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Social Discourse And The Toyin Falola Interviews: Matters Arising

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How To Revive Public Schools - Tunji Olaopa

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Tunji Olaopa

The plural status quo of the Nigerian state gives rise to a series of discursive issues from federalism and restructuring to religious fundamentalism, from good governance to democratization, and from economic degradation to nation building. It will not be an exaggeration to say that Nigeria’s social discursive space is one of the most vociferous on the continent. This is in no small measure due to Nigeria’s larger than life status as a continental driver of ideas, and even problematic, around which the continent is perceived. Nigeria generates both rational and irrational but impassioned arguments as to what has happened and the how and why it has happened, as well as what is possible and what is not. From the newspapers stands to the social media, and from the informal settings to the formal academic and intellectual fora, individuals have one opinion or another to contribute to how it got to where it is and what should be done.

All Nigerians are ardent critics of their leadership. Nigeria generates criticisms from below and from above. The artisans, food sellers, traders, and others have something to say. The entrepreneurs, doctors, accountants, sports persons, musicians and other professionals hold perspectives. Academics, scholars and intellectual generate critical analysis. From the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti to the late Gani Fawehinmi, from Wole Soyinka to Odia Ofeimun, from Tam David West to Burna Boy, and from the ASUU to the NBA—there is a broad spectrum of socially discursive individuals and organizations that weigh in regularly on the imperatives of understanding and ameliorating Nigeria’s postcolonial and post-independence predicament.

Social discourse is usually situated in the academics and the media – print, broadcast and social. The university, for instance, as a citadel of learning, has come to denote that space for constant instigation of public and civil discourse on the Nigerian condition. And it becomes all the more interesting because the university, as the emblem of higher education, is also complicit in the predicament of the Nigerian state. This is to the extent that intellectuals and academics have all played one role or another in the determination of Nigeria’s current situation. Academics have been ministers; and Nigeria’s last president holds a doctoral degree. However, you have also found intellectuals who have attempted to stay true to the understanding of the university as an ivory tower that enables a detached perspective from embodied participants.

David Gauke, the British politician and former Lord Chancellor, once remarked that “A willingness by politicians to say what they think the public want to hear, and a willingness by large parts of the public to believe what they are told by populist politicians, has led to a deterioration in our public discourse.” Yet, the schemes of politicians and their populist tactics and tantrums have been the source of trenchant social political analyses. Nigeria, and the social media, have facilitated the emergence of many social and political commentators and analysts, as well as public intellectuals. In this mix, Professor Toyin Falola—the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas in Austin—is unique. He is not just a mere intellectual who has made a significant mark in disciplinary history. On the contrary, he has left an indelible mental print on the African humanities. He brings to the analysis of the Nigerian and African conditions a deep sense of historical awareness, elderly wisdom and pragmatic dynamics that is uncommon in the analysis of significant elements of our collective predicament.

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And recently, he added a unique element to the social discourse on Africa through what he called the Toyin Falola Interviews. This constitutes a new modal framework in Falola’s pan-Africanist credentials, and the objective of achieving excellence in African studies. The objective of the interviews is very simple: “to promote the work of great minds and to spread knowledge to the general public about current intellectual projects that these great minds are pursuing.” This requires having profound conversations with scholars, intellectuals, policymakers, politicians and public figures on past events, current projects, influences and all things relating to Africa and her development and progress. Why is this project unique? It is a profound means by which to excavate and link past actions with present circumstances in order to generate current thoughts and blueprints on Africa’s predicament and the way forward. The interviews are more current, cogent and immediate. The interview format allows the audience to crisscross the interviewee’s mind and motives from what has been done before to what is being done and what is then possible. Essentially, and this is pure brilliance from the master historian—the interviews therefore present social discourse as an alternative source of future historical reckoning.

