Sunday, 3rd December 2023

Synagogue fire: Residents allege sabotage,

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo and Jesutomi Akomolafe
29 April 2022   |   4:06 am
Reactions, yesterday, trailed the Wednesday fire at the old site of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Agodo, Egbe, with residents, who witnessed the incident, alleging sabotage.

•No cause for alarm, say rescuers, church
Reactions, yesterday, trailed the Wednesday fire at the old site of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN)  Agodo, Egbe,  with residents, who witnessed the incident, alleging  sabotage.
Residents were jolted on Wednesday evening when a section of the church’s old site,  about two kilometres from SCOAN headquarters cathedral was gutted by fire.
The fire affected a general-purpose store, though no injury or loss of lives were recorded.
This is the second time that part of the church premises would be gutted by fire even as the church prepares for the late Prophet’s first year anniversary.

An eyewitness, James Ademola, told The Guardian that sabotage may not be ruled out,  considering the opposition from unknown quarters since the demise of the founder of SCOAN, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua.
He said: “What we have noticed is that there are still some bad eggs in the church. You know that before the Court handed over the leadership of the church to Pastor Evelyn Joshua, there were some problems with the disciples who served under the leadership of late T.B Joshua.
“They wanted leadership. From what I know, some of them were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) because of the church money they allegedly stole. There are still informers causing some problems around.”

Another  eyewitness, who spoke in confidence, said he was part of first responders to douse the fire, adding that the church security operatives stopped them from going to rescue the situation.
When we heard about the fire at about 5:00p.m., we quickly rushed to the scene to see how to salvage the situation because the security guys were not doing anything about it and were just allowing the fire to burn,” she said.

A resident in the area, Akeem Alao, said no one was allowed to go in but the flames they saw showed the impact of the fire.
He said: “ The prayer mountain is covered so we were not allowed to go in but the Lagos Emergency team  went in.”

MEANWHILE, the acting Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, has confirmed the team and Federal fire service had put out the fire.
Also, the church in a statement yesterday, said  the fire had since been put out and assured the public that a review was ongoing, stating that there was no need for panic or “unnecessary speculations.”
It said: “The fire outbreak was from a general purpose store at the old site and has been successfully put out through the efforts of the ministry’s emergency response team, with no injuries whatsoever and no lives lost.

“Currently, the cause of the fire is unknown. To this end, we wish to assure our esteemed members, partners and friends of the ministry that we are on top of the situation.”