Rev. Fr. Victor Ibude, is a Catholic Priest, an author and an indigene of Emuhu in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State. He is a lecturer, a philosopher, and a goal getter, who delights in building people spiritually in the service of God and humanity.He is celebrating 25 years in priesthood.
May we meet you father?
I am Reverend Father Victor Ibude, I was born on 11th May 1967, in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State.
I had my primary education at St. John 2 Primary School, now Odili Primary School, Agbor, from 1973 to 1979. In 1979, I gained admission into Ika Grammar School, Boji-Boji, Owa, until 1983 when I finished my secondary education. From 1983 to 1985 I gained admission into the major seminary in Ekpoma, it used to be called Spiritual Year for the Aruma Centre Ekpoma, then after one year I left for Ibadan in1986, I was at the Ibadan Major Seminary from 1986 till when I was ordained Priest on 4th December 1993. After my ordination I was sent to Ogwashi-Uku, I was there for about one month from where I was finally posted to Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church, Agbor, as a Curate then under Rev. Father Dennis Arimokwu. I served in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, for some months after which I went to St. Joseph Catholic Church, Okwuijen Street, Agbor, where I stayed for some months before I was finally sent to St. Dominic Catholic Church, Owa to be the Priest in charge of the parish, I was there for about eleven months before I was finally posted to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Umunede. I stayed in Umunede for over a year, before I was posted to St. Michael Catholic Church, Okpanam, as the parish priest, and I was there for about two years before I went to St. Matthew Catholic Church, Idumuje-Unor, where I was for about three years.
From there, I went to St. Dominic Catholic Church Otolokpo where I served for about three years, from where I was transferred to St. Columbas Ime-Obi, Agbor, where I was for ten month; before I left for further studies in 2005 at the University of Ibadan for my Master’s Degree programme. Though I was supposed to do the programme for Eighteen months, I did it for ten months. After the proagmme I was asked to go to St. Theresa Catholic Church, Okwe as an assistant Priest to Rev. Father Callistus Nwoji, who was the Resident Priest there then. We were three priests there. I was there for three months before I was sent to Idumuesah; this was about 2006. I was at Idumuesah for about Eight years, from where I finally came to Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Abavo, in 2014, where I am up till date. This is my story.
How was it possible that you did your Master’s Degree in ten months as against the normal Eighteen months?
What happened was that before I went for my Masters Degree Programme, I had an idea or the vision of the research that I wanted to do, so in about two years while at home I was already working on the topic which is the whole idea of Reincarnation, on a different perspective. Reincarnation is understood ordinarily as the coming back of the dead, which is a misconception, because it is like the soul of the dead coming, back; and so I had another idea of this whole thing about reincarnation. One is about the variety of people, that is, some people are alive look alike, so how do you explain that? Those were the things that I was trying to resolve, like, what is behind dual personalities? How can two people be alive and yet they are reincarnated by one person?
I worked on these issues for about two years; hence my going for the Masters Degree Programme was like, going to do more research on the issues, so I had the whole idea like I knew what I wanted to do. As at the time I was going for the programme, I had already started writing something on it, and by the time I went for the programme, in the course of my class work I was already putting my ideas together. So, before I finished my first and second semester, I had already finished my thesis and it was so interesting that as at the time I was to begin my thesis, we were asked to come and defend our topics, I chose my topic, though they wanted to change it because my supervisor didn’t see it from my angle, yet, I held my ground.
When I was asked to start writing, I didn’t have much stress, because everything concerning the research materials was already in my room. I didn’t even have to go to the library to look for materials for my research. The six months for my research was free because I had already finished my writing unfortunatly for me, one of my classmates got to see my work on my system, and went to inform my supervisor that I had finished my research even before we were asked to start writing, that was the reason why my supervisor decided to make things difficult for me. Later, after about two years, I got to know that somebody had told the supervisor that I had finished writing my thesis, before we were asked to start writing. It was then that I knew why the supervisor was making things difficult for me. I wasn’t doing anything in school; I had finished my work, so I had to pack home, and while at home, I only waited for them to call me to submit my chapters. That was just the idea about the whole thing.
I remember that after your ordination, your first book was on reincarnation and it raised some dust because for a Reverend Father like you to write a book on reincarnation was quite strange, so could you please tell us exactly what happened?
Thank you so much, that issue of reincarnation too was something I began to research on after my Secondary School, before I entered the seminary while I was preparing to write my WAEC. I was in Lagos when I started thinking about the stories that I heard from my parents that they knew about each of us, their children, as it relates to reincarnation because they would ask a medicine man about who reincarnated this person? So that they will have an idea of the person. That gave me an idea but, I didn’t want to say that there is reincarnation, because as far as we were concerned, the church cannot give me the permission. However, while at school in Lagos at Demurin Street, Ketu, I started writing a book on reincarnation, which I titled the “Mystery of Reincarnation.” I started writing it, with just an introduction of the topic, I didn’t continue, I stopped there.
