No fewer than 50,000 pilgrims have indicated their interest to storm Nigeria in June for the Birthday Service of the Founder and General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations [SCOAN], Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua for his 53rd birthday ceremony.
Sources close to the church confided on African Travel Times Magazine that the pilgrims, who are mostly from Europe and America, indicated their interest to come and celebrate with the most famous and respected religions leader on the continent of Africa.
The source revealed that many members and followers around the world, see this year’s birthday celebration as a way of rejoicing with the celebrant in the face of what many of them see as a victory over a very difficult year, as well as what they also see as rivalry from those that are envious of Synagogue dominance in attracting international visitors from far and near.
Our source went further to say that many members of Synagogue and sympathisers are of the opinion that the general overseer is unnecessarily being persecuted over the questionable incident that happened in 2014.
They lamented that when pilgrims died in that unfortunate accident that claimed over 100 lives and several injured, they accused Christian Associations of Nigeria [CAN] of playing politics for not commiserating with TB Joshua nor the church; but same body was quick to write to government when Nigerian pilgrims died in Saudi Arabia in the stampede of 2015 that killed thousands of people.
The source also said though, the church is grateful to the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, who visited shortly after the incident, and hinted that since then the general overseer has been under pressure from millions of his followers and governments to relocate abroad, which he has resisted and reluctant to do in the past, but now being considered if government fails to help in his quest to continue to make Nigeria the most visited destination in West Africa through which many citizens can continue to benefit commercially.
Another source, who pleaded anonymity, noted that TB Joshua has always dreamt of bringing the world to Nigeria to improve the local economy, which according to the source he has achieved.
“The prophet could have opened branches around the world to make money like other churches are doing, but he never”, the source said.
African Travel Times investigation also revealed that no fewer than 20 hotel projects around Synagogue have been abandoned, because of fear that the church may not resume prophetic and healing programmes that are the main attractions for the millions of followers around the world, and that the general overseer might even relocate abroad.
The investigation revealed further that a proposed Sheraton was among the projects abandoned, and has now been taken over by a bank that was financing it.
However, the most fearful and disturbing news of the possibility of Prophet TB Joshua relocating abroad, is what many said is as a result of his frustration, saying that “he has been fighting battles for almost 25 years, which has become so intense in the last 10 years that fame and fortune came his way because of what God has used him for”.
Others who spoke to this publication alleged that most of the attacks are merely out of jealousy from even Christians and churches that can only wish they are the ones enjoying the moment and fame of TB Joshua.
They also attributed Joshua’s predicaments to his magnanimity and generosity, which no other general overseer can match. On what the church need to do more, African Travel Times was told that a more liberal visa arrangement that would allow visitors to the church will be a very big relief to the founder.
Our sources lamented that if that among others are not dome to help or facilitate pilgrims to the church and Nigeria, the people of Lagos State and most especially, the people of Ikotu and its surrounding communities stand to lose their main source of business in the last 10 years to countries and communities just waiting for the prophet to make a move.
Presently, Synagogue Church of All Nations is responsible for 6 out of every 10 visitors to Lagos, according to sources close to the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed recently praised TB Joshua for his efforts, and prayed that more of him emerge to cement Nigeria’s reputation as a major religious destination globally.