Members of the Rev King-led Christian Pentecostal Assembly (CPA) woke up yesterday in high hopes.
They were sure that after almost 10 years incarceration, their beloved church founder would finally breath an air of freedom with the Supreme Court expected to quash the death sentence received from the lower courts.
As early 7:00am, some female members were already in the church. They were wearing green T-shirts with black skirts and green berets to match. Another group wore white T-shirts and white berets.
They swept the floor, arranged the white plastic chairs in rows and generally tidied up the church, all in anticipation of holding a victory service. However, the planned celebration was not to be: the apex court insisted that the man his followers call “His holiness” must end on the gallows.
By 3 pm, the church gate had been shut, the crowd thinned down, their hopes of ever seeing their G.O gone. On adjoining streets, some residents gathered, discussing the conviction in low tones.
Some were using their phones to browse through the net to confirm the authenticity of the news. There was not a single member of the church around.
But even a first timer would not miss the larger than life image of Rev King on the church sign board and the huge, gold colour inscription of CPA on the black church gates.
Some of the residents spoke to The Nation still looking over their shoulders for King’s followers who are reputed for harassing people in the area.
The residents described King’s incarceration as a blessing to the street, recalling their not too pleasant experience in the hands of the church members before his arrest and subsequent trial.
One of the residents said: “One day his members beat up my wife.
“I went into the church to ask them what happened. Immediately I went in, they rushed at me. They beat my wife so badly that she ran to the police station Unclad. At the police station, they told us to go and get a medical report from Isolo General Hospital. I went and got the report.
“I later asked my wife why the CPA members beat her up. She said some children threw a banger inside the church. When the members came out, they did not ask who did it, but tried to take two of our children back into the church.
“She begged them not to take them away, but they refused. As a mother, she would not allow her children to be taken away. That was why they descended on her. I wanted to follow it up, but my uncle advised me not to go ahead with the case. He told me they were very dangerous. That was how I dropped the case.”
Residents said passers-by used to thread the street with trepidation when King still held sway, as his supporters were always suspicious of people and ever ready to vent their aggression at the slightest provocation.