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Fire breaks out at TB Joshua’s church

WORLD
By Too Jared | July 6th 2021

TB Joshua (inset) will be buried on July 9 at the SCOAN premises. [Courtesy]

Fire gutted a section of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) on Monday night during a candlelight procession in honour of popular evangelical preacher and founder TB Joshua.

According to local media, the fire broke out at around 11pm as the televangelist’s widow, Evelyn Joshua, led a procession of at least 5,000 followers at the church’s prayer mountain, SCOAN Faith Resort Ground, in Ikotun-Egbe, South-West of Abuja.

The procession marked the beginning of a week-long funeral rite of the influential preacher who died on June 5, 2021, a few days before his 58th birthday. He will be buried on July 9 at SCOAN premises.

In a statement, SCOAN said the fire started due to an electrical fault at a storehouse within the mega-church and was quickly brought under control without any injuries.

“As part of the preparedness for the weeklong services celebrating the life and legacy of Prophet TB Joshua, the church has worked closely with relevant government agencies including the Lagos State Fire Services, whose members were on the ground at the time of the incident,” read the statement in part.

Adding, “We thank God for His continued protection. We assure the general public that there is no cause for alarm and the services celebrating the life and legacy of Prophet TB Joshua will continue as scheduled.”

The incident came days after a delegation of health officials led by Commissioner for Health Prof. Akin Abayomi and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, visited the church to ensure the burial is conducted in a safe and Covid-secure manner.

According to Channel Stv, Abayomi said local authorities and representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health’s Port Health Services will monitor the services and evaluate the church’s preparedness to ensure strict compliance to Covid protocols and security.

“We’ve engaged with several stakeholders, we are looking at the airport, we are looking at the land borders, we are looking at events preceding the five or seven days of the funeral, we are looking at the funeral activities itself, we have a detailed account of the programme, we are putting some guidelines in place,” said Abayomi.

Aboyomi noted that foreign visitors, who plan to grace the burial at the 50,000 strong member church, will undergo mandatory seven-day isolation and testing for coronavirus.

“The likely cause of a third wave is going to be an importation from visitors who are infected with the virus, so we are particularly careful about working with the Synagogue to make sure that we have a collaboration that will reduce the opportunity to zero of us either importing a virus or even allowing someone who is positive to interact with the community,” added Abayomi.

A tribute service for the founder of The Synagogue Church of All Nations is scheduled to kick off today July 6, to July 7. His body will lie-in-state on July 8 ahead of July 9’s internment at SCOAN headquarters. 

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