Sunday, 19 October 2014

Nigerian preacher faces scrutiny after disaster

By SUNDAY ALAMBA and CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA September 17, 2014 12:11 PM


LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A Nigerian televangelist whose exuberant followers across Africa and beyond believe he has powers of healing and prophesy is now under scrutiny after one of his buildings collapsed, killing at least 70 people.

Following the disaster, officials charged that church workers obstructed rescue efforts.

The exact circumstances of the collapse as well as the death toll remained unclear on Wednesday, five days after the disaster at a multistory guesthouse and shopping area for T.B. Joshua's Synagogue, Church of All Nations, on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital.

South Africa, which said 67 of its nationals died and dozens were injured, was struggling to glean information from the scene and to answer the desperate inquiries of people whose relatives had flown to the West African nation to experience the evangelical Joshua's preaching and faith healing.

Mpho Molebatsi, 25, expressed frustration about the lack of information while waiting with his mother at the main international airport in Johannesburg, where flights arrive daily from Nigeria. His sister traveled to the Nigerian church last week and Molebatsi hadn't heard from her since they spoke on Friday, the day the building collapsed.

"I think they are trying to keep the T.B. Joshua image alive," Molebatsi said, speculating that the church was trying to shirk responsibility.

A rescue worker takes part in the search of the rubble of a collapsed building belonging to the Syna …
While Nigerian government officials said shoddy construction was a possible cause, Joshua suggested Islamic extremists who are active in Nigeria were responsible. He sought to rally the faithful with a Facebook message about resilience.
"Hard times may test me, they cannot destroy me," the message read.
Joshua's church has branches around the world, attracts African political leaders and hosts gatherings of thousands during which the preacher places his hands on worshippers, who spin in circles and collapse on the ground. Critics say the televangelist hinders efforts to curtail AIDS and tuberculosis with testimonies by church-goers that faith and his holy water can cure both diseases.
To bolster allegations of an attack on the building that collapsed, Joshua's television station, Emmanuel TV, showed security camera video of what it says was a "strange aircraft" flying low over the building four times before the structure plunges into the ground in seconds, startling pedestrians in the foreground.
The "steel structures" of the building failed, said Bede Obayi, head of inspection and compliance for the Standard Organization, a Nigerian state regulatory body. Workers added two floors onto the original four-story structure, according to officials.
Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of …
 
Rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed building belonging to the Synagogue …
"We need to look at whether, because of the number of people needing to be accommodated, they added more floors without looking at the foundation," Obayi said. His agency is investigating the collapses this year of more than 10 multistory buildings in Nigeria, where corruption in the construction industry sometimes leads contractors to take short cuts and use substandard products.
Another official, Ibrahim Farinloye of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency, said church representatives had not cooperated, at least initially, with rescuers heading to the site, possibly slowing the effort to find survivors.
Church officials, said by former disciples to exercise tight control over members, have not responded directly to the allegation. On Tuesday, a woman who answered the telephone at the church would not give her name and would only say that the situation was under control.
Farinloye has said 70 bodies were recovered from the rubble, but it was not clear whether the bodies were those South Africans or were a different group. Rescuers were using sniffer dogs in their search for survivors as well as bodies, he said.
Joshua stands out in Nigeria, a country of 170 million where various forms of evangelical Christianity are followed passionately. The church on the outskirts of Lagos, where the building collapsed, has restaurants, overflow tents for thousands and dorms for visitors, who all hope for spiritual guidance from the man known to followers as "the prophet."
"The gospel needs to be preached all over the world," Joshua said in an interview earlier this year with The Associated Press. "You cannot light a candle and put it under a roof."
Torchia reported from Johannesburg. Associated Press writers Carley Petesch and Michelle Faul contributed from Johannesburg.
 
