August 18, 2022

Reporters’ Diary

Factual Reportage

TRIBUTE BY THE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE, ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI ODUNAYO AKEREDOLU, SAN AT THE BURIAL OF THE LATE PROPHET TEMITOPE BALOGUN JOSHUA, FOUNDER OF THE SYNAGOGUE CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS (SCOAN)

It is with deep reflection and sobriety that I stand before this great assembly of the people of God to honour our dear son and brother, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua.  The people of Ondo State, Nigeria and the entire world have lost a rare gem, a special breed, a worthy citizen and true son of Ondo State.  The passing of Prophet T. B. Joshua is indeed a great loss not only to the people of Ondo State and his hometown, Arigidi-Akoko, but to humanity.

The indelible imprints and impacts of the late Prophet are visible not only in his home State, Ondo State, several parts of Nigeria but throughout the world.  Indeed, he was globally acknowledged.  He contributed greatly to the uplifting of the downtrodden, emancipation of the widows and orphans all over the world.  He touched their lives socially, economically and spiritually.

We recall that the late world renowned televangelist had a humble beginning, he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  Perhaps that could be the reason for his affinity with the less privileged in our communities.  We cannot but testify to the good things we benefited from him as a State, in terms of scholarship awards to students, youths empowerment, resolving and settling huge electricity bills owed by a number of local governments and ensuring their reconnection to the national grid after many years of disconnection, giving logistical support to security agencies, amongst others.  Akoko and Ondo State people will not forget his goodies brought at the end of every year.  We are even more pained because of the several plans he had in store for his people, some of which were already materialising before the debilitating hands of death snatched him away.

His Ministry which became global, started from a humble beginning and it had become a choice destination for those that are seeking spiritual uplifting, healing and deliverance from bondage.  This place became a tourist centre for people from all over the world with its concomitant benefits to those in the tourism industry in Nigeria.

The death of Prophet T. B. Joshua was not only a loss to the Christian Faithful but to thousands of adherents of other faiths.  His humanitarian and charity works touch several lives irrespective of ethnic and religious inclinations.  He had left unforgettable legacies worth celebrating and deserving emulation.  He was a man of the people whose impacts will forever be engraved in the hearts of the people of the world.  The people of Haiti, Philippines, Colombia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Malawi, Singapore, South Sudan, Australia etc will never forget our late brother in a hurry as his humanitarian gestures are still there for everyone to see.

He was by all standards a successful and fulfilled man, yet he remained humble: he was humility personified. He did not only put his resources at the disposal of the people, he also physically and personally served them, carrying bags of rice and other items to their doorsteps.

At this moment of our grief and celebration of the life and times of Prophet T. B. Joshua, I want us to imbibe the exemplary lifestyle of the late cleric.  He was a firm believer in love, he preached love in most of his teachings.  He was a man of peace who remained focused and undeterred in his mission on earth despite criticisms and misgivings by some people about him. His style portrayed originality, peculiarity, humility and simplicity.  He was a gifted leader who was able to command large followership across the globe.  He was a man who pulled himself up by his bootstraps to achieve stardom.  Let us carry on with his legacy of love, care and giving. To him, you cannot love without giving and you cannot give without loving.

Our prayers are with our wife, Evelyn Joshua, the children, the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) and of course, the Kabiyesi and people of Arigidi-Akoko at this period of grief.  We must all take solace in the fact that the man of God lived a fulfilled life, notwithstanding the fact that his life was short at 57 years.

On behalf of the government and good people of Ondo State, I promise that we will continue to support the family that he had left behind and ensure that his legacies continue.  Our prayer is that God grants his soul eternal rest and gives his family, especially the wife and children the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.  May God Almighty be with all of you all?  Amen.

Adieu our brother, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua.