Prophet T.B. Joshua delivered a shocking message during the course of his service on Sunday 4th May 2014 at The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, heatedly calling on all Nigerian political parties to immediately cancel political rallies or face dire repercussions.
He spoke further on the rumoured planned attack on the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos and the fate of the over 200 missing schoolgirls in Borno, declaring their rescue to be imminent.
“There is a difference between Nigeria as a nation and these political parties,” Joshua told his congregation while addressing the current security concerns in Nigeria. “Nigeria is calm; it is the political parties that are not calm… These political parties gave birth to militants and Boko Haram.”
The pastor then insisted on the immediate suspension of all political rallies in the wake of the current situation. “How can over 200 schoolgirls be kidnapped somewhere and we are talking about disagreements between political parties? And APC and PDP are not ashamed?” Joshua angrily stated.
“They should suspend all rallies and acrimonious campaigns. It is this division that gave opportunity for hoodlums, militants and Boko Haram to explore and exploit.”
He went further to warn that the militants would redirect their attacks towards people that matter in society if this advice was not heeded. “If our political class does not stop their campaigns and rallies and put aside the name of parties – APC, PDP, Labour – to come together to discuss as Nigeria, these people will turn against them. Any moment from now, you will hear of ‘bigshots’ being attacked.”
Addressing the way out of the current security challenges, Joshua insisted that the threat of Boko Haram was beyond physical or natural solution. “We are dealing with evil spirits that kill, steal and destroy; let us not deal with our neighbours.”
He warned people not to fuel the insurgent’s activities by reacting fearfully to their threats. “Your response determines their operation. Fear and panic help their operations because their main weapons are not bombs and guns of all sorts but evil spirits.”
The influential cleric then called on security operatives to seek God’s help in their war against terror. “Before they can bomb or shoot, they must consult evil spirits. Our soldiers and security – who do you consult before you shoot? You need the Spirit of God’s suggestion as to what to do.”
Speaking on the warning issued by the American Embassy to its citizens about a planned attack in the Sheraton hotel, widely reported by international media, Joshua told Lagosians not to be alarmed. “Whatever plan of evil in Lagos will be proved abortive! There is no cause for fear or alarm.”
He explained further in a rather parabolic fashion: “An attack in Lagos is an attack on the source… Don’t forget – Lagos is the commercial centre and every one of us has a commercial interest. It is a place you cannot avoid.” He described reports of the planned attack as an ‘expensive joke’.
Joshua went further to speak on the unclear motivation behind the actions of the insurgents: “If truly their mission is clear, their grievances should not be towards common people, innocent worshippers or school children. They should go and attack those who recruited them in the past. Since all of this mess started, how many senators or governors did you learn they attacked and killed?”
Addressubg the string of ‘negative’ stories currently circulating about Nigeria, Joshua also spoke scathingly about Nigerians who travel abroad and propagate such negativity about their homeland.“What you say about your country matters. Many travel abroad and say Nigeria is this or that – have you forgotten that is where you were born?”
He specified individuals using divisive words against particular political leaders. “The nation is bigger than anybody. Why are you rubbishing this nation and forgetting you are a Nigerian? No one will build this nation for you – you are to build it. You have to rebrand your nation.”
T.B. Joshua lastly gave words of reassurance to the parents of the abducted schoolgirls in Borno, advising them not to be misled by spurious news reports. “Get ready to receive your children back. Your children are coming home.”
It was a message he had earlier stated on Saturday 3rd May 2014, at the end of a prayer session. Speaking with uncanny frankness, Joshua stated that Boko Haram had ‘touched the heart of God’ with the kidnapping of the Chibok girls.
“Enough is enough,” the pastor stated in the live telecast on Emmanuel TV. “I place my career and calling on the line that these 200 schoolgirls they kidnapped – they have to release them immediately unharmed and unhurt. Then, they can wait for God’s judgement.”
He also gave another stern warning to the political elite. “Politicians – whatever you must have done to contribute to the mess in this nation will not go unpunished. If you are not punished, how will generations yet unborn or generations coming know that there is God?”
Ihechukwu Njoku – freelance Nigerian journalist