 
Benetine 32 minutes ago
Although Nigeria leaders wants nothing less than to commit all sorts of mortal sins—not to mention an uncountable number of venial ones—I want this letter to speak a language of retaliation, not reconciliation, Maybe you probably never understand why this leaders scares me so much. Let start.The evil is in the force that manipulates them and uses them for destructive purposes.
This leaders are not human but Demons with, their Boko Haram friends.I just want to say that if this leaders thinks that boko haram must be abolished in order for people to be more secure and comfortable then maybe they also should lay off the wacky to backy corrupt minds in them too.If they thinks that they can make us turn to a live of crime then they are barking up the wrong trees.They keeps insisting that Nigerians can be happy only when their boko haram terrorist group are given full arms.Why does this leaders insist on boring holes in the hull of the very boat in which they themselves are also passenger?”A long time ago I wrote that “the best way to invite all the people who have been harmed by NIGERIA to continue to express and assert their concerns in a constructive and productive fashion is to fight for what is right”.What is that, that is right? the freedom of Biafran people.We must open students' eyes, minds, hearts, and souls to the world around them. If we fail then all of our sacrifices and all of the dreams and sacrifices of our ancestors heroes and heroines will been in vain. Godforbid,We will not fail.In closing, remember we must work together to open peoples' eyes, minds, hearts, and souls to understand the meaning of our Biafra struggle . Together, we can make a difference. Forever and always. God bless Biafra.
 
Muhammad 25 minutes ago
Whatever the shot comings of the televangelist may be, the true situation os the utter failure of the authorities to provide anything near reasonable on-healthcare delivery to the populace. The Preacher is just an astute business-savvy televangelist who like many others capitalised on the executive failure to generate funds and profits using the name of religion.
Why was there any standard to enforce on the buildings? Who supervised and approved the building plan? This is not in anyway to excuse any failures and culpability on the televangelist but the Nigerian situation is such that anything goes because the executive has failed in every respect even the mundane right to "law and order", hey only show up when they want rig elections or pass-bye with their convoys. Why stories have it that Patrick Sawyer who brought Ebola to Nigeria actually was on his to the Preacher for prayers to cure him' that is how informed we are!
 
nadya 4 hours ago
T.B. Joshua is under suspicion of serial child rape,they only reason he hasnt been arrested is because the police and the government worry about civil strife and riots.2 parents have come forward in the last couple of months but still the gov’t and the local police refuse to investigate TB JOSHUA...THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THIS PEDOPHILE IS FOR HIM TO BE KILLED AND IM SURE THE SOUTH AFRICANS ARE PLANNING THAT RIGHT NOW...THIS MAN HAS HURT WAY TO MANY PEOPLE TO CONTINUE TO HAVE THIS MUCH POWER...
Sad is Africa. Prophets, pastors and the likes of men in cloth, taking the money from the poor. However sad this collapse is, no stone should be left un-turned to find the civil engineer who went ahead with the construction. Oh Africa, how I cry for my brothers and sisters that flock to these mass churches. Seek the small houses of God where the preacher is poor like us, giving us comfort. The last prophet was Mohammed; Jesus said it.
Wake up my African family. These pastors, prophets and preachers of mass churches seek luxury at our expense. We tithe and they buy gold and luxury cars, live in mansions and prey on you, not pray for you. The very bible that we read warns us about the wolf in sheep-clothes. It's time to stand up and be accountable to God, for our Heavenly Father will ask that of you when you meet your Maker. "Why did you wander when I made it clear" is the question that will condemn you to hell when God asks you that very question.
 