So far, many significant Africans and Africanists have been interviewed: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, President John Kufuor, Aisha Yesufu, Tunde Kelani, Prof. Paul Zeleza, Hon. Kojo Yankah, Ebenezer Obey, Prof. Kenneth Harrow, Prof. Nimi Wariboko, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Prof. Jonathan Haynes, Dr Awolowo Dosumu, Segun Odegbami, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi. From this list, Nigeria takes on a huge proportion of the significant personalities interviewed so far. And for a fundamental reason: Nigeria’s political development resonates at the moment across the continent. The plural dynamics manifesting in Nigeria reflects similar incidences across Africa, from the Congo to Senegal, and from South Sudan to Mali. When the Toyin Falola Interviews commenced, Nigeria was just making sense of the COVID-19 pandemic which morphed almost seamlessly into the #EndSARS protests. The latter was a violent chain of reactions by Nigerian youths, powered by the social media, against police brutality, represented by the dreaded and unsupervised Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The protests eventually metamorphosed into a call for wide-ranging socioeconomic and political reforms that reechoed the existing outcry for the restructuring of the Nigerian polity.

Not surprisingly, therefore, the views of the actors interviewed present a robust and fiery estimation of the Nigerian state and society. The interview started, of course, with Aisha Yesufu, one of the most outspoken faces of the #EndSARS protests. Ms. Yesufu honed her activist teeth with the Bring Back Our Girls Movement that was in itself a reaction against state failure in the abduction of the now famous Chibok Girls that were kidnapped by the Boko Haram insurgents. Next in line was former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former head of state and executive president as well as iconic statesman. This was followed by Bishop Matthew Kukah, the radical cleric who constantly speaks truth to power. And then we have Dr Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu who embodies the political legacies of Chief Obafemi Awolowo. These stentorian voices converged on what ails Nigeria, from their different vantage points; and how Nigeria can get out of the woods.

From the four avatars interviewed by Toyin Falola, Nigeria faces daunting problems, which Falola metaphorized as the four horsemen of the biblical apocalypse. From insecurity to economic underdevelopment, and from infrastructural deficit to incremental poverty, listing these issues is no longer enlightening. Yet, their various diagnosis and prognosis, indeed the very activism of Yesufu, Kukah and Dosumu, as well as the outspoken criticism of Obasanjo, is a cry against despondency and resignation. To fight for one’s nation is to display implicit trust in her capacity to overcome her predicament. Almost all these significant actors agreed on the present state of Nigeria, and her internal contradictions. As was to be expected, the issue of security took the front burner in all the discourses. And security underscores the most minimal of indices to judge the capacity of any leader. It is the very complicity of the law enforcement agents in fomenting troubles, and undermining the security they are meant to secure, that led to the #EndSARS protests in the first place. If, according to Father Kukah, security is not too much to ask for from the government, it becomes significant, in Obasanjo’s assessment that leaders must possess some modicum of experiences, like knowledge of economic matters and global relations. And as Obasanjo came to understand from the grilling he received from the interviews, leadership is a sine qua non for good governance and political stability. The choice of Yar’adua and Jonathan as presidents after him was considered by all to be a disservice to the future of the Nigerian polity.

The issue of federalism and restructuring underlies the very challenge Nigeria is facing, as became very glaring in the interview with Dr Dosumu and Father Kukah. The struggle to federalize Nigeria’s structures and processes points at a critical lopsidedness that keeps weakening every effort at making democracy work for development and well-being. Restructuring has been interpreted in so many ways. Yet, it simply means adopting a federal system of government that adequately addresses Nigeria’s plural existence. It means, for instance, decentralizing critical institutional framework in Nigeria to cater for the aspiration of the people. The idea of state police, for instance, might have been a panacea to forestall a monolithic security structure like SARS. Indeed, the issue of decentralizing the police was prominent in the #EndSARS protest that Ms. Yesufu participated in.

