James Ibechi

TB Joshua: Foreigners leave in droves, as uncertainty hangs over SCOAN’s future

The fate of foreigners at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, and the Church hangs on the balance following the death of its founder, Pastor TB Joshua, as economic activities in the area is heavily affected

The heavy presence of armed Mobile Policemen and Military Personnels at the entrance of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, SCOAN, was unprecedented. The movement of worshippers in the Church compound was  sober, a reflection of the sorrow they are battling with.

They were not allowed into the Church auditorium, but were allowed to sign the condolence register placed at the entrance of the auditorium.

Seen in small groups were women, men, youths and others, discussing the passing of the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua.

Just as the reporter was walking out of the Church following the restriction of Journalists from entering by security men at the Church, a Coaster bus, full of foreigners, was seen being driven out of the Church premises. A Police escort was leading the Bus.

On enquiry from some of the worshippers who pleaded anonymity, they  told this news medium that some of them were returning to their countries following the death of the founder of the Church.

In his words, “A lot of the foreigners have been leaving in droves because of the uncertainty of what the future holds for them.

“Some of them will go back to their Country’s embassies so that there return to their country will be facilitated by their Consulate”.

The Journalist probed further of speculations that some of the foreigners had their passport held, on their behalf by the late TB Joshua, while some were saving money with him.

Responding, the source said that some of the foreigners had planned to spend the rest of their lives in the vineyard of God, but this unfortunate incident has made them rescind their decisions.

On who takes over the saddle of the Church after his demise, the source said that the Church was in a fix because the next step will be determined by the Church Leadership and the disciples of the Late Prophet.

Pastor T. Chris is a known figure in the Church and a protégé of the Late TB Joshua. He could be said to be the second in command to the Late Joshua, as he usually anchors Church services when the late Pastor is out of the country.

There is speculation that there could be a power tussle between Pastor Evelyn Joshua, wife of TB Joshua, who also is a known figure in the Church.

Though she isn’t all that pronounced like other wives of popular and prominent Men of God, she was a pillar behind her husband.

“She has been at the backline and an unknown face supporting her late husband behind the scene,” a source said.

Shops and businesses within the Church and outside the Church were closed, as commercial activities were put on halt.  The owners were mourning the exit of the Man of God.

Lamenting is the Manager of De One Lodge Hotel, opposite the Church, which also houses a lot of foreigners and tourists who came visiting.

The Manager said that no doubt their business will be heavily affected, because their major customers are members of the Church.

“It was basically because of the Church that our Chief Executive Officer, who is late, opened this hotel.

“We experience huge patronage mostly from the Church, prompting us to build another outlets within the area.

“This is a great loss to Bolorunpelu Land. TB Joshua greay impacted us. He even assisted our CEO when he wanted to build the other outlet. He supported us because he knew the Church hotel and houses couldn’t accommodate the influx of people coming to the Church. We have lost a legend and a gift to humanity”.

The death of TB Joshua came  few weeks after the demise of the Baale of Bolorunpelu, High Chief Abubakar Tiamiyu Adewusi, the community that houses SCOAN.

Son of the late Baale, Kazeem Adewusi, said that the death of Joshua is a big blow to the community, Egbe Idimu Local Council Development Area, Alimosho Local Government, Lagos and Nigeria as a nation.

Adewusi said the development the community witnessed through grading of the roads, interlocking of roads, Installation of transformer, Corporate Social Responsibility and development of the Community are the handiwork of TB Joshua.

“This is a colossal loss. You could see that shops aren’t opened because the death of TB Joshua is still like a dream. He impacted lives. He was a friend to all.

“I remember vividly three weeks ago when he visited the Palace of the Late Baale to pay a condolence visit. He prayed with the widows and children of the late Baale. He brought foodstuffs and also gave the widows N500,000. The youths of the community also enjoyed the largesse.

“During the Covid-19 Pandemic, he gave us foodstuffs like Rice, Oil and Spaghetti and N5,000 each. Ha, I can’t still believe he is no more. We pray that God give his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss”.

Churches in the area were said not to hold Sunday Services in their respective Churches just to mourn the exit of TB Joshua.

