By Femi Fani-Kayode
A few weeks ago I tweeted that I would write an essay about the bombing of a building at Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua’s Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN).
Though I have been writing essays and contributing to the public discourse for over 27 years, I have never received the number of threats from known and unknown sources as I did after that tweet.
Yet I am not deterred. As a matter of fact such threats always strenghen my resolve to stand firm, do the right thing and dig even deeper.
I am a servant of truth and the voice of the voiceless: I cannot be intimidated and I will not be silenced.
Part of my calling is to speak truth to power, to stand up for the oppressed and to speak up for the victims of barbarity, persecution, wickedness and injustice and I will not shy away from doing so on this occassion.
Prophet TB Joshua started his ministry 30 years ago in 1987 when he founded his Church. He is a strong and credible voice in the Body of Christ in Nigeria.
He is a respected and much-loved Christian leader who is doing great works and wonders for the Kingdom of God both in and outside of our country. He is reverred in many nations in the world, including numerous countries in South America, South East Asia, Africa, Europe, the far East, Israel, Lebanon, India and the United States of America where he is a regular visitor that is welcomed and received with much love and enthuisiasm.
Such is his following that it is on record that out of every 10 foreigners that visit Nigeria every year, 6 of them have come to spend time in T.B. Joshua’s Church and receive ministration from him.
Yet despite all these laudable achievements it is clear that he has many enemies.
I am not a member of his Church, I have never worshipped there and neither do I have any reason to defend him or to speak up for him other than the fact that, in my humble opinion, in this particular case and matter, he and his Church members are undoubtedly the primary targets and victims of injustice, wickedness and what can only be described as nothing less than pre-meditated and cold-blooded mass murder.
They are also the subjects of one of the greatest cover-ups in Nigerian history and of a massive and well-orchestrated disinformation campaign.
It says a lot for him, his resilience, his ministry, his calling, his members and the enormous amount of strength and grace that he enjoys from the Living God that, despite the sheer hell that he has been put through as a consequence of these ugly events and tragic affair, he has refused to be broken or silenced.
Rather than capitulate he has risen to the occasion, gone from strength to strength, stoically accepted the numerous challenges that he has been faced with and stood firm in the preaching of the gospel and in the battle against the Kingdom of darkness.
He has also refused to be cowed and instead has stood-by, comforted and assisted the families of those who lost their loved ones in this brutal attack as best as he could.
The truth is that whether his detractors wish to admit it or not, T.B. Joshua has weathered the storm well and he remains one of the most respected and celebrated Pastors and men of God in Nigeria today and certainly one of the most internationally-acknowledged and acclaimed of them all.
The truth is that there is nothing that is ordinary about this man. It appears that the more his haters (and there are many of them in Nigeria) throw bricks at him and seek his downfall, the more he grows, prospers and increases. Only God can do this for any human being.
Like those that are healed of numerous ailments by the Holy Spirit in his Church, his strength and survival and his uncanny readiness and ability to continue to spread love and charity to the poor, the weak, the challenged, the despised and the helpless all over the world, regardless of his own personal challenges, is not only exemplary but also borders on the miraculous.
The truth is that if the events that I am about to describe had happened to ANY other person or man of God in this country I am not sure that they would have been able to survive it.
To all intents and purposes Joshua is a mystery. He is a modern-day enigma.
He is a profoundly good man whose humility is second to none, who is deeply courageous and who is filled with the light and power of the Spirit of God.
Yet his towering status, his selfless ministry and his good works is hardly the point here. If what he was subjected to three years ago had happened to anyone else and if the details were brought to my attention I would have written about it and exposed it in exactly the same way that I am about to do now.
Today I present the first and second parts of this essay. I have almost finished part three, which is the most telling of them all and, once done, I will release it after those whose names that I have mentioned have been duly consulted and informed.
Here I have written what I believe is the truth. I have risked my life and the life of my sources by doing so but I have no regrets.
It is for us to do as we are led by the Holy Spirit and it is for God to protect us. I leave all to Him and I give Him the glory.
Here we go.
One of the single greatest atrocities perpetuated by rogue elements in our intelligence agencies in modern history was the blowing up of a guest house in Prophet TB Joshua’s church which resulted in the death of approximately 116 people, most of whom were foreigners. This took place on September 12th 2014.