With the #EndSARS protest, the legitimacy of protest as one of the elements for watching over the existence of democracy came alive in Nigeria. That the protest was overwhelmingly youthful speaks to several morbid symptoms of the Nigerian state. For instance, it speaks to the alarming fact of youth unemployment that stands at 14.2 percent. It equally speaks to the preying of the law enforcement agents on a hapless youth population finding means of making ends meet. While the 419/Yahoo boys’ phenomenon is a byproduct of raging unemployment, it is a mark of unprofessionalism for the police to use that as an excuse to dehumanize the youths. And so, while Ms. Yesufu represented the positive potentialities of the Nigerian youths and what they are capable of, Chief Obasanjo canvassed for a very active structural dynamics that involve the Nigerian youth in the democratization and governance process in Nigeria. In this way, it will become very difficult for unscrupulous politicians and cleric to keep harnessing the unemployed energies of the youth for nefarious religious and political agenda.

Let us give Father Matthew Hasan Kukah the last word: no one gains anything if Nigeria should break up. In drawing the voices of significant individuals into critical conversations about the Nigerian condition, Professor Toyin Falola has brought into existence a crucial framework that keeps social discourses about Nigeria alive and current. The essence of this conversations is found in the aphorism that it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. There is nowhere that the ominous signs of war and dissolution are more frightening than in Nigeria. Speaking about our condition can bring us to a point of agreement about what to do to alleviate our collective circumstances.

Prof. Olaopa is a retired Federal Permanent Secretary & Directing Staff, National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos. tolaopa2003@gmail.com

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Birthday Focus On Spiritual Master Jacob Oshodi

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Readers’ Showers Of Encouragement
Prof. Tony Afejuku

By Tony Afejuku

On a series  of eight consecutive Fridays (which, primarily, terminated last Friday) on Professor Olu Obafemi’s well grounded educational, truthful, philosophical, solid, comforting and un-comforting realities about the state of our public universities, it may seem strange that I am not immediately allowing my readers to give us echoes of their fascinating impressions and  contributions and questions to the strikingly stimulating presentations. Of course, Olu Obafemi will be delighted to have the echoes with their hints and allusions and sensations and praises and hammers. But these can wait. The columnist must demonstrate from time to time his awareness of the growing division of labour. As a first grade patriotic patriot he must not cease to be himself.

On Saturday, 27 April, 2024, two events, which I considered (and still consider) as significantly private engagements, happened in Benin City. A peculiarly peculiar Nigerian patriot and labour leader and revolutionary playwright in the person of Jonathan Ihonde, an octogenarian, who died sometime earlier than April 27 and was buried before the said date, was being mourned and honoured at the same time by his blood relatives, friends, erstwhile colleagues and associates with “A Day of Tributes.” The other event on the same day and almost about the same time was a celebration of the eighty-ninth birthday of a very quiet but a very sound and profound mystic – for want of a better term presently to describe him – of the Way of Truth. Incidentally, Sahaji Jacob Oshodi and Jonathan Ihonde are/were Awoists – the former at a super high spiritual level and the latter within the confine and confidence of high stake revolutionary politics. Both of them were for many years colleagues at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Benin City where they statutorily retired from active service. Again, they both had their respective upbringing and working careers from their Ibadan (Western Nigeria) surroundings before they as Edo indigenes and citizens, moved in the fabulous nineteen sixties to the Mid-West, whose capital was Benin City.

I am not interested in any comparison of both men, one of whom has just gone from us, as already indicated. Both of them became my cherished elderly friends later, much later, in my life – essentially because of each one’s willingness at every time to let go of one’s own self for the common good. I was far away from Edo State and Benin City at the date and times scheduled for the two events. Yet I found the nerve and time to elevate myself to attend both engagements.  I honoured the glorious memory of the revolutionary playwright Jonathan Ihonde who created the highly popular Hotel De Jordan series on our national television in the nineteen seventies long before the little baby Nollywood came into existence and our consciousness.

