The remains of the late Prophet TB Joshua, Founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), were laid to rest yesterday at his church in Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos. He died in Lagos on June 5. It was an event that attracted several eminent personalities from Nigeria as well as other dignitaries from across the globe. People in their numbers started trooping into the church from early in the morning. Security personnel, church’s guards and ushers had a hectic time controlling the crowd. At exactly 10am, the casket bearing the corpse was rolled into the church’s large auditorium by the undertakers. There were cries of agony in and outside the auditorium.
The bereaved wife, Evelyn, their three daughters and other members of the family ushered in the corpse to the middle of the church. Ondo State Government House Choir gave a soul-lifting rendition. Tee Mac Omatshola, the flutist, also rendered a song to wish the man of God goodbye. International gospel singer, Byron Cage, also performed.
I benefited financially from him – Gov Akeredolu
Extolling his virtue, Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said Nigeria has lost a rare gem and special breed. He said the prophet contributed greatly to the emancipation of the less-privileged in Ondo, Nigeria and beyond.
He said TB Joshua was a special creature right from childhood, and started performing miracles even as a young man while in school.
The governor said that the man of God led a fulfilled life that impacted all, irrespective of race or tribal and religious affiliations. “The world is more represented here than when Nelson Mandela was buried. This shows that he was a global citizen.
“His love was not only for the less-privileged but he also did good for the privileged.
“When I was just elected as a governor, he came to my house and gave me good money. He also gave me more money to be delivered to my wife, which I delivered to her. “He also paid electricity bills for four local government areas in Ondo State. He bought transformers for many communities in our state. Many of us sought deliverance from him and we got our deliverance. “Synagogue Church is one of the most important tourist centres in Nigeria. Everyone benefits from the church in one way or the other. “His legacy is worthy of emulation. He has engraved his legacy in the hearts of people all over the world. Indeed, the world is mourning. We can never forget his humanitarian gestures.
“By all standard, TB Joshua led a Christ-like life. Let us all imbibe his exemplary life. He preached love and was a man of peace. “He was focused despite his criticisms and misgivings by some people. Who are you to decide who to follow Jesus?”
He was a General, God’s servant -Sanwo-Olu
Also paying tribute to the man of God, Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, described the prophet as a General in God’s House. He said that TB Joshua’s life was worthy of emulation. He added that the cleric’s story was an inspirational one that cannot be forgotten in a hurry. He said that the prophet never forgot his roots, even after he became a renowned leader and global evangelist.
Sanwo-Olu, whose speech was delivered by the state commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, said TB Joshua played the role of a father to many orphans and led a life of dedication, love and sacrifice.
“He helped many people to fulfill destinies that God has given them. His life should encourage us to renew our hope in Christ. Prophet TB Joshua’s charitable gifts and love for humanity should open our eyes to the possibility of a world where we all live in peace despite our racial, religious and cultural differences,” the governor said.
Youths, street urchins besiege church entrance
At the entrance of the church, it was a herculean task for the security operatives as they battled to prevent many youths from forcefully gaining entrance into the premises. The youths, many of them street urchins, sang different songs, reflecting how the late prophet loved them and never despised them.
Displaying the deceased portrait, the angry youths claimed that they were bonafide members of Ikotun-Egbe community that must not be edged out in the scheme of things. The security personnel, at some point, had to apply some force to keep the angry youths from pulling down the iron barricade that served as checkpoint for those allowed to cover the event.
“We are here to wish him goodbye but we are treated like criminals by these security people. The man was not like this,” one of the protesting youths said.
Many people were seen making brisk business outside the premises of the Synagogue. While many of his followers were mourning the demise of their prophet, others were smiling to the bank, having tapped into the crowd that besieged the church to pay the deceased his last respects. The stretch of the median of Ikotun Egbe Street, where the church is located, was decorated with assorted materials engraved with the prophet’s picture. There were, calendars, hats of different sizes, identity cards, T-shirts, wrist bands, fez caps, and key holders in large quantities. Joining others to extol the legacy of the SCOAN founder, the wife of the Ooni of Ife, Olori Naomi Ogunwusi Adeyeye, said Prophet TB Joshua was a gift to humanity who sacrificed all he had for others to be happy.
She described the late prophet as a true son of the soil who blessed so many people. She prayed for the wife, children, other relatives, and the church. Other dignitaries at the event include the deputy governor of Ondo State, Lucky Orimisan, Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, Lagos State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Stephen Adegbite, representative of CAN’s President, David Lyon, who was former governor-elect in Bayelsa State, Chairman of Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area, Kunle Sanyaolu and other persons and groups from different continents.
At 2.24pm, the body was taken from the church auditorium to his the tomb that was prepared for it, also within the church’s premises. At that moment, the quite sobs metamorphosed into uncontrollable wailing. As the weeping pervaded the air, the casket was lowered to the ground at about 2.53pm. Bishop Steven Ogedengbe, Roberto Acosta from Argentina and other men of God within and outside Nigeria charged the congregation on the need to continue to celebrate TB Joshua, saying that the late prophet had fulfilled his own assignment on earth.