The perpertrators of this utterly barbaric act were the same people that covertly and cleverly spun the tale that the building collapsed as a result of a weak foundation and fed that pernicious lie to a gullible and easily manipulated Nigerian media.
As trusting as ever, the Nigerian people bought this hideous mendacity lock, stock and barrel whilst many prominent clerics and Church leaders who were envious of Joshua’s rising profile, power and popularity revelled in the lie and helped to preach, spread, perpetuate and consolodate it.
They argued that the building was built without the relevant permits and conveniently overlooked the fact that, according to my sources at Alausa, Lagos state, between 60 and 70 percent of buildings in the environs and suburbs of Lagos state either never had a building permit in the first place, procured one only after the relevant building was constructed or have fake ones which were procured through bribes.
That being the case it seems strange that far many more buildings have not collapsed in Lagos if the assumption is that they ALL have weak foundations.
The “weak foundation as a consequence of no building permit theory” appears to me to be implausible. In my view it lacks credibility and it is in fact a false and fake narrative.
This was not the cause of the tragedy and the real cause was far more sinister and macabre than that.
The motive for the attack was to silence and discredit Joshua who, by that time, had become a thorn in the flesh of many within the corridors of power simply because he was exposing the deepest secrets about what was going on in the country and those who were covertly working against former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He went as far as to prophesy and predict everything that would happen in the 2015 election which was scheduled to hold two years later, with great accuracy, if President Goodluck Jonathan did not remove certain people (whose names were mentioned) within his government and inner circle.
The counsel was put on record and when I was doing my research for this write up I actually read the transcripts of this interesting discourse and I was utterly amazed at the accuracy of his predictions.
The attack involved the use of certain members of our intelligence agencies who used a large remote-controlled drone to fly over the building and who then activated an explosive device which had been planted in the building days earlier with the drone.
There is a video on Youtube of the drone hovering at very close range over the building three times just before it collapsed. I urge readers to look for it and view it.
After the third time the entire building collapsed like a pack of cards. This was AFTER a loud explosion, which was clearly heard by many of the survivors within and outside of the building, shattered the tranquility, peace and silence of the structure and blew out its foundations.
Sadly many people were killed and even more were badly injured. This was Nigeria’s own 911 but unlike the real 911 the victims were never properly celebrated or mourned and the perpertrators were never identified or brought to justice.
The whole thing appears to have been covered up and those in high places in the intelligence agencies at the time, having discovered that this was yet another rogue operation by a group of fifth columnists within the security apparatus who were keen on silencing the Presidents friends and who wanted to use the operation to embarass and terrify their perceived enemies and adversaries, decided to brush the whole thing under the carpet and keep it quiet.
The trauma that the families that lost their loved ones suffered, most of whom were South Americans, Europeans, white South Africans and other foreigners was harrowing and unimaginable and the outrage that was expressed by the Nigerian public as a consequence of it was, rightly, unprecedented.
Even greater and more pronuonced was the pain, anguish and deep sense of loss of Prophet TB Joshua himself and members of his SCOAN Church who were utterly devastated by this horrendous and tragic event, this inexplicable slaughter and this frightful and unexpected loss of the lives of their friends, colleagues, loved ones and Church members.
Such was the outrage from members of the public in Lagos as a result of the matter that the Federal and State Governments felt that they had to act fast in order to manage the fall-out from the whole ugly episode.
And this is where things went badly wrong. In a typical Nigerian manner, instead of digging deep and patiently trying to establish the relevant facts and setting in motion a forensic-based and professional investigation, the security agencies looked for a scapegoat, turned on the man of God, made him the subject of a criminal investigation and claimed that the building collapsed because it had weak foundations and because it had not been properly built.
They ignored all the evidence that suggested that there was far more to the matter than that and instead sold this unlikely and utterly absurd narrative and dummy to the Nigerian people and the international community.
They then proceeded to initiate criminal proceedings against Joshua and some of his Church members and sought to discredit, disgrace, shame and utterly destroy him.
With this they had managed to divert attention away from the real cause of the collapse of the building, they had found an easy and convenient scapegoat and consequently the real perpertrators managed to escape any form of suspicion or scrutiny. (TO BE CONCLUDED).