Today’s column is, however, specifically for Jacob Oshodi, a Living Spiritual Master who has attained universality from his Nigerian surroundings and specificities which are not totally fixed in Benin, or, better, African spiritual modernity. Indeed, his spiritual mastery and endeavours extend to Tibet, America, Europe, and beyond. Since I knew him we had shared a lot of usefully significant sensations, especially about our country, every facet of it, in common. His specific gift and task, his successes in what he has done and achieved, and he is still doing and achieving, on behalf of mankind, are things that are more than things I don’t wish to dwell on – more than what I am doing or getting into now. My spiritual mind is too meagre to penetrate his larger design which he was shaped and pre-destined to frame from time to time and embrace in accordance with God’s cosmic purpose.

There is nothing that goes on in the corridors of power anywhere in the globe that he does not know about. This is not an exaggeration. We, at different times, had had our political and spiritual differences. But we always in the end needed to embrace what we needed to embrace on the basis of our recognition of the confidence in the identity of each one’s self. Clearly, I always yielded what I needed to yield, and deferred what I needed to defer to this Living Spiritual Master who is absorbed fully in God’s Wisdom. That is why he is a Sahaji. In my understanding of the little and much that I understand relating to his relationship with us as a country and nation, he is an articulator of patriotic spiritualism and sensitive, secular consciousness.

I don’t know, to cite one example, how many of us will still remember what President Goodluck Jonathan went through thoroughly and thoroughly at the hands of his opponents, enemies and Boko Haram. He was to be driven bleakly and painfully from Aso Rock as a prelude to a boisterous change of government. Sahaji Jacob Oshodi knew the implication of what was coming to us as a modern postcolonial democracy.  A man of insight, he did what he needed to do. Despite my un-healthy feelings and sensations towards President Jonathan, I joined the spiritual train the Sahaji put together from Nigeria to Tibet and America to save Dr. Jonathan and Nigeria from a fatally fatal situation of bewildering proportions. On the D-Day, Boko Haram had a sparkling time in Abuja but the daredevils could not oust Jonathan as they fully wished in their red-hot iron minds. What Rosicrucians call the art/act of Medifocus, and Way of Truth adherents call voyage of Contemplation was at work all through to ward off what was warded off. Thereafter several physical attempts were made to get to Jonathan to pull his ears. The Spiritual Masters did not approve any physical visit to him from their end. But messages got to him concerning his attitude and style of governance.

One more thing out of numerous others: Dr. Jonathan was un-necessarily afraid to do what he needed to do with the national conference he set up. If he had hearkened to the imperative voice of the Master who was engaged to administer to him, but was forbidden to compel him against his free but un-willing mind, Dr. Jonathan would have gone down in history as your country my country our country’s legendary president from the front. As a spiritual rule, the Supreme Spiritual Masters don’t go beyond the boundary of any political personage or leader’s destiny or fate. Because Dr. Jonathan did not want to be rescued from the cliché of having ruled and led Nigeria as President, he was allowed to remain what he wanted to remain as – in this wise General Buhari similarly shared his fate. There is no credit in living as president or ex-president. The credit is in being able to specify experience solid achievement-wise. Presidents come and go. As it is with presidents and ex-presidents so it is with governors and ex-governors.

These reminiscences may appear fortuitous and insignificant to the non-initiate. But to the initiate anywhere and everywhere, a president (or governor) that does not have the right attitude to what he must do sparklingly for the advancement of the people and country foolishly fails; he is a foolish failure.

Is President Bola Tinubu reading this? Are his acolytes and allies reading this? Do I give them (and our fellow compatriots) taciturn Sahaji Jacob Oshodi’s insight and prophecy concerning this presidency? If I do so President Tinubu will find no ground under his feet. Meanwhile, let me  give our president the following quotation from Marcus Aurelius: “Never value  the advantages derived from anything involving breach of faith, loss of self-respect, hatred, suspicion, or execration of others, insincerity, or desire for something which has to be veiled and curtained.” This is straight from the heart of a spiritual emperor who was a spiritual emperor.

