Crisis between TB Joshua’s family, Synagogue Church disciples worsens

Crisis between TB Joshua’s family, Synagogue Church disciples worsens

The succession crises at the Synagogue Church of All Nations has assumed another dimension as a member of the Board of Trustees, Jos

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David, who has gone into hiding with other disciples of the late founder of the church, Prophet Temitope Joshua, otherwise known as TB Joshua, claimed that the family of the founder was using law enforcement agents to hunt them.

He said this was because of their perceived closeness to the late cleric and supposed knowledge of important details of the church not known to the family.

David alleged that the wife of the founder, Evelyn Joshua, was making spirited attempts to consolidate power around her, adding that influential followers of TB Joshua had been chased away, including foreigners.
“The ministry had disciples, who handled the operation, administration and spiritual affairs of the church. Among them were five prophets, who were always with Prophet TB Joshua.
“The prophet’s wife was never active in the administration of the church. She only functioned ceremoniously, maybe to receive awards on his behalf.
“When the prophet passed on, he was interviewed by a newspaper, where he answered the question of succession. He said the church is not a family thing, and that was why his wife was not always seen with him.

“Around the period he granted the interview, he had removed her from being a trustee of the church. But she did not know she had been removed until he died.”

David said after TB Joshua’s death, the church had two trustees left – the cleric’s daughter, Promise Joshua, and himself.

He noted that trouble started during a meeting to fill the space left by the late cleric, who was the third trustee of the church.

“Two family members – the prophet’s first daughter and his wife – were suggested by a group, adding that he kicked against it to avoid being easily overrun and removed by the family members.

“I suggested that if the duo would join, then more non-family members should be added to make for balance of power, an idea that was rejected by the family, as the meeting ended without a resolution.”

David said from that point, there was mutual suspicion between the family and the group of disciples led by him. According to him, the fear of the family was that they were in possession of things that the family did not know about.

“Actually, immediately the man of God passed on, the wife started investigating us and our accounts. We don’t take salaries, and we are not exposed to any issue of money. But due to suspicion, she took over the administration of the ministry. All the workers started reporting to her.

“For the 27 years that I was in that ministry, she never handled any matter of administration. But she started making people turn their backs on the disciples, saying we are thieves and robbers. As a result, church workers started refusing instructions.

“Our movement was restricted; our personal freedom was infringed on. We could not shout because we thought this was a family issue and we could bear it,” he added.

David said a man was later asked to mediate between the disciples and the family, adding that the intervention did not work out. He said his group later decided to concede to the family and allow TB Joshua’s wife take over the running of the church.

David said the disciples were, however, shocked when he reached out to the mediator and they were told, “For us to avoid the disaster that was coming, all of us as disciples must come together and sign an undertaking to declare Mrs Evelyn Joshua as the new GO of the church and we must sign an undertaking to be of good behaviour.

“And we should forward all that to him and maybe he would ‘unwalk’ the situation to avoid the trouble that was coming. We saw this as a threat, and we did not know how to respond to his message,” he added.

David noted that the matter reached a climax on September 9 when the family allegedly invited some church members and declared Evelyn as the chairman of the board of trustees and general overseer after obtaining a court order.

Simultaneously, he said security agents went to the Prayer Mountain and dragged out some of the disciples after taking their phones, adding that some workers in the church were also taken to the gallery.

He said, “That evening, all the Nigerian evangelists of TB Joshua, some of whom had stayed with the prophet for 28 to 29 years, the least is 20 years, were sent out. But before then, their second daughter, Promise, came with letters from the EFCC and distributed to them before they left.

“Most of the prophets, both Nigerian and foreigners, she accused them of theft, fraud and money laundering. After she removed the Nigerians, she threatened the foreign ones that they should go back to their countries. Madam said she did not want any discipleship.

“Before the events of that day, Promise had written to the Nigeria Immigration Service to demand that the residency status of the foreigners be reviewed because their services were no longer needed.”

He said when he was informed about the call, he went to Abuja to stop the process because the foreigners were still useful. According to him, the EFCC had since launched a search for him and others, saying their lives were under threat.

“We are now hiding in a hotel. The EFCC came and we were warned that they were looking for us and we should stay in our rooms. Unfortunately, one of our sisters walked into them and they took her away, despite the fact that we had a restraining order.

“The question is, ‘Why is this woman using the arms of the law to intimidate innocent people?’ The charges at the EFCC against us are completely baseless because we are not in the position to launder money or steal; cash does not go through us. Those who work in the accounts have explained the procedure to her, but she is not listening.

“Now, she has gained control over everything and she is still chasing us. We have tried to sympathise with the family, but we also want the world to hear our side of the story.”

But TB Joshua’s daughter, Promise, refuted David’s their allegations against the family were unfounded, adding that the family saw CCTV footage of some persons moving money from the church, claiming that some of the drivers involved in the act had made confessional statements indicting the disciples.

Promise also denied that the family was chasing away those who worked with her father, adding that they were only asked to leave pending when the church would resume.

She also claimed that the constitution of the church was followed to the latter on how her mum emerged a trustee of the church

She said, “Everything that happened here was recorded and at the right time, depending on how everything goes, it will be put out for the public to see.

Asked why the foreigners were reported to the authorities, Promise said since the funeral of the late prophet, there had not been any activity in the church.

“We don’t really feel we should have workers that we don’t need. That was the idea behind that. It was not deportation; we were paying non-essential workers and the church was not operating. So, we said, we don’t need anyone here. You can go back to your country. The person you claim to train under is no more here.

“These disciples, what did they come to do here?They came to train under TB Joshua, and TB Joshua is not here physically. You came to train under TB Joshua as a disciple. So, the intention of coming to Nigeria was not to take over the church, but to train under him,” she stated.

Promise said the church workers confessed the alleged atrocities of the disciples, adding that the departure of the leaders was a relief to many who had suffered under their yoke.

She slammed David for saying her mother was not trusted enough by the father to carry on with the ministry.

“My dad had always put his family as trustees of the church. I am not surprised; this is expected. The church will soon resume; these ones are the bad eggs,” she added.