A Cameroonian pastor and candidate in the central African state’s last presidential election, Frankline Ndifor, died of COVID-19 following his prayers that hundreds of his supporters cured of the coronavirus. Cameroon police used force to gain access to his residence in the economic capital city Douala, as some of his supporters blocked entrances, praying for his resurrection.
Hundreds of followers sang Sunday morning at his residence that the man popularly referred to as the prophet is not dead, but he is rather on a spiritual retreat with God and will return soon. Their singing and prayers were broadcast by several local radio stations. Ndifor died and was buried in front of his residence Saturday by workers of Cameroon’s coronavirus response team in Douala. Doctor Gaelle Nnanga said by messaging application from Douala that Ndifor died less than a week after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He says that some members of Ndifor’s Kingship International Ministries Church called him to come to the pastor’s aid when they found out Ndifor was in agony, and that when the medical team he leads arrived, Ndifor was having severe respiratory difficulties. He says the pastor died less than 10 minutes after they treated him.
The governor of Cameroon’s coastal region said in a press release that he was forced to deploy police to force their way to Ndifor’s residence when his followers chased away medical staff away claiming that the pastor was on a spiritual retreat with God, rather than deceased. They also added that he should not be buried should he ‘come back’ from death. A follower of the prophet said that the he had prayed for him and also several dozen people diagnosed with COVID-19, even some people who suspected they were carriers or had symptoms.
“This is a pastor that has been laying hands on the sick and claiming that he cures COVID-19,” Che a follower of the pastor said. “If you, the person that claims that you are curing COVID-19, you are dead, what about the fellow people that were affected by the COVID-19? Now that he is dead, I do not know how the people that he was laying hands on will be healed.”
Medical staff are asking all those who came in contact with the pastor to report to hospitals to be tested for COVID-19.