Now without saying more than I have been ‘commanded’ and inspired to say, I can say with solemnity thus, in closing this: Happy eighty-ninth birthday, Living Spiritual Master Jacob Oshodi. Stay long and ever blessed in our spiritual capital and firmament, and consciousness. You are a spiritual treasure and delight. Happy eighty-ninth birthday that we are still celebrating up to now!

Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.

     

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Reflections On The New National Anthem As Patriotism And Hope Renewed

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Prof Tunji Olaopa

By Tunji Olaopa

The recent policy decision by the Tinubu administration to revert to Nigeria’s old national anthem has generated lots of furors on social media and in the public space. And this is for obvious reason. Many Nigerians are wondering as to the appropriateness of such a decision at a time when the governance indices are all seemingly on the downward spiral. The questions being asked include: why is this policy necessary now? What does it add to the urgency of articulating good governance policies around inclusive growth and sustainable development that can positively affect the lives of Nigerians? Even if we are to change the national anthem, why adopt one with colonial burdens?

I agree that these are genuine concerns. No one can fault the majority of Nigerians eagerly awaiting the dividends of democratic governance. And the Tinubu administration has set itself up as the harbinger of renewed hope that most Nigerians expect to have started yielding tangibles. And within the curves of these expectations, changing the national anthem is the least of the least of what Nigerians want to be saddled with. And the rate at which the new policy about an old issue degenerated into the butt of jokes and memes on social media seem like an indication of how many Nigerians thumped the nose of government for such an ‘inconsiderate’ policy. However, derisive comments by the citizens do not always come close to aggregating the best reactions to government decisions. We need to do more to be able to situate one policy against the others in the grand architecture of what governance entails.
Nation-building is not a business that can be conducted with peripheral analyses. Or with social media mudslinging. It is a very serious business that demands both the government and citizens to explore intricate and nuanced implications and consequences of considered policy choices. And there is, as usual, no one single story as to what could or should have been done within the general architecture of governance policies. Governance is a complex business and the government of the day has to juggle so many seemingly contradictory policies that needed to be attended to even if the citizens do not think so. And many of us, as citizens, are only open to the outcomes of policies without a deep understanding of what goes on behind the curtain. This is the way all governments work, even the most transparent of them all. I take two issues to be crucial to democratic government: trust and transparency. Due to its representative nature, democratic government must necessarily be about trust. Citizens elected their leaders with a modicum of trust, especially with regard to certain policy choices. But then the government also owes the citizens a level of transparency that must often draw the latter into the policy design process.

This brings us to the national anthem issue. Part of that nuanced analysis is that government everywhere needs symbolic gestures and policies that might not immediately have any relation to the tangible matter of economics and development. And such policies also require that the citizens trust the government. The key issue about governance is simply that government cannot always be unilinear in its focus. While the fate of most nations is determined by economic policies and decisions, such policies are not mutually excluded from being side-by-side with non-economic intangible policies—like changing the national anthem. It might seem inconsiderate at this time to introduce this legislation, but it does not seem so if government needs an arsenal of ideological weapons around which to ground its developmental progress. And the national anthem is one such potent template for focusing the patriotic energy of the citizens.

The second issue for me is what the government has the capacity to make of whatever it has inherited. In this sense, I see the old national anthem the same way I see the civil service institution and the English language, Nigeria’s lingua franca. These are all colonial inheritances. The discourses about the civil service structures and the English language still rage on in public administration and African cultural studies. And yet, we have made some national sense of these two structures. My point is that the old national anthem is equally a colonial inheritance that could be fashioned to suit our national ideological design. It was rejected by the Obasanjo administration in 1978 in the fervor of nationalism immediately after independence, and not for any other reason. And so, the fact that it originated from the British is a weak argument against its readoption. If the old anthem captures our national longing better than the current one, nothing stops us from re-adopting it.

