Following the collapse of the building of T.B. Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos, two South Africans, who lost relatives as a result of the tragedy have intimated that they would sue the preacher T.B. Joshua for damages. Furthermore, the two South Africans have equally encouraged families of the other victims to follow suit.
Interestingly, it is not the first time T.B. Joshua has become a subject of discourse in the media. Nor is the controversial Nigerian self proclaimed Prophet, who is more popular than many African Heads of the State, out for a popularity contest or cheap publicity. One might ask why the recent announcement from the two South Africans is raising a lot of an eyebrow and attracting much attention in different quarters.
As controversial as T.B. Joshua might be, his (re) action after the collapse of his church, which left at least 115 people, including 84 South Africans died, sadly shocked and flabbergasted many.
“We didn`t get any news from the church. It is not that the building collapsed, rather what was done after the collapse. The actions of the church after the incident are very telling.” Thanduxolo Doro, who lost his sister Vathiswa Madikiza, lamented.
Even though both Thanduxolo Doro and Mpho Molebatsi, who lost sisters in the tragedy, were saddened by the secretive and the shady attitude of T.B. Joshua`s church after the accident, more doubts were created following the statement from the Lagos government officials that the said building, which was meant to hold two floors, was illegally converted into a five story building of recent. Nor is the castigation of T.B. Joshua as a liar by another family from Zimbabwe helpful. One Catherine Ndlovu, from Zimbabwe, allegedly paid thousands of dollars to visit Nigeria, seeking T.B. Joshua`s help to cure her hospitalized daughter. Unfortunately, according to the family source, Catherine Ndlovu is one of the 115 people confirmed dead at the preacher`s church. Worse still, like Doro`s family, the family of Catherine has accused the preacher of keeping them incommunicado on the faith of their daughter. As if that was not enough, Catherine`s family claimed that T.B. Joshua`s church insisted of recent, that Catherine, mother of two, was in fact unharmed and would soon return to Zimbabwe ““ although the church could not clarify her whereabouts. Why had the articulate preacher T.B. Joshua, sudden turned dumb in the wake of the tragedy?
Dumb? Have those angry with the charismatic preacher forgotten that he is supposed to be the servant of God?
“Our Oga talks when he is instructed to. Those who are angry with him should know that he is a good servant who obeys his master. The Lord instructs him accordingly.“ One of the workers at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, told Kata Kata`s reporter behind the camera. Asked why it took T.B. Joshua long to react after the building collapse, he looked steadily at the reporter and added:
“He was waiting for his Master to tell him when and what to say.“
You hear that? Probably, that equally explains Doro`s claims that emergency workers at the church initially denied the family access to the site, hence preventing them from possibly saving innocent lives. Although, Pastor Joshua’s Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) flatly denied Doro`s claimed, the controversial preacher himself, announced on Sunday, plans to travel to South Africa to pay a condolence visit to the families of the deceased. Even though Kata Kata could not authoritatively confirmed whether T.B. Joshua`s mastered had instructed him to commence with the South Africa trip, one thing is clear: many questions surrounding the church building tragedy are still unanswered. The sooner those questioned are tackled, the better, otherwise the trip to South Africa would be wrapped in controversy as well.
Prior to the collapse of the church building, many accusing fingers were pointed at T.B. Joshua. Journalists accused the self ““ proclaimed Prophet of trying to bribe them to write favorable stories about the church. Furthermore, others have alleged that the preacher offered them money to fake sickness, which the preacher would later claim he cured. Recently, Kata Kata learnt that many Theatre Arts students have started heading to the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) to learn the art of acting. Fully paid? Wow. Economists would call that “economic stimulation.“
Now leave those Theatre Arts students` claims, which Kata Kata could not confirm independently, and hear other worrisome allegations against the man of God, who attributed many predictions to himself.
“If T.B. Joshua had the 6th sense and could see tomorrow, why didn`t he see the collapse of the building before it happened? Without talking about the illegality and the breaking of the law for now, why didn`t the preacher know before hand that the structure of the building, which was meant to hold two floors, but illegally converted into a five story building, would collapse, killing innocent people?“
One Abigel asked our reporter, waiting anxiously to get an answer from her. Our reporter had to remind Ms Abigel that she was just a reporter covering the story.
