By Ange Ngu Thomas
He might have five personal Facebook pages but TB Joshua’s “official” page does not mention the four deaths at his Spintex Road branch of the Synagogue Church of All Nations in the Ghanaian Capital Accra yesterday Sunday May 19th 2013.
Accra police Public Relations Officer Freeman Tetteh confirmed the deaths adding that investigations have been opened into why yesterdays’ stampede ended so tragically.
Five thousand people turned up for the service to receive free holy water which the “good man of God” usually sells and the water guarantees receivers will eventually get rich or get cured from any type of disease.
An official of the Ghanaian branch of TB’s church has acknowledged the deaths in a BBC interview but why has TB himself not posted updates about the tragedy? The miraculous “holy water” was no help to the four people who died or the 13 who were wounded during the stampede.
Most of yesterday’s injured victims were hospitalized but have now left hospital after treatment. You will have expected an on-the-spot sprinkle with holy water will have resolved their problem if the water is really that “holy”.
The stampede was obviously a tragic event but it was caused mainly because of the hype TB has created around his “holy water” and the miraculous cures and riches it brings to those who are blessed enough to get it. It is not strange therefore, that more than 3500 people turned up at the church to get the holy water.
TB’s official Facebook page has this extraordinary posting “There is no sickness Jesus cannot heal, no disease he cannot cure, and no problem He cannot solve. Touch your screen and receive your miracle today, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ!”.
I immediately touched my computer screen as I wrote this article as my own way of obeying the prophetic message from T B Joshua. I am still waiting for my miracle.
Temitope Balogun Joshua aka T B Joshua is not your ordinary run of the mill Pentecostal pastor in Nigeria. The 50 year old pastor owns a TV station (Emmanuel TV) and is the founder and leader of the The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
Thousands of people troop to his evangelizing sessions in Nigeria and when he travels to other African countries to preach and “heal”. He claims through prayers, he can heal the sick and make the poor rich. However, there has never been any independent verification of any of his claims.
He is a handsome well fed man and looks like the primary beneficiary of the thousands who look up to him for solace.
His followers give him the money his ministry needs “to stay in business” but except otherwise proven, are all short- changed.
His entry in Wikipedia notes that “Joshua is well known in Nigeria for reconciling broken families and marriages…After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Joshua sent a team of medical personnel and humanitarian workers to the affected area, establishing a field hospital called ‘Clinique Emmanuel’.
A Forbes blogger estimated Joshua has spent $20 million on humanitarian activities in the last three years. In recognition of his humanitarian activities, he was awarded a National Honour by the Nigerian government in 2008.
A measure of his popularity on social media is that he has 1.976 followers on twitter though he is not following anyone and has not posted a single tweet.
The last update on the TB Joshua Ministries Facebook page reads “Remember that believing is possessing, as Prophet T.B. Joshua said, Cover yourself, family, business, career, finances, health and Your Destiny with the Blood of Jesus Christ.”
The families of the four people who died yesterday in Accra Ghana will have a hard time believing that.