T.B. Joshua makes final voyage to Synagogue as crowd, associates pay last respect
The atmosphere was eccentric as Prophet T.B. Joshua made his last journey to the magnificent edifice in Ikotun, Lagos.
However, unlike his previous visits, the worship centre, which has played hosts to citizens of over 30 countries, was in solitude, while absolute silence pervades.
It was a mixture of unbelief and disappointment that his last visit to the magnificent structure was coming too soon.
Dressed in white, his remains arrived the church in a glass casket around 11:00a.m. at the Ikotun area of Lagos State.
T.B Joshua’s son-in-law, Bryan, and his daughters, Serah, Promise, Hart, and his wife Evelyn, were present at the lying-in-state service.
As his remains made symbolic last entry into Synagogue, many who have come to pay their last respect were seen falling and vomiting blood and other substances in The SCOAN auditorium.
While many could not control their emotions, but cried in disbelief that the televangelist is dead as they walked past the caskets.
The lying-in-state service, which commenced about 11:00a.m. at the church premises, witnessed the presence of Rabbi of the Economic Peace Centre, Israel, Gadi Ben Zvi; representatives of Bedouin authorities; former Ghanaian Minister of Health, Dr. George Yankey; Secretary General, Centre for Islamic Art and Culture, Alhaji Isah Abdul Rasaq; SuperSport General Manager, Mr. Felix Awogu and other foreign dignitaries.
Speaking of the late prophet’s impact on Israel, the man who introduced the Economic Centre of Peace in Israel, Mr. Anan Hamam, said T.B Joshua’s visit to Israel and Nazareth in 2008 was well received by the people because of his legacy in Israel.
Also, former Ghanaian Minister of Health, Dr. George Yankey, described the late prophet as a great man of God who touched the lives of many people.
Founder and President, Belema Oil, Tein Jack-Rich, said Joshua had been a father to him since 2012 when he had an encounter with him and that Joshua picked interest in him to be great.
The pastor died on Saturday, June 5, a few days to his 58th birthday. He was born on June 12, 1963. The late founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) had, in an interview with The Guardian, told how he was inspired by Holy Spirit to design the edifice, without help from architects or other building professionals.
But his unexpected last visit was greeted with a mammoth crowd despite the restriction occasioned by the COVID-19 guidelines.
“It was one of such you expect when a president visits a community,” a resident at Liasu Road, Egbe, told The Guardian. The resident, who gave his name simply as Andy, said they did not expect less. The event also witnessed a boom in commercial activities as brisk businessmen and women utilised the opportunity to sell caps and Tee shirts designed with the late prophet’s name and face.
A neck chain and a hat with the late T.B. Joshua’s face was sold at N300 each, while a collar was sold for N1000. Also, a cap went for N1,200, a wrist band, N100, a Polo T-shirt was sold for N1,500. A key holder was sold between N100 and N150. Calendars, pictures and tags with the face of the prophet were also on display.
According to residents, since his demise last month, business had been in its lowest ebb and the moment provides another opportunity to make sales.
Security agencies and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) provided security and directed traffic flow. LASTMA) had barricaded the area from Ile Iwe Bus Stop as early as 6:30a.m. while security operatives controlled the crowd that came to pay their last respect to the late prophet.
Commuters had to alight at Ile Iwe Bus Stop and those who could not afford to board a bike trekked to their destinations.
While the passers-by and some who came to pay their respects for the founder of Emmanuel TV called on people in authority to emulate the life of the prophet, some controversially said they wished it were the president who died instead. Policemen around walked away to avoid being captured on camera while the statement was made.
A woman said: “Tell me how many politicians can control such a crowd. TB bought rams for Muslims during the festival and he never segregated them. His good deed alone is enough to open the gate of heaven for him.
Speaking with The Guardian, Shedrack Aluko said: “I came to Lagos from Delta State because of T.B. Joshua. His teachings and act of generosity changed everything for me. He was indeed a man of God.”