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[OPINION] TB Joshua And The Witchcraft Murder Of 85 South African Pilgrims By Obinna Akukwe

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TB Joshua, a popular prophet in Nigeria, has indirectly murdered eighty five citizens of South Africa who came to Nigeria looking for God and solutions to their problems through acts not far from witchcraft. These eighty five South Africans are among the over one hundred and sixteen persons who perished when his guest house collapsed in September 2014.
TB Joshua is a man whom the mainstream Pentecostal body in Nigeria has declared a false prophet. I was in Sokoto many years ago preparing for a foreign mission when signals came that this man was among those blacklisted by Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). Another person also blacklisted was Prophet Samson Ayorinde. Their blacklisting was based on the fact that those who have spiritually discerning powers have noted that they use strange powers in their operations, and those who fled from their fold, including ex-pastors claimed that the man disappears into the waters beside the church from time to time, among many other allegations.  Weeks later I also attended a PFN briefing in Sokoto while preparing for Bishop Wale Oke’s Prayer Crusade which held at Trade Fair Complex and the National Vice President of PFN, North West  also briefed gospel ministers on this TB Joshua issue.
The General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye has also said that he will not preach in TB Joshua’s Church. When asked whether he could worship in Joshua’s church, Adeboye retorted, “No! Definitely not! If he wants me to come and minister in his church, we will sit down; we will discuss the issue of salvation the way I understand it, according to the scriptures. If we agree on that and he now wants me to come and preach the same message of salvation in his church, then I will go.”
The then President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, and current leader of Nigeria’s Christian Community ,echoing the mind of PFN members said that before Joshua could even qualify to be a PFN member, he should show who tutored him as a pastor in the first place.. According to Oritsejafor  “If T.B. Joshua can show me his pastor who pastored him before he said he was called into the ministry; if T.B. Joshua can tell me when he got converted and how he got converted, then we would consider him” He added that “ Anybody who is a Christian is a Christian because he received Jesus Christ at a point. . I gather he said he was converted in his mother’s womb”
Despite the fact that mainstream Pentecostals have distanced themselves from this man, foreigners have continued to troop to his Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN)  drinking miracle water and doing all manners of things in search of solution to problems. Whatever TB Joshua and his followers do in that their Synagogue is entirely their business, but charming and hoodwinking the entire Christendom to the heinous murdering foreigners and Nigerians in his church, bringing international embarrassment to Nigeria, is not applicable to me. A lady who was rescued from the rubbles is now paralyzed and on wheel chair from the incidence and the God of TB Joshua and SCOAN have abandoned the lady to her fate.
Among these 115 persons are 85 South Africans who came to see the God of TB Joshua and them all ended up in the graveyard of TB Joshua. Yes the graveyard of TB Joshua swallowed some persons, and initially I thought that this prophet will respect himself after the incidence, and allow rescue workers to come to salvage as many people as possible. Rather, while his congregants were busy crying from within the rubbles, his bouncers and thugs, who have already intimidated the residents of Ikotun area of Lagos to submission, were busy harassing and beating up rescue workers, while another group were spraying miracle water. Is the harassment of rescue workers, including those from NEMA a script to ensure that more persons die and the number of blood needed obtained before help can be sent to the victims? Had TB Joshua allowed a quicker response to the tragedy, probably the death toll would have been less than twenty.
This man, not done with delayed rescue of trapped victims, made an unfortunate statement alluding that terrorist sabotage was responsible for the collapse of his church. Some of us know that Boko Haram has not yet reached the sophistry of using an aircraft to create a demolition of a church in far away Lagos. What TB Joshua said was a white lie and liars are liable to hell fire.
A video of a hovering aircraft has been shown as evidence that Boko Haram or any form of terrorist group deliberately flew over his building. I wonder why Boko Haram will leave Canaan Land, Ota where Bishop Oyedepo led a straight six week long prayer against the insurgents between May and July of 2014, replicated in all their Churches and go after TB Joshua. How can Boko Haram leave Pastor Adeboye at The Redemption Camp, Shagamu Express, near Lagos  where their Convention of August 2014 devoted more time to pray against the insurgents, and before then , their Thursday prayers devoted time to pray against the terrorists , and be looking for TB Joshua.  How can Boko Haram leave Pastor Paul Enenche, Dunamis Gospel Centre, Abuja, which embarked on a six week of anointing to terminate terrorism, between May and June and then proceed to fly over Synagogue in far away Lagos.  What has Synagogue done specifically against Boko Haram to warrant attacks on him.
In order for this white lie to fly, journalists were assembled and bribed with sum of N50, 000 naira each. A journalist friend of mine told me that he collected ‘anointed money’ from TB Joshua and all my efforts to convince him that that money is not anointed money, rather it is ‘anointed bribe’ fell on deaf ears. The purpose of the bribe is to give soft landing to the murder of innocent people. However, God used a Premium Times reporter by name Nicholas Ibekwe , to expose the corruption and the rest is history.
The Lagos State Government has instituted a coroner’s inquest as is the practice in developed countries, to discover why such an incidence took place in Nigeria. To the best of my knowledge, this inquest is not targeted at TB Joshua as a person. It is probably to prevent future reoccurrence yet this prophet has been fighting the proceedings at the court. The situation became so shameful that the Lagos State High Court fined TB Joshua and his Synagogue the sum of N25, 000 naira for delaying proper investigations. Justice Lateefa Okunnu, while awarding the cost, berated the prophet for “wasting the time of the court and tax payers’ money.” Joshua had earlier filed a case to stop the proceeding at the Federal High Court and it was dismissed. Why is TB Joshua afraid of coroner’s inquest into circumstances surrounding the death of 115 persons? These dead people are not 115 donkeys.
I have asked various structural engineers both in Nigeria and the US and they have told me that the type of collapse of that building is not possible without placing all the materials used for the controlled demolition around the vicinity. There is no Thermite Shape Charges on the site and other controlled demolition aids. Their conclusion is that a structural defect might have occurred.
