As royalty celebrates T. B. Joshua’s Synagogue at 30
The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) was founded in 1987. In the course of its existence, now spanning 30 years, the church has been described as Nigeria’s biggest tourist attraction and the most visited destination by religious tourists by Africans and white both, including prominent heads of government of several countries. Many spiritual deliverance and physical healings have been ascribed to the church and its founder.
Besides his primary assignments of preaching the gospel and healing, the founder of SCOAN, Prophet T. B. Joshua, has embarked upon a lot of philanthropic gestures and these have been acknowledged, both within and outside the shores of the country. The same are also being attested to by the indigenes and traditional rulers of the Akoko region of Ondo State, the state of birth of the world-famous religious leader of the Christian faith.
The Akoko Division comprises of four out of the 18 local government areas of Ondo State. These include Akoko South West, with its headquarters at Oka; Akoko North East, Ikare; Akoko South East, Isua; and Akoko North West, Oke Agbe.
Joshua, the prophet/preacher, hails from Akoko North West, precisely from Arigidi. His impact has been felt positively in the Akoko Division in the areas of education, security and social development, among several others. For example, electricity was restored to the whole four local government areas in the division, after the prophet single-handedly coughed out a princely sum of more than N30 million; he gave out nine police patrol vans to security agencies, in the aftermath of a robbery incident which took place at Ikare Akoko, very close to the palace of the traditional ruler of the town, Oba Akadiri Saliu Momoh.
A man imbued with a strong desire to liberate his people from poverty, induced by illiteracy, Pastor T. B. Joshua is currently putting up world-class university, which value has been put at One Billion Dollars, in his native town of Arigidi Akoko. In the same vein, many indigent students from the area have equally benefitted from his generosity, scholarship and other empowerment programmes.
The Lord Jesus Christ, during one of his admonitions to his apostles and disciples, declared that a prophet is not without honour among his people. This however, seems not to be the case with T. B. Joshua as many people from far and wide have been attesting to the legendary philanthropic and humanitarian gesture of this Arigidi Akoko-born prophet. An attestation to this was the gale of reactions and outcries that trailed his declaration, last May, to the consternation of his numerous followers and adherents, to relocate his church to Israel. The declaration was not unconnected with what he described as the unending persecution of his church and activities. Prominent Nigerians, including the first executive governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and the Archbishop Emeritus of Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, among several others, however reportedly prevailed on him to rescind his decision.
While Balarabe Musa was said to have advised T. B. Joshua to rethink his resolution and stay back in the country, Cardinal Okogie was reported to have reminded him of the persecution of Jesus Christ and further quoted to have said, “He (T. B. Joshua) may not even realize the impact his ministry is doing to poor and the needy, beside healing and setting the captives free…”
Indeed, honour and recognition has come the way of the founder of the Synagogue, even from among his kith and kin as people from the Akoko Division have acknowledged his spiritual, material and financial contributions to their communities and to the country at large. Among these people are the traditional ruler of his hometown, the Zaki of Arigidi, Oba Yisa Abu Olanipekun and his counterpart in Ikare Akoko, Oba Momoh. The two prominent traditional rulers, in separate interviews with the Nigerian Tribune, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of SCOAN testified to the milk of kindness flowing in the veins of their prominent son, Prophet T. B. Joshua.
The Zaki of Arigidi described the founder of SCOAN as a colossus and an internationally-acclaimed man of God who has positively touched the life of his people, both within Nigeria and beyond in two areas namely, religion and tourism.
Speaking further, Oba Olanipekun said: “Prophet T. B. Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations is making waves in the areas of religion and tourism development all over the world and his hometown, Arigidi Akoko, is not an exemption. We thank God for what he is doing all over the world. I am proud of him, especially with the projection of his works through the Emmanuel Television.
“There was a day I was returning from a trip to Kenya. Inside the plane, I saw people wearing the Emmanuel Television T-shirts. In fact, some of them were looking at the way I was admiring them and also appreciated the special way I greeted them. With a sense of pride, I made them realize that I am the traditional ruler of Prophet Joshua’s hometown in Nigeria. After the introduction, you need to see the excitement on their faces. I was very proud to be associated with them.
“Prophet T. B. Joshua has touched this community in all areas of human endeavour. I am very sure you must have heard how he bailed us, the entire Akoko Division out of total darkness with over N30 million to ensure power supply. You must have also heard about his donation of nine Toyota Hilux vehicles to the security agents in the Akoko area. Above all, his proposed university, which is at the construction stage, is quite laudable. I sue to go there to supervise the structures.
“In all these and others too numerous to mention, we are very proud of him. He is our illustrious son. I am therefore using this medium to thank him very much for all he has done for us so far. I am also imploring him to do more. We all love him.”
The Olukare of Ikare, Oba Saliu Momoh, was not left out of the encomiums for Prophet T. B. Joshua. The traditional ruler, while testifying to the generosity of the popular prophet, described him as the pride son of the entire Akoko Division in Ondo State who God has benevolently raised from the community for the uplift of the entire human race.
Oba Momoh told the Nigerian Tribune: “T. B. Joshua is our son, our pride. We beg the Almighty God to continue to protect him. He is all over the world. We are grateful that God raised him from this community for the benefit of humanity. The generosity of Prophet T. B. Joshua is incomparable. No matter who you are, he is always willing to help.
“He has done plenty for us. If I should continue to mention, we might not be able to exhaust everything. That we now have constant electricity in the Akoko Division, I mean in the entire four local government areas, is due to his generosity. When we were looking for money, he was the one that paid the N32 million needed to get power restored. The same story goes to the area of security where he provided nine Toyota Hilux patrol vehicles to the security agents.
“Prophet T. B. Joshua lived here in the palace during the reign of my immediate predecessor, but I knew him formally when I was installed in 1985. He came all the way from Lagos that I should accompany him for prayers in one of our schools. Though I am a Muslim, I accompanied him because my mind told me that he is a man of God and that God has destined him to be a great man. Prophet T. B. Joshua is really a man of God. His prayers have divine intentions and manifestations.
“T. B. Joshua’s footprints are in all areas of human endeavour here in our community. I had visited him in Lagos several times and one of my major recent visits to him was to show appreciation and thank him on behalf of our sons and daughters in the Akoko Division.”`