TB Joshua had an informal meeting with several journalists to talk about the building collapse. He asked that the camera be switched off, and the cameraman put down the camera but bravely left it rolling so the whole conversation was recorded (though not very high quality). Here is one journalist’s account of the event:
Journalists, who initially tried to cover the collapse of a building inside the premises of Synagogue Church of all Nations, owned by Prophet T.B. Joshua, saw hell in the hands of the church members.
The church members descended on journalists, who tried to take any photograph of the collapse building. Some journalists got their cameras smashed and other were seriously beaten for attempting to steal some shots of the collapsed building. A particular TV station had the windscreen of its car smashed by the members. What they were trying to hide is still difficult to understand.
By the next day, obviously having read the reports on some of the newspapers, Prophet T.B Joshua surfaced and tried to do some damage control. He invited journalists, who had returned to cover the rescue effort, despite the treatment they got the previous day, to his office in the church premises for a meeting. First he instructed all the cameras to be turned off on the grounds that he doesn’t want his face to be seen and that he was not properly dressed. Then he went to blatantly deny his church members were responsible for the treatment meted to journalists the previous day. He blamed the act on the people of the community absolving his church members. And then out of his ‘benevolence’, he apologized for what the ‘people of the community’ did.
Done with the apology, he then went on to detail what could at best be described as a conspiracy theory as being responsible for the collapse of the building. The building itself had been partially completed and people had been living in it. By this time it was a four-storey building. And then sometime this year, the church decided to add two more storey. People were living in the building while work was going. That accounts for the huge number of causality.
But Prophet T.B Joshua sees things differently. He told journalists that five minutes before the building came down, a mystery plane had hovered above the building about four times.
Please take your time to listen to the video as Prophet T.B. tells his tales.
As unbelievable as it may sound, you read that correctly – he has claimed that a mysterious plane or helicopter flying close to the church compound caused the building to collapse.
Even if we entertain this ridiculous hypothesis for one moment, it still doesn’t let SCOAN off the hook one iota. Is he saying that the buildings on his multimillion dollar church compound are so shoddily built that the noise of a nearby aircraft could cause it to fall? Or is he saying that the UFO had some alien, invisible ray gun technology that remotely disintegrated the foundations of the building? Far be it for us to make fun of this dreadful situation, but how else are we meant to understand his explanation?
TB Joshua is the real victim
Workers and visitors were housed in this unfinished building before it collapsed.
Secondly we should note that not once did TB Joshua express any sympathy or remorse for the senseless deaths caused by his shoddy buildings. Nor has he even acknowledge that anyone had died, even though official numbers are now listed at 17. Instead he waffles on about madcap conspiracy theories based on the fact a mysterious surveillance camera was discovered on the church site, and an unidentified flying object was nearby when the building collapsed. The deaths were incidental to him, the real victim of this attack is TB Joshua. You can see exactly this attitude on the TB Joshua facebook page, I challenge anyone to find a single comment expressing sympathy to the bereaved families.
How will the Nigerian government react?
Numerous times we have expected the Nigerian government to take a stand against TB Joshua’s shameful and embarrassing antics. We called for him to be arrested when he pretended Boko Haram were trying to bomb his live service. By the governments own words, he should have been locked up after promoting his anointed water as a cure for Ebola.
According to the law in Lagos, any building that collapses during or after construction will be seized by the government. The General Manager of LASEMA (Lagos State Emergency Management Agency) was asked whether the state government was considering revoking the land title in accordance with the policy on collapsed buildings, he could not give a definite response. He simply said the state government had commenced investigation into the possible cause of the collapsed building for appropriate action to be taken (source).
If one building at SCOAN has been built without following proper regulations, it is very likely that others have too. The government should immediately order a full inspection of all buildings and related documentation.
Regardless of what may be said by TB Joshua, it is quite clear to any rationally minded individual that this tragedy was caused by unauthorised and unregulated building work, and allowing people to live and use a building that was still under construction. It is also quite clear to any rationally minded person that the alternative hypothesis presented by TB Joshua is verging on insane, and shows his complete lack of respect and compassion towards his victims.
Our heartfelt sympathies and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones. We pray that it might not be in vain, and that other similar tragedies will be avoided by measures taken in the light of this one.