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The federal government and prominent Nigerians have finally joined millions of Nigerians and other African nationals to beg the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Senior Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua not to leave Nigeria for any other country for the sake of the nation’s tourism industry.
It would be recalled that the news, first broken by Business Hilights early Monday morning this week, went viral and attracted millions of Africans and top government officials both serving and out of government to mount pressure against a proposal given to the Prophet while on pilgrimage to Israel last week (Read: www.businesshilights.com.ng/ What Nigeria’ll lose if TB Joshua yields to Israeli calls to relocate to Galilee in Israel).
Business Hilights team of Editors had monitored the breaking news live, via the Emmanuel TV Sunday telecast in Lagos.
During the Church Service, Prophet TB Joshua had revealed that three Mayors controlling key religious sites approached him while on visit to the Holyland, assuring him of vast expanse of land at any location of his choice to build his church should he agree to relocate to Israel.
Though he never made his choice of yielding or not clear during the service attended by over 200 foreigners, federal government and eminent Nigerians have started begging him not to leave Nigeria.
Reacting to the development, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed decried that his relocation would injure Nigeria’s growth in tourism and international image.
While pleading with the Prophet to reconsider his decision for the interest of Nigeria, he averred that such move will not be in the best of the country.
The Minister spoke in a chat with journalists during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) in Ikeja, Lagos, pleading that “It will be very unfortunate in the sense that if he does move out, it will affect our tourism in Nigeria. Pastor Joshua is an important person, he must bear with us. This is his country. If he moves out and go to South Africa (for example), the revenue will go to South Africa”.
In another interview with a top member of the church and chairman, Ondo Indigenes at SCOAN, Rev. Ebijimi, he said “That will be the greatest tsunami of our time in Nigeria if it happens”.
According to him, “The problem is that he is a human being like us and has feelings like us. If look at the level of persecution so far mated out to him and the church, you may not blame him if he chooses to relocate, but people like us think that he may not go if government and prominent Nigerians will beg him”.
Already, former Aviation Minister and lawyer, Femi Fani-Kayode noted he won’t allow Prophet TB Joshua to move his ministry to Israel, stressing that “Nigeria needs T.B Joshua now more than ever”.
In another telephone interview Wednesday evening with leading Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Barr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani, he said “I think this is the time we need his works much. Nigeria is his country and God made and planted him here for a purpose and we would not like that purpose to derail”.
Continuing, he said “He can decide to go and open just a branch there after all, so many Nigerian men of God have branches all over the world even in Israel, but where Nigeria will lose will be in his total relocation”.
A confident source at the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) who pleaded anonymity in a telephone interview on Wednesday told Business Hilights that “If the matter is getting out of hand, it may not be out of place to visit the church in solidarity of his good works in Nigeria and Africa in general because we cannot afford to lose the tourism traffic generated by SCOAN every week”.
“I think, the church’s international tourists traffic is yet to have a match in this country,” the source said.
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