Benetine 31 minutes ago
Where, oh where, should I begin telling you about how stolid Nigeria is? How about here: Like many of you, I am sick and tired of being a Nigerian,That is why iam calling the free world to hear me, Since 47 years ago, Nigeria is not longer a country but a group of people, our leaders are evil and corrupt, our pastors have turn to jet owners and the church members have no money to send their children to school, our nollywood actors are now turning to politicians, our university graduate have no job, our youths have turn to kidnappers, our soldiers are working with boko harams terrorist group, our streets are dirty and our roads are full of accident, our buses have no break, our police offices are busy collecting money from us, our girls have turn to prostitude, our children are orange, banana and pure water hawkers in the street, our president is confused man. We must bring NIGERIA to justice. we most let the free world know this, that Nigeria has not invents or originates nothing over the past 60 years, you should know that our ex governors belong to jail, Nothing unites people like a common enemy. That is why I would encourage Biafrans to take some shots of their own at Nigeria boko haram terrorist group by reprimanding them for destroying our christian believe. study and listen to radio biafra, Well, Nigeria leaders, we're all getting a little tired of you people and this kind messing up the Nigerians and then refusing to accept responsibility for what you have done. We're fed up. And the day is coming when all of you be held accountable for your inaniloquent threats. God bless Biafra.
 
TJ 34 minutes ago
In Africa, it's the dumb leading the dumber. When things fail, they call the west for handouts. At least they can't blame their failures on discrimination like the blacks do living in the west.
 
fd f 19 minutes ago
Get these fake Christian preachers out of Africa. Now is the time Africa should be taking its resources back from conquest for good, not these shenanigans. For God's sake-in addition, any photo of a fake "white" Jesus (pure fabrication) in Africa should be burned. The first churches were in Ethiopia anyway-get that #$%$ off the continent. It is meant to soften you and call another man, your enemy, God.
 
1 day ago
If something good had happened, believers would attribute it to God. So much so that if someone claimed it was due to human strength, believers would rebuke him/her as very prideful. Ironically, now that it's a tragic thing, the same believers will NOT blame God. They'll instead blame man/satan/evil/just about anything "under the sun".

The sad thing for me is that this leaves no room to logically scrutinize "God". It corrupts every attempt to evaluate if "God" does the things the claim him/her to have promised. Logically, that means anyone can create/imagine anything/one to be "God" and so it/he/she will be - as long as the same is absolved of any responsibilities for failure but praised for success. Take for instance, if someone tell us that person X is "God". Whenever this person "predicts" events and they DO happen (by pure coincidence), an unsuspecting audience (believers) will praise this "God". But whenever the events DO NOT happen, the promoters instead blame the audience or the any other thing (evil of the audience, wrongs of the forefathers of the audience, etc). Do you realize that the promoters will have successfully created "a powerful God"? I mean, he/she "follows through with his promise and fails not".

The concept/being of God would have been a lot more credible if it/he/she would be secure enough to pass logical scrutiny. Perhaps, the ease of "creating" one is the reason the 7.2 billion poeple in the world subscribe to more than 3 million "gods"/faiths. The sad part is that the poor who live a life of hand to mouth will always be foolish enough to forgo their subsistence livelihood and save the same in order to foot the bills of faith leaders who live very extravagant lives.
 
3Lhay 1 day ago
I have no issues with his claim of an aircraft hovering over the building before its eventual collapse, but those cctv camera should be reviewed and check for their possibility of capturing the sky instead of capturing the ground activities at every possible angle especially for those that rotates. RIP to the lost soul who went for healings but were sent to an early grave.
delford 1 day ago
When things like this happens, we do not want to blame anyone. No one will feel happy to see people dying that way. We need words that will comfort those who lost their beloved ones. We do not want to go into details of what happened before we know the truth. We also appeal to the media to give us correct information.
 
 3Lhay 1 day ago
I have no issues with his claim of an aircraft hovering over the building before its eventual collapse, but those cctv camera should be reviewed and check for their possibility of capturing the sky instead of capturing the ground activities at every possible angle especially for those that rotates. RIP to the lost soul who went for healings but were sent to an early grave.
 
delford 1 day ago
When things like this happens, we do not want to blame anyone. No one will feel happy to see people dying that way. We need words that will comfort those who lost their beloved ones. We do not want to go into details of what happened before we know the truth. We also appeal to the media to give us correct information.
 