But the bible says that even the devil can cite the scriptures for its purpose. Wait, oh! If one believes this, then those blaming T.B. Joshua should equally understand his predicaments. How can the preacher know who is communicating with him ““ his master of devil? That puts T.B. Joshua in an awkward situation ““ and perhaps explains why it took him ages to respond after the church building collapse. Even though the preacher is someone who purports to be God’s messenger, he probably has other challenges and distractions of the devil.
“I received a phone call immediately I got here, just 10 minutes later when I was in the church, that there was a jet hovering over the mountain where I had just left. They said it was hovering at a close range. Before I knew it, I received another phone call that the same jet was now at the church hovering over the building, passing it four times at a very close range before the building collapsed.“ T.B. Joshua told reporters.
A phone call? From who ““ God, devil, FBI? Whoever! Regardless, one thing is clear, T.B. Joshua did acknowledge that he didn`t know beforehand that the building would collapse; however, he ratified that he learnt immediately that the building collapsed. Perhaps, this confession helps explain the anger of those who accused the preacher of keeping silence after the accident. They had expected T.B. Joshua to show some concerns after the tragedy.
Another version of the story says that the T.B. Joshua decided to keep sealed lips after getting information that the tragedy was caused by those he called “Boko Haram terrorists.“ Boko Haram? Serious! While one side of the story had it that the preacher did not want to incur the wrath of the Boko Haram insurgency, others alleged that he wanted to avoid a situation whereby the government of Nigeria could shift her fight against the terrorist group to the preacher.
“You see, Oga preacher wants to concentrate on his ministry rather than confront Boko Haram. It is not that he could not mesmerize the group, but he does not want a divided attention.“ Emmanuel, one of the security officers at the T.B. Joshua`s church claimed.
Could this explain why the controversial pastor had not predicted the previous Boko Haram attacks? After all, If he could allegedly cure all kinds of ailment, why not the Boko Haram sickness? You don`t want to call this a sickness? With all the kidnapping, raping, killing in ramped? Ok, assuming he does not want a divided attention as Emmanuel claimed, wouldn`t innocent lives be saved if the preacher could predict Boko Haram attacks or other preventable calamities ““ including the collapse of his building? Meanwhile, Kata Kata confirmed from a source close to the preacher that Nigerian top Army officers whom some accuse of making millions from the Boko Haram insurgency, actually discouraged T.B. Joshua from taking a firm stand on the terror group, otherwise they might lose their blood money. Really?
Sadistic as the blood money might sound, what would one say to the fact that the preacher called his dead followers, martyrs. In reality, the anger of the families of the deceased is not more, about the martyr nomenclature, but for the mere fact that the choice of being a martyr or not is itself undemocratic.
“Did the preacher ask my sister whether she wanted to be a martyr or not? Perhaps, if the pastor had informed them earlier that they would be martyred some of them might have not chosen that path. In any case, why cannot the pastor choose the martyr honour himself ““ assuming that journey would lead to a greater height? One Nkandu from Zambia, who lost his father in the SCOAN disaster, questioned.
Now that the two South Africans have decided to sue “Prophet“ T.B. Joshua, it is clear that the preacher`s problem might be far from over, especially with the accusations from the congregation and family members of the deceased, who are yearning for the truth surrounding the SCOAN disaster. It does not help the situation that the once eloquent and articulate pastor is suddenly silent. Lets us hope that the preacher will not refer his antagonists to his Master; after all, he is just, according to him, a servant. If this happens, one still needs the same T.B. Joshua to help them have access to his master. I am not sure T.B. Joshua will gladly release those his master`s email and addresses to his persecutors.
Either way, Prophet T.B. Joshua may soon realize that whether he is the servant or mouthpiece of God, he is responsible to his subjects ““ and the authority where he operates. Keeping quiet may be casting doubts on the truth and justice, which his congregation and the families of the deceased are yearning for. Since Prophet T.B. Joshua has repeatedly told his subjects that his God is that of honesty, love, fairness and truth, it is now left for him to demonstrate what he has been preaching. Not many are ready to wait so long for his answers.
The above story is a parody. It is entirely fictitious; therefore none of the characters mentioned in the story are real.