By Gbenga X-Adebija
One of the major lessons I learnt very early in my career was the art of communication. I was taught how to communicate but equally as important, how NOT to communicate. It is a lesson I have shared with others over the years and will share with everyone who has seen that viral video of Pastor David Ibiyeomie
Let me issue a caveat upfront that this write up is purely to share insights on communication and not a theological or faith-based evaluation of the merits (or lack thereof) of either side’s position.
Pastor David Ibiyeomie and Daddy Freeze have constitutional rights to free speech and beliefs.
So, let us look at the words the Pastor used verbatim.
“Anybody insult my father again, I will pray you to….. He may not talk but I will talk.
You can’t insult my father when I’m alive
“Tell Daddy Freeze, the day I hear him talk about my daddy again if I don’t finish him… Insult me, I wouldn’t mind but insult Oyedepo then…,
“that bastard, Any day I hear him talk about Oyedepo… do they know his father? Does Daddy Freeze have a father? That half-caste that is born by a Somalian”
“The day I hear him insult Oyedepo again, I will deal with him. Who gave birth to him? If he has a father let him show us his father’s picture”
“Somebody they gave birth to in a ship, does he look like a Nigerian? That’s a Somalian. I can’t let him insult my father”
“I curse the day he was born. If I’m alive and you insult my father, I will tear you into pieces. Those who have fathers don’t insult fathers”
“He can insult a father because he doesn’t have a father. Tell him oh! This is the last time he talks about Oyedepo again. He is a bastard.”
“A man who can’t marry, he has no wife. He can’t manage his home; he is coming to talk on television. Is it not his wife who left him?”
“A broadcaster, does he have a good job? I can’t be alive and you insult my father, that person is not born. I will kill you; I will tear you into pieces”
“Very soon I will arrest him and charge him and see which money he has. I will charge him to court, I will follow him with the law, follow him spiritually, I will fight him till he crashes. How much does he have”
“I will fight him to the point that he will say which kind of trouble is this. Someone that is a newscaster, how much does he earn? Someone who is trekking in Lagos… He will soon go to the cemetery.”
All this was delivered in a harsh and vengeful voice filled with wrath. Pastor Ibiyeomie was incandescent with rage.
First, let us look at the major points the Pastor wanted to make( not in any order)
- Thou shalt not abuse Bishop Oyedepo
- Thou art an ordinary broadcaster
- Thou art a Somalian
- Thou art of dubious parentage
- Thou hath no respect for elders
- Thou art in life-threatening trouble with me
- Thou art a nobody
There are a few more subsets of the above named points but let us for the purpose of this scholarly dissertation focus on these seven points.
So how should Pastor David Ibiyeomie have handled the matter? One fundamental mistake he made was that he spoke while clearly in a rage. That was a big mistake. Never ever speak to the world while in a REAL rage. Pastor David Ibiyeomie muddled his message because anger makes you garble your words. Very few people can speak eloquently and articulately while incandescent with rage and judging by the video, Pastor Ibiyeomie is not one of them.
Again, back to the question, how should he have handled the matter ?
Let us press the rewind button and see Pastor Ibiyeomie in front of his flock
Scene 1( Pastor speaking)
“ Ah yes, before we close, one of my young friends drew my attention to something on social media by someone who calls himself Dr. Something, Something
(Pauses to think)
Dr.. ehm, something to do with ice blocks. Holy Spirit, help me remember.
( Congregation helpfully shouts “ Daddy Freeze!” )
“ Thank you so much. The name just didn’t’ register in my brain. Sorry about that .
What has the Pastor achieved here? He has succeeded in positioning his adversary as a nonentity whose name he could not even remember.
Scene 2( Pastor Speaking and smiling)
“ So Dr. Freeze or Daddy Freeze made some comments which were critical of my Father in the Lord, Bishop Oyedepo which I found quite amusing because I don’t think he understands that when it comes to matters of Scripture, a doctor cannot be contradicting a Bishop and besides..”
( Shouts from the congregation and Pastor looks shocked)
“ What? Are you saying he is not a real doctor? Are you sure about that ?”
( More shouts from the congregation)
“ Na wa o. So why is he calling himself a doctor when he is not a doctor ?
What has the Pastor achieved here? He has succeeded in denigrating his adversary’s character and portraying him as an unserious charlatan
Scene 3 ( Pastor pacing and looking perplexed)
“ So what is his job then if you say he is not a doctor?
(shouts from the congregation)
“ OAP ? What does that mean? Is that what he does?
(shouts from the congregation)
“ Oh okay, he is a broadcaster? I see. Radio or TV?
(shouts from the congregation)
“ Did I hear CNN ? No? He does not work for CNN ? Oh, he works for a Radio station here in Nigeria ?
Ok, I see.
What has the Pastor achieved here? Without saying so directly, he has implied that his adversary is a “ mere broadcaster” working for a “local” radio station. This has been achieved without being offensive to broadcast media as well as situated the vocation as well below that of a Pastor.
Scene 4( Pastor now looking slightly vexed)
“ You know, when some of you described him as an OAP, I thought you meant Old Age Pensioner, but from what I am deducing, he must be quite a young man. Probably not more than in his 30s or 40s. That means by the time Bishop Oyedepo started working in the Lord’s vineyard, he was not even born yet. It’s a real shame because in this part of the world, we respect our elders and you just don’t speak anyhow to people older than you. Except he is not a Nigerian? Sorry, is he a Nigerian? Not Somalian ? Because that name Freeze is confusing…
What has the Pastor achieved here? He has succeeded in positioning his adversary as a rude and disrespectful person who lacks manners.
Scene 5 ( Pastor still looking slightly vexed)
“ So Doctor Freeze, sorry, Daddy Freeze is a Nigerian ? Interesting because most Nigerian parents are very strict about bringing up their children to be respectful to elders even when they don’t necessarily agree with their opinions.
(Pastor shrugs )
“ I am sure we all remember what the Bible says in Exodus 20 v 12 and I quote
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long. Bishop Oyedepo is old enough to be Daddy Freeze’s father and definitely his Spiritual father when it comes to matters of the faith. I don’t know how many of you here know him personally or maybe those of you watching this telecast, please pull his ears, please speak to his parents, especially his father who I am sure definitely wants his son to carry on the family lineage. It is important that Daddy Freeze sees the error of his ways and apologizes to Bishop Oyedepo. I know the Bishop has a forgiving heart and if like the prodigal son, Daddy Freeze begs for forgiveness, it shall be well with him and his days would be long.
What has the Pastor achieved here? He has succeeded in chastising his adversary’s parents for not bringing him up well, cast doubts on his paternity, threatened his life, and demanded an apology for Bishop Oyedepo.
To say that video of Pastor Ibiyeomie was not a good outing for him would be an understatement. He came across as rather coarse and agrarian. The biblical namesake David used a slingshot to fell the giant Goliath, not an AK 47 submachine rifle.
Less is more….
This article was originally published in The Cable( www.thecable.ng)