Dinky 1 day ago
May the Grace of God be with those who lost their lives whilst trying to gain freedom from darkness. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. Nothing we do or say can bringback your loved ones. As fellows Christians we are with you in prayers-May you find peace through the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. To all the followers of Jesus Christ and particularly those of us who believe in the teachings of Senior Prophet TB Joshua; We know the truth and it is in times like these that we have to be strong in prayers to cover the ministry and our Spiritual Father with prayers. Bretheren Good Morning to You all!! This too shall pass but darkness can never and shall never chase darkness...only light can do that. TB Joshua is a true man of God, I have seen it manifest in my life. All truth shall come out in the wash eventually. It is a pity that lives are lost in this instance but many lives have been saved at SCOAN not only at this point but many times. The death of loved ones can never be justified and my heart goes out to those who lost lives. May you find comfort in His
Grace.
 
Wonder Munyanyi 22 hours ago
Karl Marx was right. Religion is the opium of the people. This very very rich man who claims to be a prophet cannot even solve problems in his country. Boko Haram kidnapped those innocent girls and he cannot tell us where they are. Jesus Christ was a friend of the poor and lived a simple life. This man lives in obscene opulence and vulgar luxury by using the name of God. He should be arrested for trying to defeat the course of justice by not cooperating with authorities when the building collapsed. The relatives
of the deceased should sue him to his last penny. Bloody thief and wolf in sheep's clothing. When people are beset with HIV, Ebola and serious economic problems, they end up believing anything. Enter charlatans like him. If heaven exists, God should grill his stomach on the day of judgement.
 
Jeff 1 day ago
This would be laughable if it were not so tragic. Another Religious Delusional Nut Job that needs to get a real job, like digging through the rubble to try and help any possible survivors.
 
Clokdok 11 hours ago
"You cannot light a candle and put it under a roof." Well, not under a roof this guy built, for sure.
 
dumisani 1 hour ago
Why couldn't he prophesy the colaps of the building and death of the people before-hand!?
 
FirstName 14 minutes ago
"...followers across Africa and beyond believe he has powers of healing and prophesy..." This kind of third-world ignorance and stupidity also persists in first-world countries like the U.S.
 
inanila 41 minutes ago
may God help all of you
 
Iso 4 hours ago 
It was better for Nigeria and the world if TD Joshua had died in the building collapse, then he would have gone to heaven to meet his god
 
Apostate 9 hours ago
As reprehensible as Boko Haram is, you can't blame them for EVERY misfortune in Nigeria. That this so-called "prophet" even attempted it would be hilarious if not for the tragic circumstances.
 
Apostle Rubie James - Author Jewels Prophet 12 hours ago
In this case, it seems like "lighting a lamp and putting it under a bushel (bowl)" would be safer...
 
Nel 21 hours ago
This is OH so funny!HaHa!
 
PATRICK MVALWANA 2 hours ago 
T.B Joshua since they say he can wake the dead am sure he can start with 67 people of SA that have died in his church ..I would love to see if he is a real deal by starting his miracle with those who are dead..& I heard the guy years ago predicted an Aircraft in ASIA that it will crush or something but it happen what he predicted but my biggest question is this pastor T.B JOSHOU is he a Satanism or is he a real pastor??? if he is a real deal then we don't have to worry about the dead people he will wake them like he can cure a patient with AIDS (An Internal Disease Stress) or HIV (High Inverted Virus)
 
Bernard 1 hour ago
This is a tragedy for SCOAN and all those who lost loved ones. I am a confident member of SCOAN not through any member of the church but through divine revelation. Prophet TB Joshua is
genuine, he is an exception to those who dupe the vulnerable in the name of religion. There is no way this gentle lamb Prophet TBJ should be blame for this calamity. He is not a building engineer and more so this church has been a target of Islamic terrorists from Northern Nigeria .So while we feel for those who lost loved ones let us wait for the truth about the cause to come out.

