Pastor Sam Adeyemi explains how he sought knowledge about 1918 pandemic to educate his followers

In the midst of misinformation flying around on the internet about the COVID-19 pandemic, Senior Pastor of Daystar Christian Center, Sam Adeyemi has revealed how he equipped himself with more knowledge about the 1918 pandemic in order to better enlighten his congregants and followers.

Despite infecting over a million people across the world, several conspiracy theories linking the COVID-19 pandemic to the 5G technology have taken over social media platforms across the world. Other conspiracy theorists also linked the pandemic to the sign of the anti-Christ and the end time, and said it is why churches are on lockdown because the anti-Christ don't want Christians to worship.

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy gave some level of credence to the misinformation linking the pandemic with 5G technology when he spoke glowingly in its support during a recent sermon. His position has been condemned by the federal government and other clergymen.

However, Adeyemi, who holds a divergent view from Oyakhilome's view, said in a live Instagram session with Pastor Poju Oyemade of the Covenant Christian Center that rather than create fear in the mind of followers, leaders should seek knowledge.

"When a leader gets perspective like that, then you can calm people down and then tell them there will be life after this thing," he said

On how he armed himself with knowledge to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adeyemi said: "I just went online to study about the pandemic that happened 100 years ago. I decided to check how it affected Nigeria, then I found a research article by a history lecture who is now at a University in Birnin-Kebbi. Beautiful research work, I had to buy it, but I was happy buying it.

"When I read it, it was amazing, because it dug into the British archive, all the records that the British colonial officers kept. So I read, 1918 September when the thing hit, the way air travel is the main thing for global transportation of the COVID-19, it was sea travel that spread the influenza pandemic around then," Adeyemi added.

"The one I saw and almost screamed is that they closed churches, mosques, schools and markets in 1918. So some of us now think it is the anti-Christ that is at work, and does not want us to gather together to fellowship."

According to a research paper by Don Ohadike, during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, about 500,000 Nigerians, out of a population of 18 million people, died in less than six months, and between 50 and 80% of the population was stricken. The pandemic killed at least 21 million people over a 12-month period.

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