President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the family of Pastor Temitope Balogun and members of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) on the passing of their father and founder, Pastor TB Joshua.
Pastor TB Joshua, as he was wide known, died on Saturday after leading a prayer and worship service during which he preached a popular Bible passage that there was a time for everything on earth, including to a time to be born and a time to die, among others.
President Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, noted that the renowned televangelist will be missed by his followers all over the world, not only for his spiritual contributions, but for touching many lives through philanthropic gestures.
The president urged Pastor Joshua’s followers to take solace in the knowledge that life is not measured and defined by chronological longevity but by enduring legacies and lives touched positively.
He also condoled with the government and people of Ondo State and prayed that God Almighty accept the soul of the departed pastor.
Also, former President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed sadness over the death of Prophet TB Joshua, saying he was sad to hear about his death at a young age of 57.
Jonathan, in a message of condolence to the family of the deceased and the SCOAN congregation, described the late cleric as a devout man of God who served God and humanity with relentless passion during his life.
The former president in the message signed by his special adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, on Sunday in Abuja, said that the late Joshua impacted millions of lives across Nigeria and the globe.
On his part, Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu, described the death of Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua as “a rude shock.”
Akeredolu, who said he received the death of the man of God with a heavy heart, described him as a “blessing to humanity and a great ambassador of the Sunshine State whose ministry was noted for charity.”
The governor, in a statement by his chief press secretary, Richard Olatunde, said, “The pains are not mere emotional flashes; they are indeed piercing. The Ondo-born Pastor and Televangelist was a philanthropist whose exit will be sorely missed by many.
“Pastor Joshua was committed to giving and was more often inexorably imbued with calmness while lifting the downtrodden. As a televangelist, he did not just win souls for Christ, he was passionate about changing lives.
“He demonstrated timelessly an alluring service to humanity and compassion by assisting not only his home local government, Akoko North West, but other adjoining local governments in Akoko land benefited from his large heart of benevolence.
“Of significant note, too, Pastor Joshua never hesitated to assist in whatever manner the Ondo State government. To us in Ondo State, we consider this a personal loss. He was a pride to the Sunshine State.
“Not only Africa is hit hard; this is a great global knock as his Pastor TB Joshua’s ministry attracted an immeasurable foreign followership. Christendom has lost a giant.”
Obaseki Mourns TB Joshua’s Passing
The governor in a statement in Benin said he was saddened by the pastor’s death, noting that the deceased impacted the lives of millions of people across the world, describing him as a great preacher of the gospel, who impacted the lives of millions of people across the world.
“Pastor Joshua deployed his gift of delivering the word of God in relatable terms to advance the Church of Christ and brought laughter, solace and comfort to many with Christ’s message of love,” he said.
Also, Governor Samuel Ortom, on behalf of the government and people of Benue State, sympathised with the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) and the entire Christian community in Nigeria over the death of Prophet T.B Joshua.
The governor described the sudden demise of the renowned preacher as shocking and unfortunate.
According to him, “the evangelist will be remembered not only for spreading the gospel of Christ but also for his humanitarian works through which he positively touched millions of lives.”
In a statement by the chief press secretary, Terver Akase, the Benue governor prayed to God to grant the soul of Prophet T.B Joshua eternal rest and his family and members of his church the strength to bear the loss.
Worshippers Mourn, Say He Cannot Die Like That
Lagos residents and worshipers thronged the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) yesterday after the news of the sudden death of the founder of the church, Prophet Temitope Babatunde Joshua, broke, with the confused throng declaring that the controversial clergyman was the ‘God’ they knew on earth and would certainly resurrect if, indeed, he died.
The renowned clergyman died on Saturday at the age of 57, as announced on the church’s website.
The worshipers and residents in the area told LEADERSHIP that they were thrown into sudden mourning because of the enigmatic clergyman’s philanthropic gestures while he was alive, saying his kindness and healing powers endeared him to them.
The worshipers said they had come to church as usual looking forward to the prophet’s ministrations and counseling only to be told that their pastor they saw a few hours ago had died.
A worshipper who identified herself as Peace Chukwu said, “My husband broke the news to me this morning, but I still don’t believe it. I know that he will surely come back. It is a lie, our Pastor cannot die like that. It is not possible. I was asthmatic and Prophet Temitope Joshua healed me of it. He has helped many people. He cannot eat alone, he cares for everybody and is generous. He was like God to us’’
Another worshiper, Madam Adagun said, “TB Joshua cannot die like this. He is sleeping and will resurrect. You can see despite people saying he is dead, his spirit is still with us. God, please bring our Daddy back and take us. “He should not die. Let it be that you called him to give him a message to us and more healings taking place.’’
Andrew Ijanusi, a resident of the community where the church is located, who had yet to come to terms with the reality of the situation, said: “Prophet TB Joshua was a blessing to this community. He brought fame and money to us. The church he founded in this community raised the value of all the properties in this area; it brought infrastructure, basic amenities. Anytime he is having a programme, all our houses will be on rent because of worshipers coming from all over the world to his church. In fact, the electricity transformer we are using was bought by him. He was the government we knew here.We will miss him.’’
As of the time of filing this report, sympathisers and worshippers at the church continued to throng the church in disbelief as the church remained sealed.
A youth member of the church, Izuchukwu Okoh, confirmed to LEADERSHIP that people couldn’t gain access to the church because it had been sealed prior because of COVID-19, and not necessarily because of the pastor’s shocking death.
Before his death, it was gathered that members of the Church were already making plans to celebrate him on his 58th birthday, which would have been on June 12, 2021.
Akoko Monarch Demands Probe
Meantime, the traditional ruler of the pastor’s hometown, His Royal Majesty, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, Zaki of Arigidi Akoko in Ondo State, has demanded that his body must be preserved intact until arrangements are made to examine and certify the cause of his death.
Oba Olanipekun, in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists in Akure, the state capital, also demanded that his remains be moved to Arigidi Akoko for final burial rites to be announced at a later date.
The monarch called for the cooperation of SCOAN church members in Nigeria and across the globe to allow the immediate family and the Arigidi community to mourn their painful loss without further distractions.
Oba Olanipekun, however, commiserated with the president, the governor of Ondo state, people of Arigidi and the people of Nigeria in general for the loss.
“I pray that God, in His infinite mercies, will wipe off our tears,” he said.
He prayed to God to grant the late pastor eternal rest in His bosom and comfort grieving family members, friends and associates.
In the same vein, the leader of the apex Yoruba Self-Determination Group, Ilana Omo Oodua, Emeritus Professor Banji Akintoye, has described the pastor’s death as a terrible loss to the Yoruba nation.
Akintoye, in a statement made available to newsmen, described the late Joshua as a great servant of God with outreaches touching most parts of the world and bringing charity to the needy everywhere.
“In many countries across the world, people watch his ministry on TV as he brings his gospel message with hope and joy.
“We his people will miss him greatly. We all pray that God will accept him into the joy of heaven. I sympathise very deeply with members of his church and I pray that may God continue to sustain them. I pray for strength for his young family, too,” he said.
The chief Imam of Benin Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdufatah Enabulele, also mourned the death of Pastor Joshua
According to him, the news of his death was very shocking, adding that in life, whatever has a beginning must have an end.