 
Forward 1 day ago
That building was obviously badly constructed. The engineers should be probed not the evangelist. If a doctor's negligent results in the death of a patient, we don't go arrest the owner of the hospital unless you can prove that the doctor acted on his influence. By this I mean the religious tendency to think that God can hold a badly constructed building with his hands. Yes He could in the past but this generation has so much sin that no miracle can cause that to happen.... WE MUST BELIEVE IN SCIENCE AS MUCH AS WE BELIEVE IN MIRACLES BECAUSE GOD GAVE US SCIENCE....TOO
 
Jude 1 day ago
Already some other religious person is basically claiming this is a judgement from heaven on an heretical cult. Actual cause... sloppy building, local authorities failure to impose even minimal building regulations in a corrupt culture. This is Nigeria, folks, no superstitious explanation required.
 
JARSON 4 hours ago
All this south africa making noise,is it only south africa that was killed,there a lot of nigerians,ghana,zambia and people from different country,so stop try to exaggerate as if only south africa died. nigeria is not zimbabwe or lesotho so be very very careful about what you say
 
 
EaglEyes 1 day ago
It's strange how people who are psychologically ill with some of schizophrenics have been able to lure masses of supposedly sane people. Chasing some kind of healing from God yet dying under tragic circumstances. Which god is that ? Only in the dark continent. Certainly not the GOD that I serve. Thank GOD I know him and he has opened my eyes into the truth.
 
HHH 1 day ago
How come his prophecy was unable to predict the imminent collapse and catastrophic disaster that has happened to his church.Joshua and his kind are too many in poverty stricken countries like Nigeria dangling false hopes and peddling lies about miracles.
 
chukwuma 18 hours ago
T.B. Joshua is NOT what he thinks he is, he is what he hides - deception and lies
 
Albert 15 hours ago 
Unfortunately his prophecy did not foretell that the building would collapse., what a wxnkxr.. These preachers are all the same, con men and con women, leaches and parasites. I don.t know how anyone with more than one brain cell can fall for such garbage
 
Paul 1 day ago
It amazes me that in this day and age, with all that we know, that people still buy into this nonsense, ignorance truly is bliss.
 
HomoRegina 13 hours ago
What a pity a few more of these evangelist fruitcakes weren't underneath it. Gay Marriage Pride.
 
Christopher 1 day ago
People will never stop being stupid. This Joshua is just but amongst African mafias using the bible for self enrichment. I don`t buy these stories of the said prophets~ all are mafias using desperate people to accumulate wealth..
 
The New World Order 1 day ago
Jesus Cures not TB Joshua.He is a crook and a false prophet.
 
Steve 1 day ago
There's a scheming scammer born every second in Nigeria & an innocent trusting sucker who falls victim to them born every microsecond everywhere else!!!
 
Eldon 12 hours ago
"He has powers of healing and prophesy". Why did he not predict this disaster? Why did he not heal the injured? Or was he to busy counting his millions...
 
derick 1 day ago
Scammed to their early graves....Thats Nigeria for you....RIP guys
 
JARSON 4 hours ago
You are quick to see the negative side,but you don't see how many kid from all over the world that is under under scholarship through scoan and emmanuel tv partners,useless morons from south africa
 
JARSON 4 hours ago
Didn't a shopping mall collapse in cape town last year?
 
Paul 1 day ago
Yeah him and that Allah Bloke whoever the fk he is !!!!!!!!
 
Abdullah The Cat 1 day ago
It was the work of Jesus!.
 
derick 1 day ago
Tuberculosis Blooded Jerkass....his actions will catch up with him......Evil Preacher
 
Ronny 1 day ago
Anything to do with the nigies IS A SCAM......
 
fred 15 hours ago
`gods' will , just like ebola ! - does anybody , ever wonder why , the most destructful diseases in the world , always , begin in the african continent ? - it is , natures / `gods' way , of birth control ! - as most africans always , have large families and then moan /beg , because they cannot then afford to feed , such large families !! .
 