Sunday June 6, 2021, was the Juvenile Harvest of Celestial Church of Christ, CCC, Worldwide, and it is a doctrine for them to do a rally to mark the celebration.

This was however stopped because of the news of the death of TB Joshua.

The Youth leader of the Community, Pastor Adio, founder of Gospel of Christ Apostolic Church, said that TB Joshua was a blessing to the community and the nation at large.

He recalled how the Late Man of God gave the community Two Transformers for the installation and even tarred the road of the community.

“This is so painful. It will take a lot of time before people would truly believe he is no more. He impacted lives of both old and young, Christians and Muslim alikes. He was a man of the people. Every festive period, he will give everyone Rice, Oil and N5,000”.

Kunle Salami couldn’t hold back tears as he recounted the lives and time of TB Joshua.

He lamented that his business is heavily affected.

Salami owns a Barbing Saloon in the area, and he said most of his customers are foreigners and tourists from the Church.

He said on weekends, he  usually smiled home to the bank, because he gets at least N1,000 each for every hair he barbed unlike people who live in the community who pay a meagre N300.

“Immediately I heard about his demise, I wept uncontrollably because I know my business is affected. I am thinking of diversifying and looking at another business to venture into. Just like me, other business are on the verge of Collapse”.

Salami stressed that a lot of people rented shops and pay heavily with the optimism of getting back their money and making profit because of the environ and location.

“Those shops you see go for at least N8,000 to N10,000 per month and they have been making profit. How will they feed themselves and family, and also sustain their businesses.

“The presence of the Church boosted businesses in the area. Some people even converted their houses to hotel just to make money and they smiled home to the bank. What is their fate presently?”, He queried.

Adebisi Wasiu, who owns a Supermarket at the area said that no doubt, his business will be affected.

He said his shop was always a point of call for buyers and residents of the Church. But it seems to be the end he said, as the tourists and foreigners will return to their country.

A visit to the House of TB Joshua on Ajisegiri Street, Agodo, Ikotun, saw heavy presence of armed Mobile Policemen and Soldiers who didn’t allow mourners to

enter the house, rather, family members, associates and known disciples were the only ones allowed in.

People on his strength spoke well of him, his antecedents and the impactful role he played in the Development of the area, people and organisations.

The Chairman of Egbe Idimu LCDA, Kunle Sanyaolu Olowoopejo, mourned the death of TB Joshua, describing as a gift to humanity, urging People to see his life as a reflection of love to humanity.

It would be recalled that TB Joshua’s Church wasn’t accepted as a member of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and he never related with the association or its leadership.

He once had an issue with House of God Pastor, Chris Okotie, who said that the acclaimed healing power of TB Joshua to the practice of an ancient Asian yoga-like sorcery called Shamanism.

The practice involves a practitioner reaching altered states of consciousness in order to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel these transcendental energies into this world.

He added that Joshua was a shaman who he regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of benevolent and malevolent spirits, who typically enters into a trance state during a ritual, and practices divination and healing.

Okotie Lambasted Christ Embassy Church Pastor, Chris Oyakhilome, for fraternising with TB Joshua. Other Pentecostal pastors warned T.B Joshua not to parade himself as a Pentecostal preacher.

“He is an occultist,” says Pastor Anselm Madubuko of the Revival Assembly Church in Lagos, stressing that  he claims he was born again in his mother’s womb. It is tragic that Spirit-filled people are led astray by him.”

“It is puzzling why Americans are drawn to him,” said Ayo Oritsejafor, Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church in Warri and former President of the Christian Association of God, CAN. “Where and when did he get saved? Who is his Pastor? That is what I would like to know.”

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, headed then by Bishop Mike Okonkwo, denounced Joshua as an imposter in a statement.

It said the group had for years warned of “the dangers of infiltrators who have modernized cultism by injecting the name of Jesus Christ into their largely unbiblical practices. It is necessary that we reiterate this position that the Synagogue (of All Nations) falls into this category.”

Interestingly, after the demise of TB Joshua, accolades are being showered on him for his love for humanity and impact on the lives of even the less privileged.

Categories: James Ibechi

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