The South West Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) Ibrahim Farinloye, while debunking the terrorist suggestion told AFP that “If it were an act of terrorism or sabotage, it would have gone into rubble,” He went further to say that” “For the first three days of the incident, the church people were very hostile and prevented rescue officials’ access to the site,” Three days that would have been used to save lives was use to obstruct rescue workers and sprinkle miracle water amidst shouts of praise to God of TB Joshua , and the trapped victims were witchcrafted unto slow premature death.
 The Lagos state building control agency also complained that its officials were obstructed from moving to the sites and believed that this led to loss of more lives. The State Government had explained that the uncompleted building, which was originally two floors, was increased to six without approval.
Rafiq Arogunjo, of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), again dismissed a theory advanced by Joshua and his supporters about aerial sabotage. According to Arogunjo, “The aircraft was no longer in flight when the building collapsed. I don’t see any nexus between the aircraft and the collapse. I think the investigators should look into the structural integrity of the building.” The church is alluding that it was the Nigerian Airforce C-130 aircraft, which flew past the building, caused the collapse.
Bisi Adedire, the building consultant over the collapsed building has admitted before the Coroner that the building contravened the law. He said that lack of approval did not mean the building was unsound but told the coroner that he warned church officials they were ignoring regulations “I told the church they have contravened the law in a way by building without approval but they said they could regularize it,”
 This prophet is unknowingly fighting what could have helped him escape the blame of Nigerians. TB Joshua is not the only person whose building has collapsed in Nigeria. Few years back, in Jabi District of Abuja, a shopping complex under construction collapsed, killing about thirty persons and one of the engineers at the site told me that the supervising engineer and the owner never adhered to specifications he gave as advice. . Therefore, TB Joshua is not the first to cut corners in Nigeria. He should admit his mistakes and ask for our forgiveness.
However, this Prophet bent on self destruct, is proving that it was a terrorist attack that brought down his church. Who then are the terrorists? Many year ago, I did a deliverance on a particular man who claimed that he was among some occult group contracted to collapse a building at the Chime , New Haven are of Enugu. The building under construction killed nothing less than twenty persons. It was alleged that the building was owned by a big man who later became a chieftain of the ruling party in Nigeria by name Chris Uba. This Uba of a person is a member of BoT of the ruling PDP in Nigeria. This man narrated how they spiritually pulled down the building and siphoned blood through spirit realms. However, he did not say that it was the PDP chieftain that contracted him.
From TB Joshua’s treatise, I can conclude that it is either he corruptly erected a poor quality building, leading to the death of foreigners, or he made alliance with some witches to plan the collapse of this building for spiritual empowerment purposes. Since this building collapsed TB Joshua’s God had not named the very enemy that pulled down the building. He is probably hiding the witches that helped pull down the building. Why must he hide the spirits, are they working for him. Why did TB Joshua refuse emergency assistance to the victims when the collapse was very fresh? Why did he claim it was terrorist attacks? Why did he bribe journalists? Why is he fighting coroners inquest meant to probably help forestall future occurrence.
It is unfortunate that South Afriica lost such precious souls who came to our shores for spiritual succor. The Bible said that we should take care of strangers, therefore, any stranger in your midst, you have extra duty to ensure their safety and that is why I am concerned about the loss of lives of strangers. . TB Joshua should come clean on the witchcraft murder of visiting South Africans. It is either his alliance with witches caused the attacks or his unethical behaviors-let him apologize for that witchcraft murder and save Nigeria further embarrassment.
Obinna Akukwe wrote through

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Opinion

Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?

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Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.

In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.

“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.

In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.

As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’

Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.

The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.

On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.

“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.

In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.

With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.

The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.

Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.

Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.

PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye

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We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!

So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.

Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A

Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.

The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?

The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.

He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….

The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.

Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences  of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”

It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.

My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.

Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.

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Opinion

Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth

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By Fredrick Nwabufo

Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.

I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.

But wait!

The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.

READ: Dethroned Sanusi Will Be Under House Arrest – Ganduje’s Aide

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.

In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.

In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.

Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.

As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.

‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.

READ: Sanusi Breaks Silence After Dethronement As Emir Of Kano (Video)

And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.

To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.

So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.

But Sanusi was still talking.

Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.

I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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