At the time I got my result from WAEC, I went to Major Seminary, using the opportunity of going to the seminary to research on it. Good enough, in my philosophy department I came across the topic reincarnation, and of course, I got interested, though when I wrote the assignment on reincarnation, I didn’t get a good result. My lecturer then was Professor Jude Udokammae. He gave me 20% in the assignment, but I didn’t mind, so when I went to do my research for my philosophy degree I went for that topic. As at the time I decided to write on it, I was told that the school did not allow one student before me to write on it, but they allowed me, so I went into research. In the research, I only pondered into what is reincarnation and not that it is real. In the course of the research and writing, I came to the point of conviction that it is real; the problem was how I would be able to prove that it is real.
I came across the works of Saint Paul in 1st Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 23, that gave me the whole secret about the mystery of reincarnation. What did he say? Paul said, “May God blesses you in your soul, your body and your spirit.” That was the revelation; so human beings are made up of three parts and we call it tripartite nature of man, not a duality like the philosopher says. When we talk of man as a dual entity, we are talking about the spirit and the physical, but they didn’t separate the spirit from the soul nor the soul from the spirit; rather they made it as one spiritual being, so that was why the conviction was there, hence when the issue of reincarnation came in, people were looking at it as a diversion like when a person comes, the soul comes back, but we did not see it from the point of the spirit, that the spirit is not the soul, so with that secret I was able to do the real research and found out that reincarnation is yes, but it is not the soul that comes back; Hebrews chapter 9 verse 27 states, “after death, judgment”, so what really goes for judgment is the soul, because the soul is the person, the spirit is the prototype, the spirit is the ghost that wanders; so when a person dies, it is the soul that goes for judgment, which is for reward or punishment, because he is the person, the body is just the physical, it is the coverage.
When the person dies, one now comes as reincarnation, and what is able to provide this theory that gives you facts about the dead, is the spirit, because the spirit is able to go out from the body that is why they can appear in different places as physical human beings. The spirit comes back, takes reincarnation in somebody else, and the person is born and the person begins to manifest by the spirit of that person. However, the question is, since it is one of the persons that reincarnate comes, is it only one person that really died? It is just that the person that forces himself on the new born.
When some religious organizations talk of astral travel, from what you just analyzed does it means that the spirit that goes on that astral journey not the soul? Please throw more on that
Yes, you are right, because if the soul leaves the person, the person dies that is the truth. In the Catholic Church we talk about the contemplates, they also go on astral journey, they will just be here, they will move, they have communication with divines; it’s the spirit, it is not the soul, the soul can’t leave the body, for the soul to leave the body it means death.
There was uproar when you wrote the book, because the Catholic Church, whose faith you profess, saw so many things in the book which were against her belief, how did you overcome it then?
Actually, when the book came out in 1999, I was invited by the Delta State Broadcasting Service, for their radio and television programme interview, which I honoured.
Was it subject to the permission of the mission?
There was no permission from the mission. I just went after I was invited and the person who anchored the programme is a Catholic and he was the Director at that time. And as at that time, the Bishop was not at home, so eventually after the interview, it spread that this is what I said, and then there was an incidence also where I was asked to preach at a thanksgiving mass at a priest’s first mass after ordination. Actually I preached and somehow I said something which some persons interpreted as something on the issue of reincarnation, but I was not really talking about reincarnation because I was preaching on the priest’s event, so at that point, I was taken up by another priest who challenged the whole theory about reincarnation, after which when the Bishop came back and he got to hear about the incidence, he invited me for discussion. When I told him that I actually went for the programme to say the mass, I was not talking on reincarnation, I told him that the message I preached was written, so I read from the written work of which there was no issue of reincarnation in it.
However, the Bishop, Late Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Oteh, said I should go and write a rejection of my position on reincarnation and bring to him, and then I would go and do a reprint of that work, to say that there is no reincarnation. I actually went and wrote and brought it back to him and when I brought it to him, he said that I wrote as if I was forced to do so; that was how the matter died. I didn’t have to reprint the work to say that I don’t believe in reincarnation again, because for the Bishop, having written what he said I should write later ended the matter.
When a Priest writes a book, does he submit it to the diocese for scrutiny?
There is no law about submission of every work a priest writes, because every priest writes on different topics, he might write just historical books which the church does not have a hand in, he might write a literature book, a political book and the church doesn’t know anything in that area. However, when a priest is writing on theological matters, that is where he needs the church’s approval, but if it is an ordinary work, maybe you are writing a motivational book, you don’t need the church’s permission.
How many books have you written so far?
As at now, I have written and published about forty books, and there are about two that are still with the printer.
