Feature Article of Sunday, 19 July 2015
Columnist: Igwe, Leo
By Leo Igwe
Now, the Coroner has spoken, and the court has dismissed the obviously fictitious claim by the Synagogue Church of All Nations, that a small plane which it alleged, had been circling the building was responsible for the collapse, the government of Lagos must act and act now by bringing criminal charges against this church. It needs to sanction the Synagogue Church of All Nations.
The government should prosecute T.B Joshua’s church for so many reasons.
First it should get the church penalized for not obtaining proper approval before erecting the building because construction defects were blamed for the collapse. Also, it is important for people who lost their loves to this tragic incident to know that the government of Nigeria is doing whatever it can to ensure that justice is done and that those who have been implicated in the collapse of the building are facing the full wrath of the law.
The prosecution should also be used as a means to send a strong message to the owner of the church, T.B Joshua and other charlatans across the country who claim to be faith healers that their time is up. Joshua has been making reckless irresponsible and baseless miracle cure claims. He says he has prophetic and supernatural powers to heal all sorts of diseases including HIV/AIDS and stages healing dramas at the church in Lagos. Unfortunately there has not been any effort by the Lagos state government or the Nigerian government to verify the miracle cure claims of this controversial pastor. Instead, state officials have looked the other way while T.B. Joshua gradually grew his church using fictitious prophetic and miracle cures.
If the health care agencies in the country had risen to their responsibility, T.B Joshua might be serving a prison sentence by now for peddling fake cure claims or he might not have had the opportunity and resources to grow the Synagogue Church of All Nations, to the point of attracting foreign miracle seekers from different parts of the world.
Sadly, most of the dead were citizens of South Africa who came to the Synagogue Church of All Nations to access faith healing only to meet their untimely death. Now think about this. If T.B Joshua had any supernatural healing powers, why didn’t he raise those who died after the building collapsed? Why didn’t he heal those who were wounded? That means he would have avoided being prosecuted and stopped what is clearly an imminent closure of his church? If he does not have the acclaimed supernatural powers, why has he been parading himself as a faith healer? Why has the government of Nigeria not sanctioned him? Why has Lagos state not closed down the Synagogue Church of All Nations?
Now this is an opportunity to rectify this negligence and stop the exploitation by T.B Joshua of vulnerable sick persons who are desperately looking for cures. The government should prosecute the Synagogue Church of All Nations and expose the fake and irresponsible cure claims, the faith healing theatrics and supernatural pretensions of the church and its founder. The world is watching.