Editorial Suite


OVER the years, many Nigerians have died as a result of collapsed building. But in all the incidents of building collapse none in the country has involved citizens of another country and it has not happened in a church premises. Most of the collapsed buildings are owned by ordinary Nigerians not a man or men of God with miraculous powers to avert danger. The victims of collapsed building in the country are also not miracle seekers as in the case of the collapse of the guest house belonging to the controversial T.B. Joshua, founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, who is believed to have miraculous powers.

Unlike other cases of collapsed building, the one at Synagogue has generated a lot of controversy because of the devious way the church members attacked first responders who came to rescue victims. Also, the unholy explanation Joshua gave as the cause of the collapsed building have left many people askance wondering if the man of God is truly a man of God or an imposter. The reaction of the church members have also made some people to think that the church wants to cover up the real cause of the six-storey building and the actual number of people who died in the incident. The explanations Joshua gave flies in the face of facts that the foundation for building was meant for a two-storey, which was later raised to six. Initially, Joshua claimed that it was a plane that hovered over the building that caused the collapse; then he changed the song to the idea that Boko Haram insurgents were culpable and that he was their major target.

From all indications, Joshua has not provided any reason why anybody would want him killed. But in all the charlatanic postulations, he has neither spared a thought for the victims of the building collapse and their families as was observed by Realnews through the sermon and prayers the Church had during their Sunday service on Sunday, September 14. He is concentrating his effort in shifting blames, and not taking responsibility that the collapsed building which killed 80 persons and left 131 injured was built on a shaky foundation.

Certainly, he must have forgotten the biblical injunction not to build any house on a sandy soil. What could have made Joshua to authorise the guest house to be built on a foundation meant for a two-storey? Did he obtain approval from the Lagos Building Control Agency before embarking on such enterprise? Did he believe that the miraculous powers he claimed to have will hold the building up? Why did Joshua and his followers behave in such unruly manner by attacking first responders unlike what is expected of the gentle and the godly? Were they trying to hide the facts that more people died, especially foreigners who were harboured in the uncompleted building? Could he have succeed in their escapade had Jacob Zuma, South Africa president not spoken out that 67 South Africans died from the building collapse?

There are no easy answers to these questions. However, Realnews magazine in an attempt to unravel what went wrong at the Synagogue assigned Anayo Ezugwu to investigate the incident. The outcome of his investigation is the thrust of our cover story for this week entitled: T.B. Joshua: Devil or Saint?  Enjoy it.

Maureen Chigbo


[email protected]

— Sep. 29, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT


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