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The story of Shina Rambo has found its place in the history of Nigeria. This is the true story of a man, the historical account of a reign characterized by every synonym of the word ‘terror’. Shina Rambo was a household name in the underworld; a name that sent shivers down people’s spines in southwestern Nigeria in the 1990s.
Who Is Shina Rambo?
Shina Rambo was born in 1958 (another source claimed 1963) in Abeokuta, the present capital of Ogun State. His father, a military man, was a native of Abeokuta, and his mother, a native of Sabongida-Ora in Edo state.
Rambo was abused by his father who was said to be a rogue military man. On one occasion did his father shoot a gun at him but missed, this was after young Shina was caught assembling a gun. On a subsequent occasion, his father allegedly cut his leg with a cutlass and this made him leave home and never return.
Narrating his story, Shina Rambo (now believed to be Evangelist Mathew Oluwanifemi) said,
“That day my father was so disappointed, that he wanted to kill me, he grabbed the gun from my hand and shot straight at me, but I miraculously escaped out of the room.”
“Then he waited for me to be less alert at night he came to my room with a machete and tried to cut me, but once again, I escaped, but the machete caught my left leg (rolled up his trouser to show us the large scar that made everyone sighed in pity). It cut me so deep I thought I was never going to walk again. That day I knew I had graduated, all that was left was to pull the trigger, and I was so eager.”
Shina Rambo’s Reign of Terror
Shina Rambo was famous during his time like other notorious armed robbers in Nigerian history such as Lawrence Anini, Ishola Oyenusi, Babatunde Folorunsho, etc.
He was extraordinarily fearsome, mean, and notorious to the extent that he seemed invincible to people back then. It was reported that even the police feared him. His daring raids led to the death of scores of policemen and civilians.
it was gathered that Shina Rambo was a fetish and got involved in many human sacrifices one of which include pounding 27 newborn babies in a mortar. It was also claimed that he cut off 100 human tongues which he cooked and ate for spiritual powers.
Quoting him from an interview he gave as Evangelist Mathew Oluwanifemi, he said,
“I was involved in so many rituals, that I can’t start naming them now. I was so powerful, I went underground, inside trees that looked like a city, a lot of beautiful houses inside the tree, I had my own too, I went into a river called River of life in Ogoja, where a lot of politicians and wealthy men used to come.”
“I had several personalities, I could change my form whenever I wanted to, that’s why the police were busy killing innocent people and thought they were killing Shina Rambo. The 9 herbalists that gave me that power, I became stronger than them, one day I went to their shrines, and killed all of them so that they don’t reveal my secrets.”
“I had too many powers; my spiritual wife could drive any car in this world or out of it, no police vehicle, or anyone for that matter, could ever chase and catch me during an operation. She was out of this world, and when she had completed her operation, they took her away from me. I could give anything to get powers, and the elders knew, so they also gave me anything I wanted.”
“I once beheaded a hundred men, and gave them the heads fresh, they were so happy with me that they made me invincible. No matter the kind of bullet you shot at me, it was just like pure water on my body. I could give anything to get power, but of all the things I did to get power, the one that still breaks my heart the most is sleeping with my mother. My father is dead now, but my mother is still alive, and she lives with me she is 85 years old, whenever I set my eyes on her, I just start crying.”
“I had everything, I was very wealthy, I once spent 50 million naira in a day. I did it a lot, there was one day that we were coming from an operation and it seemed as if my powers were going to fail me, the police and the army were almost closing in on us, so we had to drive into a crowd and threw millions of naira in the air, there was commotion, everybody was busy picking naira notes, even the police, until we escaped.”
“I was too rich, but anything the devil gives you never lasts, he will collect more from you, it’s only the devil that will give you Fila (cap) and ask for Iro and Buba (wrapper and blouse). I lost everything, all the money, my family; I was so powerful the police couldn’t catch me but I lost it all. I had to surrender myself to the police, and I was arrested and jailed for 11 years.”
It was while in prison that Shina Rambo’s life took a turn. He met the famous Prophet T.O Obadare who ministered to him. He then ‘gave his life to Christ and was later released during the regime of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Controversy Surrounding Shina Rambo
Some people believe that this claim by Evangelist Mathew Oluwanifemi to be the dreaded Shina Rambo is nothing but lies upon lies. They said the real and original Shina Rambo had died back in the 1990s.
This has generated a series of questions like – Is Mathew Oluwanifemi Shina Rambo? Who is Shina Rambo? Did Shina Rambo actually exist? Is Shina Rambo now a pastor?
Controversy or not, one thing is certain, Shina Rambo existed and during his life, he was a living terror to the people of Nigeria and the neighboring country of Benin Republic.
Thanks for reading.
- Omipidan, T. (2018). Most notorious criminals in the history of Nigeria Archives. OldNaija. https://oldnaija.com/tag/most-notorious-criminals-in-the-history-of-nigeria/
- Godogodo bigger than Shina Rambo – Police – Ifeanyi Okolie, Vanguard News
- Osifodunrin, Paul Ayodele; Dec. 2007; Armed Robbery and Murder in Lagos, 1960-2000; Violent Crimes in Lagos, 1861–2000: Nature, Responses, and Impact (Thesis). The University of Lagos.