This argument therefore demands a serious philosophical analysis of the content of the old anthem. From the analyses that I have read so far, two items seem offensive to many—“Our own dear native land” and “Though tribes and tongues may differ.” The first two have been considered to possess the racist connotation that justified Britain’s colonial enterprise. I agree that given the provenance of the song, the term “native” would evoke the un-salutary connotation it accrued through colonialism. However, “native” has a simple lexical sense: that which belongs to a particular place by birth. And that is what we want to make Nigeria, a place where we all can call ours—a country we collectively built by dint of civic loyalty and unstinting patriotism despite all odds. The word “tribe” suffers the same racist connotation, unfortunately. But over time, we all use this word freely and have adapted it to our sense of ethnic identity. Both “tribe” and “native” have both been re-semanticized in ways that ought to dissuade us from the angst about colonial tutelage or overlordship. We can even further argue that the reference to “Our sovereign Motherland” and “In brotherhood we stand” constitutes a subtle lexical canceling out of any gender derogation that anyone might read into the old anthem. But even making this argument should not blind us to the lexical fact that both “brotherhood” and “motherland” are used to shorn off their gender connotations.

Outside of these two words, and the fixation on colonial burdens in our national affairs, the old anthem, like the current, is a fine piece of national projection. I even make bold to argue that the re-adoption of the old one portends a subversion. Scholars like Prof. Biodun Jeyifo have argued that English is now an African language (and demonstrated by Chinua Achebe), and I among public administration scholars who have joined others in the long discourse over the reform of the colonial civil service system. This is the same subversive way the old national anthem can also be made ours through a deconstructed piece of national ownership that enables us to align the values and imageries embedded within the anthem to our understanding and aspirations about who we are as a people.

Given the Tinubu administration’s drive to transform the Nigerian situation, grounding that renewed hope agenda on a national anthem that many excoriate for being a colonial fabrication would be a governance and symbolic coup of the century for Nigeria. That will be one way of saying we can reinvent ourselves as a people even through the structures and institutions that were meant to subjugate us. It further implies that we are by ourselves owning and molding our destiny in our own unique way by insisting that colonialism can no longer be blamed for what is wrong with us.

Overall, a dispassionate analysis demonstrates that this old anthem possesses an aspirational sense that could rally Nigerians towards the understanding of our collective identity as Nigerians. Taken holistically, and outside the anxiety about self-flagellation, the anthem possesses all the key lexical items that could carry the burden of valuating our collective desire to build one nation that would no longer be saddled with the albatross of colonialism and underdevelopment.

While the current anthem is a call to action and a prayer, the old one is both an aspiration and a prayer. The first two verses speak to values and visions of what a great nation Nigeria can turn out to be if we dare to renew the hope that Nigeria’s founding nationalists had at independence. We hail a nation that is still a work in progress; a projection of unity in diversity. We hail a nation whose cornerstones would be truth and justice. We hail a nation where the politicians would develop generational proactiveness and govern with future generations in mind.

If there was once a country as Chinua Achebe lamented in his last lamentation of that same title, then there can still be one that we all can agree to build together—a nation where, with the concerted efforts of the government and the governed, “no man is oppressed/And so with peace and plenty/Nigeria may be blessed.” Whether we retain the current anthem or re-adopt the old one, the issue of colonialism should no longer feature in our collective will to make of Nigeria what we all together have patriotically decided to. We can make of Nigeria something all of us and posterity can be proud of.

Olaopa is Professor of Public Administration, and the Chairman, the
Federal Civil Service Commission,
Abuja.

