Church collapse: TB Joshua should’ve been charged with carelessness, says Soyinka

Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka says founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Temitope Joshua should have been prosecuted by the Lagos State Government for the fatal building collapse in the premises of his church on September 12, 2014.

At least 115 people – 84 South Africans, one Zimbabwean and 30 others of unknown nationalities – died after the building collapsed in the Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos.

Speaking at the reading and signing of two of his books titled Trumpism in Academe and Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth organised by Rovenheights Bookstore and Orisun Gallery in Abuja on Saturday, Soyinka knocked TB Joshua for claiming the church was attacked by a strange aircraft.

The Nobel laureate said Nigeria had become such a deeply religious society to the extent that actions that should be punished are usually regarded as an act of God.

He also noted that some years ago, an aeroplane conveying pilgrims to Mecca crashed in Nigeria but instead of the authorities taking action, it was ruled as an act of God and no one was brought to book.

“There are others for whom the calling is just a cover-up because we have an abnormal respect for the priesthood in this country. It doesn’t matter which one- Muslim, Christian, Orisa worshipper, Buddhists, whatever it is.

“Somehow, religion has almost national character and so it doesn’t matter who it is or what he does. He can get away with a lot. Look at TB Joshua for instance whose chapel of whatever it is in Lagos, collapsed on the congregation. Not just Nigerians, close to 200 or 300. They came from South Africa and so on and so forth.

“This is somebody who should have been charged for carelessness, for flouting the laws required for setting up public establishments. The next thing he said is that oh it was an air force plane that was hovering around that cracked the walls and buried humanity. Has he been brought to trial till today?” Soyinka said.

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