Wonder Munyanyi 22 hours ago
Karl Marx was right. Religion is the opium of the people. This very very rich man who claims to be a prophet cannot even solve problems in his country. Boko Haram kidnapped those innocent girls and he cannot tell us where they are. Jesus Christ was a friend of the poor and lived a simple life. This man lives in obscene opulence and vulgar luxury by using the name of God. He should be arrested for trying to defeat the course of justice by not cooperating with authorities when the building collapsed. The relatives
of the deceased should sue him to his last penny. Bloody thief and wolf in sheep's clothing. When people are beset with HIV, Ebola and serious economic problems, they end up believing anything. Enter charlatans like him. If heaven exists, God should grill his stomach on the day of judgement.
 
 
dumisani 1 hour ago 
Why couldn't he prophesy the colaps of the building and death of the people before-hand!?
G$D Inc. Is Dead 16 hours ago. I'd sue g$d.
More
Reply
 
 
"Emmanuel – God is with us.
"The pain of one is the pain of all. It is indeed a sad and painful moment for the families and friends who have lost loved ones. It is equally so for us in The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (The SCOAN), under the leadership of Prophet T.B. Joshua.
"On Friday, September 12, 2014, at about 12:44pm, one of the buildings on The SCOAN property unexpectedly collapsed, tragically resulting in death and injury. Nigerians, South Africans and citizens of other nations were affected. This incident was preceded by the appearance of a strange aircraft which flew very low over the building four times and then disappeared.
"Since the day of this incident, The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, its members and partners, have worked in collaboration with the Nigerian, South African and other nations’ authorities to ensure that survivors are rescued, attended to with the best medical treatment, cared for in the most humane and hospitable manner and reunited with their families, while those who passed on - martyrs of the Kingdom of God - are retrieved, identified and treated respectfully.
"Amongst those we are working hand-in-hand with, are: The Federal Government of Nigeria, the Government of the Republic of South Africa, Lagos State Government, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Ministry of Health - doctors and nurses, the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Red Cross, the Nigeria Police Force and various Non-governmental and humanitarian organisations and construction and engineering corporations.
"It is very sad that inaccurate reports are coming from some quarters that we are not cooperating with the rescue teams and other agencies in collating information and providing assistance on the incident. Contrary to this, we want to categorically state that the church has provided assistance when and where required and continues to do so - good Christians are good citizens.
"We emphasise our commitment to cooperate with all relevant authorities in establishing the cause of the collapse of the building. The church views this tragedy as part of an attack on The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations and in particular, Prophet T.B. Joshua. In due course, God will reveal the perpetrators of this unfortunate tragedy.
"We wish to express our gratitude to all who continue to work tirelessly, show their solidarity and share their condolences in this grievous time, particularly all Government and non-Governmental bodies mentioned above, Diplomatic Missions, National and International media houses, society groups, traditional rulers, all concerned citizens and the residents of our local community, Ikotun-Egbe. We equally appreciate all members and partners of The SCOAN and Emmanuel TV, along with Christians and clergy worldwide for their prayers and support.
"To all those who lost family members and loved ones, please accept our heart-felt commiserations. No one knows by the present sign or situation what the future holds. We must therefore live each day as if it were our last and leave tomorrow’s trouble for the One who bore our troubles on the cross. We thank God for the martyrs and we pray for the family members and loved ones left behind."
For further information, please contact the Crisis Control Centre:
+234-(0)-909-735-1553
+234-(0)-909-735-1549
+234-(0)-817-223-3070
+234-(0)-802-535-4478
+234-(0)-805-165-2864
+234-(0)-807-528-2495
 
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)
When News Breaks Out, We Break In!
 
 

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