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BBC Documentary: Our Memories Of T.B. Joshua – Neighbours Speak Up

TB Joshua

Amidst the ongoing reactions to the recent BBC documentary detailing the alleged activities of the late TB Joshua, The Nation’s Adeola Ogunlade, who visited the church’s neighborhood in the Ikotun suburb of Lagos, encapsulates the sentiments of community residents, a significant portion of whom were admirers and recipients of the late televangelist’s well-known generosity.


Last Friday morning, the premises of the Synagogue Church of all Nation (SCOAN), Ikotun, Lagos, was calm with security operatives on ground. A retinue of people were seen paying their respects to the late televangelist by looking at his giant portraits displayed by the side of the church. Some stretched forth their hands to the pictures praying while a man was seen kneeling and praying with his hands on Prophet TB Joshua’s picture. Not too far away, rubbles of the collapsed church guest house which claimed the lives of 116 people a few years back could be seen.

Just a few days back, precisely, Monday, the BBC had aired a three-hour documentary on the late founder of the church, the late Temitope Balogun Joshua. The three-part documentary featured over two dozen SCOAN ex-members (disciples), taking turns to share accounts of alleged sexual assaults, manipulation, forced abortion, and other abuses attributed to the late cleric in his lifetime.

These individuals are from Nigeria, South Africa, the United Kingdom among others.

Reacting to the allegations, SCOAN Public Affairs Director, Dare Adejumo in a statement, said the BBC documentary, titled: ‘Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua,’ portrayed the late founder in a negative light.

Adejumo claimed that the individuals the BBC interviewed and featured in the expository documentary were unfamiliar to the church.

Adejumo maintained that the documentary was aimed at tarnishing the image of the late T.B. Joshua.

SCOAN stated that while investigating and reporting are at the core of journalism, straying from ethical principles is unacceptable.

Highlighting journalism’s role as a societal watchdog, the church stressed the importance of fairness, balance, and objectivity for the media to maintain dignity as the fourth estate of the realm.

Church neighbours react

While there have been different reactions to the BBC report, those who knew Joshua while he was alive have continued to maintain that the late preacher was a man of God.

One of the late SCOAN leader’s neighbours, a middle-aged woman, who spoke to The Nation on condition of anonymity, said that the BBC documentary is a lie, as it is a plot to discredit the good works the late TB Joshua did to so many people and residents within the community.

“The late TB Joshua had a wife. I am not sure he has the time to engage in nefarious activities. During Yuletide season, he sent a whole trailer of rice to the community, with lots of money. He was a good man. We are not perturbed by the plethora of allegations levelled against him.”

Also, a trader, who sells fast moving consumer goods and lives on Adekunjo Street right opposite the church, said her daughter told her about the video going around about the late TB Joshua. “The question is why didn’t they release the videos while he was alive, so he could clear himself of all the allegations? I told my daughter not to join them in discrediting TB Joshua. His judgment is not in our hands but in the hands of God. The BBC documentary is suspicious and unnecessary, especially after the man had died”

Also, a couple who are members of the church and who lives on Adamo Street, not too far from the church area, said that the BBC report was ‘a piece of fake news’.

According to the couple, the wife of the late evangelist and Lead Pastor of the church, Evelyn Joshua, had announced to them that the church’s popular satellite broadcast channel, Emmanuel TV, would go off Dove TV, Startime and DSTV from the 17th of January, saying that the station was supposed to be free but the church was paying so much to retain it on the satellite networks.

A flier was also distributed to alert church members.

The couple said they suspected foul play in the BBC report and literally rained curses on the people behind the documentary. The church according to them started a long time ago and the miracles and the plethora of good works displayed by TB Joshua are worthy of note. The wife, a trader and nursing mother, said: “Can someone who performed so many great miracles across borders be doing such dastardly acts as portrayed in the documentary? TB Joshua’s evangelists are around today doing a lot of miracles; are they also using demonic power? It can never be true. We have not just seen miracles, we saw and we are seeing good works displayed by the church. From Agodo to Liasu Road and Aminu in the environs, scores of persons were given rice and money during the last Yuletide Season. The documentary is just a plot to discredit him and his ministry. It will not work.”

Also, a Muslim woman within the neighbourhood said the documentary was misconceived. “My husband did some work in the church and our house was greatly blessed.”

She said her husband repaired the air conditioning and the church gave him some work to do. He was not discriminated against because of his religion. “After payment for the job had been made, he would give every artisan who worked in his church extra transport to take them home. We miss him. I am a Muslim but we appreciate him. He started from a humble background and became a global brand.”

In the words of another woman, who deals in grocery on Adamo Street, “We are in support of the ministry, as the wife has continued the good strides and legacy her husband left behind.”

According to her, she has been living in Adamo Street for a while and from the much she knew, the late TB Joshua was a kind and spirited minister of God.

Evelyn Joshua reacts

In what could be considered her reaction, Pastor Evelyn Joshua, on her Facebook page, Friday, posted “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Prophet T.B. Joshua reminds us of the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ when He was on the Cross: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Prophet T.B. Joshua says: “Your response when you are hurt, embarrassed, misjudged, wrongly accused, persecuted and hated, determines your future.”

Even before the BBC documentary, Pastor (Mrs.) Joshua had responded to one of the women in the now fast-circulating tape, Mrs Bisola Johnson, who also accused the late T.B. Joshua of wrongdoing.

Pastor Evelyn Joshua, during a recent ministration in the church, said that the lady came to TB Joshua and narrated the story of being homeless and needing help. Joshua said the church later provided her a shelter at the synagogue.

A video of her past in the church was also shown, where Johnson spoke of her homelessness.

“One day, she drank poison because her husband said that he was not interested in the marriage anymore. Her husband rushed her to the hospital. Two weeks later, she poured kerosene and petrol on her house, and the property worth N3 million got burnt.

“Over the years, Johnson wanted to be my friend and I said ‘No,’ because I didn’t know her. While living at the Synagogue, I noticed her ways were not pure but thankfully, the late Prophet, according to his wife, did not give in to her foolishness. “Stay away from foolish people so that you do not be like them.”

Also reacting to the BBC documentary, politician and Publisher Ovation magazine, who was also friend of the late prophet, Dele Momodu, drummed support for the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) amidst the controversy.

Momodu said that “although there is good and bad in every mortal”, the late Joshua was “an angel on earth.”

Femi Fani Kayode, former Aviation Minister also reacted to the documentary on his X account, questioning the legitimacy of these allegations. He said that as far as he was concerned, the late preacher was a blessing to the church and the Christian faith in Nigeria.

He tweeted, “So true! You touched many lives, fought a good fight, stood till the end, and established a great and enduring legacy. No man or institution can destroy it with dirty lies: not even the BBC! Continue to rest in peace brother and thanks for being such a blessing to the Church, the Christian faith, humanity, and our beloved nation Nigeria. We are and shall always be very proud of you.”

Rubbishing the BBC documentary, musician Daddy said: “Say what you like, the time wey the man dey here, una no talk, so who dey hear una blackmail?”

Another musician, Victor Adere also granted an interview to speak about how TB Joshua healed him and saved his family.

He said “In 2021, my dad, late Mr Emmanuel Adere introduced me and my entire family to SCOAN [in] 1996, and ever since then you have been a blessing to us.”

Tourism journalist, Okorie Uguru, who related closely with the late Joshua, also recounted his over a decade encounter with the late evangelist on his Facebook page.

“I related with the late Prophet T B Joshua for many years, and in all these years, I have no negative to say about him, except that he was a workaholic and drove his aides same way…. Anybody can say what they feel like saying, but I know what I know….”


Source: The Nation


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