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T.B. Joshua: A Phenomenon In The Mystery Of The Universe 

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Pastor T.B. Joshua
By Dare Adejumo
There is something quite extraordinary and intriguing about Temitope Balogun Joshua , the Prophet! Most people spent around nine months in their mothers’ wombs before they were born but T.B. Joshua’s case was different. He stayed in the womb to spend double periods, eighteen solid months!
Born on June 12, 1963 in a rustic village to peasant parents reminiscent of the biblical birth in the manger of our Lord Jesus Christ, Temitope was obviously an unusual child.
Mysteriously, a few days after his birth, a  fiercely errant heavy boulder from the nearby rock pierced the roof of the house, just at the exact center of where he was laid on the mat smashing everything around him but the little baby boy Temitope was miraculously protected and unhurt to the amazement of everyone around!
T.B. Joshua was a big puzzle, an enigma abinitio. As a child he was a precocious one. The little Temitope stood out in character, understanding, knowledge with a propulsive bold faculty that used to transmogrify the elders. In life, what people do not know they call names and what they know but cannot explain no matter how real it is, they deride because of their impure hearts!
He grew up facing the vicissitudes of life without losing focus of his assignment on earth as he grew up more in grace, wisdom and power till when the time came for him to announce his apostolicism.
The Bible had more or less become a moonlight tales in several quarters when T.B. Joshua emerged.   Christianity and church going had become a camouflage as worshipping had degenerated to mere ceremonies without power. T.B. Joshua, the game changer invigorated and rejuvenated the ruggedness of the early church, the real Christianity that was in abeyance!
That was the beginning of his ordeals with modern Pharisees and Sadducees!
Persecuted in life and death, T.B. Joshua was the most abused prophet of our time. He was under the siege of concocted lies yet he never lost focus. The radiance of his legacy, the glorious works of God for which he was born and died for continue to blossom beyond human imagination and to the chagrin of his traducers.
He was the golden tree planted by the river that brought forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf could not wither and whatever he laid his hand on prospered.
“I cannot but do the work of my Master Jesus Christ. Jesus loves sinners but he hates sins and his mission was to redeem the world and bring sinners into repentance in order for them to be attuned with God. Why should I discriminate against those people you people like Pharisees all regard as sinners by their appearance, dressing or lifestyles from coming to me? Jesus is interested in them to have an encounter with Him”, he once stated when some people were wondering  about his open arms to all that came to him.
“Many of your big people cannot come here because of the evil powers they worship or what they carry inside their clothes because the power of God would expose and neutralise them the moment they step here”, he also once commented.
T.B. Joshua  was a man who walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the path of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful; but his delight was in the law of the Lord in which he meditated day and night. This was very palpable  in his life.
Corollarily, he introduced faith bracelets for use by SCOAN’S members for the purpose of making them imbibe  the culture of true meditation on the Word of God as he often told us: “‘the greatest achievement you can have in life is the ability to hear from God”.
T.B. Joshua was the prophet of the prophets. He had no time for frivolity and wonton desires. Can you ever imagine or  believe that T.B. Joshua did not have a personal house outside the church where he lived or the open prayer mountain where he spent most of his time on knees?  He lived the Word, taught the Word and preached the Word with power. He was the chip of the apostolic old block holding tenaciously to the old rugged cross! Before he departed the world he issued out some prayers which he called timeless prayers that can never expire. Today whenever his voice is heard in the prayer it brings commotion into the kingdom of darkness with various manifestations of unclean spirits. With his “distance is not a barrier to power of God”, once you pray with him on Emmanuel television or merely touch the television screen while the prayer is going on, the power of God would touch you visibly. It’s amazing and unfathomable! God is awesome!
T.B. Joshua brought people closer to God. Through him people came to understand the God they worshipped and not an imaginary being you just worship for worship sake in the common meretricious  bandwagonism!
The humblest human being you can ever come across, in him you would learn and see the greatness that lies in simplicity.
T.B. Joshua was a turning point not only in the development of the history of Christianity in the world but also as the loadstar in the illumination and advancement of the spiritual knowledge concerning the essence of humanity and mankind in Creation