Are you still writing?
I have never stopped writing
Your writings are mainly on what topics?
My topics are philosophical, religion, history, and then social
You were recently awarded a honourary degree can you throw more light on it?
Yes I was recently awarded a honorary degree of Philosophy Professor, it is a honourary title that was given to me, not because I am a PhD holder, it is just a honorary title that was given to me by the church.
So you are not a Professor?
Well, you call it Professor of History, which is what the church calls you; it is a honorary title that the church gives you.
If it is honorary, are you entitled to using it?
Well, I am not entitled to use it but the church addresses me by it, but if I go to school today and they address me as a professor, I will say yes because that is the title the church gave to me, it is recognized by the church.
Are you still a lecturer at the Seminary and College of Education Agbor?
Yes, I still lecture at Delta State University Abraka, Agbor campus, and not College of Education, for the one at the seminary, I have given up the lecturing job at Ekpoma at the major seminary since 2006. I stopped in 2006 as a lecturer at the major Seminary at Ekpoma.
Back to your book on reincarnation and the uproar that it generated, has the church relaxed on it? And has the church seen, it from the angle you wrote the book?
Yes, I will say that the church has relaxed on the issue, I will say it has to do with the Bishop, the current Bishop Most Reverend Dr. Michael Elue, is a traditionalist, he came from Ika traditional background and he knows about all these things while growing up. As far as he is concern, he understands it from the people’s perspective, so he has no problem with my own position about it; so he has no objection. That is why since he came, I have been developing that topic. I have gone ahead to write a play on it, titled “Scandal of the gods.” It’s on reincarnation and that play has developed into a film which also bears the same title; under him too, I went for my Masters Degree, where I also carried out more research work on reincarnation. All these were possible because he has a broader understanding of the topic.
Are you talking only of your diocese?
Of course, it’s my diocese that I know.
Is it applicable to other diocese?
Well, the church in general has not been able to resolve the issue of reincarnation and that is why, there is this book I read, “The Easusauciest”, a book written by Gabralle, he is Eausauciest of the Vatican church where the Pope resides. In it, there is something he raised about the issue, he said it is true that the church from time has had a rejection of this phenomenon of reincarnation, but however, with his ministering of deliverance and healing on people who are demonically possessed, he has come to be aware that there is reincarnation saying that there is a wandering soul, that is what he calls them, that these people are real. However, since the church from her own position does not understand it, it is open for anyone to research on it. What he recommended in that book he wrote, is that we should be able to look at this topic from the philosophical perspective, saying that through that, we may be able to understand it from that angle, and that is the premise upon which I wrote my most recent book, “The Dead Among The Living.” With that position, I was able to now go into a better research on that topic and came up with a better elaboration on what all these things are about, that the mystery is much more than somebody dying and he comes back, because we also have duality of reincarnations, how do you explain it?
I read one of your books where you talk about coming across someone who looks almost exactly like someone else in another location, yet they are not in any way related, he could be a Yoruba man, while the person you know is an Ika man, they have the same features, the same way of talking, movement and everything; how do you explain such mystery?
In fact, as I am even looking at you Emmanuel Egbuchinem (the reporter) it seems I have seen somebody who looks like you, it is really a beautiful thing. That essentially is one area that I researched on during my Master’s Degree programme to find out what is responsible for it. So in the course of my research I now came out with the findings that the Igbos came up with this thing that we call Chineke. In fact, some philosophers have come up with the findings that it is a wrong usage, that the Igbos idea of Chineke is Chi and eke and these are deities, that they are not one. They are two that is chi is a deity, Eke is a deity. But the Christians now combined it and make it Chineke, a good deity which they now use to describe Jesus, coming from that Igbo perspective, we now begin to understand some of these mysteries responsible for reincarnation of the dead among the living. We discovered in the course of our research that Chi deity is responsible for reincarnation, that is when somebody dies the spirit comes in, then Eke deity is responsible for the duality of persons, they are alive together, two, three, four, they look alike and they act alike, that is the mystery about it, everything, the way you look at them is the same. Philosophers now came up with the results that resemblance could be biological or philosophical. We have seen some people who don’t really look alike but they are acting alike, that is the philosophical perspective, there are lots of researches on it.
Then I looked at the whole issue about identical twins and non-identical twins; I discovered that non-identical twins do not act alike, they act differently, I hope you will take note of that, but when you see identical twins the similarities are very glaring, they act alike and research have shown that if you separate and put them in different places, different countries or different towns, what one is doing at a particular time is what the other one will almost be doing at the same time. One will be wearing red coloured clothes at a particular time that is the same colour the other one will be wearing too. That is how I started the research on people who are alike, and I said what is responsible for this is the Eke as the Igbos call it. Well, this is the much I can say on this issue.