child”.



The government of Lagos State receives full marks from this column for its responsible; human and compassionate approach to the matter without which the child’s life would have been put at grave risk; by her irrational parents whose stance in the matter is a poke in the eye of reason.



I have had an encounter with these extremists who call themselves Jehovah Witnesses before. I was dressed to go to work one day and I saw them; a man a woman, standing in front of my gate. The man wore a dark suit, not finely cut the way those that the bankers wear are cut; but it was a suit.



The lady wore a long dress, not a sexy one like the type you find at red carpet events; but it was a dress, a long one that covered everywhere from top to toe. I asked who they were. They answered “Jehovah Witnesses”.


I asked what they were doing in front of my house in the morning on a working day. They said they wanted to preach the gospel to me. I thought about the stupidity and the insanity of their request to someone who was trying to go out to work. I told them that I had neither the time; nor the intention of having a conversation with people who think blood transfusion is forbidden in the Bible; because I found no such evidence in the Holy Book.



These fellows rely on two verses in the Bible for their assertion. One is Genesis 9.4 which states; “You shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood”. That has nothing to do with blood transfusion.



Jehovah Witnesses: Fanatical Witnesses - Ray Ekpu




Nothing, absolutely nothing.


The second portion that they quote is Acts 15:29. It states; “That you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood; and from what has been strangled.” Again, that has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with blood transfusion.


By no stretch of interpretational circumlocution can any of the two verses be stretched to mean; “Do not transfuse blood into anyone.” The reason that hospitals have blood banks is because people may need blood because of an accident that leads to bleeding or surgery or they are simply anaemic due to poor nutrition or some ailment that saps their blood.



Patients may be given blood boosters but blood transfusion may still be needed in some cases. So it is unreasonable, very unreasonable, to deprive a patient of the life-saving option of blood transfusion. It is even worse if the patient is a child as in the case under discussion.



If the parents are illiterate or educated but irrational as in this case; the government has a duty to intervene in the best interest of the baby. In this case, the government has shown better wisdom and a better sense of compassion than the parents; who are blinded by their fanaticism and would easily have allowed their child to die like a chicken.
A lot of people go to great lengths to get what is called “fruit of the womb.” Some resort to fasting and praying, fertility drugs and artificial insemination because a child is a prized property. When the child is born; they offer every bit of protection for the child to grow into a successful human being. That is an indication of how much they value the gift of a child to them by God.



I do not intend to question how much value Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Onokpise placed on the life of their baby. But it appears that their religious extremism as Jehovah Witnesses was more important to them; than the survival of their God-given baby. Perhaps if they had to spend a lot of money searching for a baby; they would have shown more commitment to the baby’s survival and well-being than to their religious extremism.



In any case, someone should tell them that in the hierarchy of rights; the right to life (of their baby) is a higher right than their freedom of worship; or their right to religiosity.


The fact that the baby is in no position to personally assert her right to life does not mean that, that right does not exist. That right has been eminently defended for her by the office of the Public Defender. We thank them.
Every right in any society that is not vigorously defended has the potential to shrink, then wither and die.



Fanatics of all hues are a danger to society. Boko Haram insurgents say that western education is evil yet they use the benefits of western education; (guns, bullets, bombs, IEDs, etc) to defend their mad advocacy. The barbed wire of the issue is that it is fanaticism, not reason; that propels all fanatics to commit acts of irrationality and insanity.



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In doing so, they cannot, and do not make any coherent and comprehensible attempt at wooing those who do not share in their weird belief system.



Jehovah Witnesses: Fanatical Witnesses - Ray Ekpu




They simply carry on as if they believe that the world must be in their corner, like it or not. That is the audacity of idiocy; the temerity to think that the rest of the world are wrong and they right.


And it is mainly children, women and the lowly placed in our society that easily become victims of fanaticism; cruelty and other forms of irrational behaviour. And if they are not restrained by fair-minded and public spirited individuals and the State; they strive to become the society’s dominant influencer. They seek to make their narrative the dominant narrative.


All State Governments in Nigeria that have not yet passed the Child Rights Act must do so as soon as possible. That way they can prevent the rights of our children from being in rapid retreat; due to the senselessness of the deviants in our society.