T.B. Joshua was a bundle of love, the most generous human being without any discrimination I have ever come across. Your background, colour, religion or tribe was completely irrelevant to him.  It’s difficult to offend him in any way. The love in him, the grace of holiness in his focus and concern for you even in your foolishness would magnetize his sympathy and blessing. He did not have two eyes; the only one he had was the one that saw only what his Master, Jesus Christ wanted. There was no way anybody could meet T.B. Joshua and remain the same. In him was an oil of blessing incessantly flowing.
He was not an academic person, though he honoured and cherished learning. Here was a man with little or no education but his wisdom and prowess of intelligence would humble any man with  much learning. He was not given to verbosity but his lucid  and short conversation with you would expose the inadequacy of the chains of your degrees.
T.B. Joshua was unimaginably very deep! He was the only pastor or prophet who would hold crusades in different countries without collecting offerings or taxing the crusade organizers for any monetary support. Instead he would be the one to carry out additional stupendous charity works and donations for such countries.
At home or abroad, he never for once printed any envelopes for donation of any kind for church work. “No, have you ever seen me printing envelopes asking for donations? No, I won’t do that because whenever God truly sends you on a mission, He would always put it  in the hearts of those who would support the mission”,  he once said , decrying  the situation in Cameroon where there was a massive advert for donations towards establishing a branch of Synagogue Church in Yaounde without his consent or knowledge.Your tithes, thanksgivings and offerings were meaningless to T.B. Joshua . He would tell you tersely: “Go to your church where you  worship, don’t bring it here because you received healings or miracles. God had already answered your prayers there before you came”. That was T.B. Joshua who was never happy with the reckless individualism in several Christian quarters, the disunity  among the churches and servants of God that could not have made them work together  as a team for Jesus Christ. Even for his church members he would tell them: “Take such monies to  the sick, orphans and those in need. God would hear your prayers if you do that”. Material acquisition was completely meaningless to him.
He was never a burden to anyone but a carrier of other people’s burdens.
A workaholic and exemplary leader, whose good work touched the lives of millions of people across the globe,T.B. Joshua was a thorn in the flesh of religious charlatans, the agents of darkness, the spiritual highway robbers, masquerading as servants of God dishing out and feeding people with stone disguised as bread by their exposure through the reality of what was happening in the Synagogue Church of All Nations!
“A true prophet of God would not be asking questions before telling you the mind of God for you. He would not allow you to talk before addressing you. “Prophecy is a complete package. Once it’s from God, your bondage is automatically broken when delivered. Once I talk to you that’s all. Have you ever seen me prophesying to people and still asking them to go and  do anything for their problems to solve? No, It’s like breathing. Just go and sin no more your past is over”,  he said.
T.B.Joshua was the quintessential prophet of God. You cannot be a true follower of T.B.Joshua, listening to his teachings, following his footsteps and lifestyles and still put your hands in dirty or sinful things. The fear of T.B. Joshua exposing your secret sins was the beginning of wisdom to worship in truth and spirit in SCOAN for those who were awake. I personally witnessed instances where he could just be walking and suddenly stop and say: “You, you (pointing at a person) stand up. You are a member of this church and you are still patronizing the witch doctor or babalawo! What’s this I am looking at inside your cupboard or a corner in the room of your house?”  Such people would collapse and confess immediately with faithless excuses and be crying for God’s forgiveness. You could not hide from him because he would dissect you from the womb and things of centuries from your background to your amazement. Sometimes it could be on the television screen that he would see you and immediately ask you to be fetched out. You cannot escape from his spiritual antennae of capturing people with a sinful lifestyle once he saw you.
That’s  T.B. Joshua , the man of God in the Synagogue who would not compromise with evil. He was the light shining in darkness that people in darkness could not comprehend!
In the words of Williams Shakespeare, you came, you saw and you conquered!  Your legacy of love, pure Christianity, service to humanity like a colossus has continued to bestride  the entire world  shattering  all fetters of darkness veiling the human eyes.

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