Thirty Four Years’ Remembrance; How Papa Oschoffa Died.

The sudden home call of the enigmatic pastor-founder was unexpected. Nobody knew that death would strike the day it did. Many had taken Oschoffa for a god. Do gods die? Oschoffa was blessed both in life and in death. He lived like a god, revered and worshipped. He also died like a god, leaving mysteriously as he had come, thus keeping the Oschoffa myth intact. Like a god, his death shook the entire Celestial world and beyond. Newswatch [35] described his burial in the following terms:
The Earth quaked in exclamation, the stars blinked to refocus, the sea water rose in disbelief, the birds sang a dirge in sympathy, while the seismic vibrations of these rumblings ricocheted against the wailing walls of the Celestial world.
The journey into the world beyond began for Oschoffa on September 1, 1985. He was on his way to Ibadan Army Barracks C.C.C. parish harvest. His car, driven by Espedit, an experienced driver, was only about seventeen kilometres from Ibadan. It was speeding along when suddenly one of the tires exploded. The car skidded and somersaulted about four times before landing in the bush. Oschoffa escaped death but was half conscious and dazed. The unconscious pastor and his bleeding driver were driven back to Lagos for quick treatment at Labi’s Hospital, Ilupeju. Everybody sighed in relief, happy that the worst was over for the pastor-founder after his miraculous escape.
His great escape from this fatal accident in which two of his dear aides died on the spot helped to boost the myth of immortality surrounding him especially among his followers and most Nigerians. As Newswatch put it,
In the early hours of September 10, 1985, in an ironic twist of fate, death struck. The pastor-founder, one of the greatest Nigerians of our age, quietly breathed his last on a chair at First Shadrach Hospital, Ilupeju, having been certified fit by doctors who were putting finishing touches to his release.
The remains of the pastor-founder, Pa S. B. J. Oschoffa were finally laid to rest on Saturday, October 10, 1985, in his mother’s hometown, Imeko, the Celestial City, amidst pomp and pageantry, mourning and thanksgiving.


This article was researched and written by Rt. Rev. Dr. Albert Aduloju Agbaje, bishop of Sabongidda-Ora Diocese.

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