Lilian Osigwe

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer.
Lilian Osigwe

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About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer.

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  1. Chima

    In first two paragraphs of this write up, Mr. Ray Ekpu demonstrated without a doubt that he knows absolutely nothing about Jehovah’s Witnesses, except what he picked up from malicious gossips. It was from the third paragraph that his intention for publishing this piece was clear – a one sided reportage of an old story about the family of Mr and Mrs Emmanuel Onokpise. While I would refrain from commenting on that incidence, I want to say that I am totally disappointed by the bias and hate exhibited by Ray in this article. Please get a hold of your emotions when next you are commenting on sensitive issues like religion and ethnicity. If not the rage within you my consume you.

  2. Danny

    Fairly written article. A lot of bluster and vim, an impassionned appeal for what the writer believes to be “rationality.”

    The article is however, more indiscriminately seen, a revelation of a bias, one held solely by a man who refuses to investigate what facts are, but prefers to imagine his feelings into reality.

    Mr Ekpu, your feelings may be passionate, but you ought to perhaps.. Seat down with the objects of your ire. Your article suggests you haven’t.

    You may yet receive some clarity and who knows…the rationality that inspires tolerance, even if not understanding.

    But let it be made clear: a group of people who see children as gifts of God, to be cared for, loved and trained in the admonition of Jehovah, instilled with life principles that inspires a discipline that defies convention can never be painted in an unflattering light as regards the issue of child-raring. Well, attempts may be made, but time always proves the wisdom of hard decisions.

    Did you consider the faith of the parents? How hard a time this must have been for them? Did you even attempt to understand their place of motivation? The underlying faith-based reasons that would inspire the position itself? No thinking, pious parent surrenders their kid to death. They fight till the end.
    Perhaps were you spurred on by righteous anger…or was it ignorance and just lazy journalism?
    Sensationalism sells after all. And Jehovah’s witnesses will always be a juicy subject to explore for the turn-page effect.

    Take the hard path another time Mr Ekpu. Take the hard route and find new truths.

  3. Kunle

    I am a betrayed admirer of Ray Ekpu. I spent my allowance as an undergraduate in the early 80s reading Newswatch like a Bible and never missed a single issue until it went out of print.
    The first sentence of this article is false. Several other points on which Mr. Ekpu pontificates in the article are also wrong. A simple Google search would have saved the reputation of the writer.
    I never knew that the day will come that I will have cause to doubt the content of Ray Ekpus writings as I used to think that all that he (and his colleagues) wrote in Newswatch were the result of deep research especially with a well respected Librarian on its staff.
    Given the ease with which information can be obtained these days, rather than address the content of the article, I will ask Mr. Ekpu to please do some simple online checks and then do something to redeem his reputation.

  4. Mark Igbani

    Many of those who respect Mr. Ray Ekpu’s writings, who read this article and who at the same time know Jehovahs Witnesses better than Mr. Ray Ekpu, will wonder what has happened to him. They will also wonder if what they trusted as FACTS in his previous writings were actually facts now that they see evidence that he may not always have researched a subject well before making his opinions public and forceful.

    It may appear to be a simple oversight that he made the FALSE claim that Jehovah’s Witnesses hold their religious meetings on Saturdays instead of Sundays. Yet this indicates that he has always believed the Witnesses to be odd based on what he heard said about them, not what he knew for a fact.

    Yet, a one-hour check on the About Us page on their popular website would have prevented the goof. For example, if you open this link and type any location in Nigeria, you will see the meeting days and times on display. Rarely will you find a Saturday meeting day. (

    In the same website they even have a “Newsroom for Journalists” page ( that contains information on the same subject that Mr. Ekpu mischaracterized the Witnesses on. If he had updated his knowledge about how medical and law experts elsewhere in the world are cooperating with and accommodating the religious stand of the Witnesses on blood transfusion, he could still disagree with the experts, but certainly he would not have freely associated the Witnesses with fanaticism and extremism.

    Now, everyone knows that the journalist they revered may not have merited all that reverence after all. Henceforth, he should not blame anyone who takes his opinions with a pinch of salt. He may only be expressing his personal bias on the subject. Go and find the truth for yourself!


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