by Dolapo Adelana
The Minister Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday pleaded with the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua (T.B. Joshua) to reconsider his decision to relocate from Nigeria, The Nation reports.
According to Mohammed, Joshua’s decision was not the best for the country.
He said, “This is the most persecuted ministry in the world. Who are the people persecuting the ministry? My people, Africa.
“That is why I choose to live a lonely life. If you want to see me, come to this church. I don’t go out. It has not been easy – because I don’t know who is a friend or who is an enemy. If you learn T.B. Joshua is not around, I am in a revival. I live in the church here. I don’t have a house outside.
“What happened to me from the beginning of my ministry is enough to chase me out of this country. But I am still in your midst. Upon the persecution and hatred, I decided to follow the path of love. You show hatred; I show love. When I go for a revival, you will see the stadium full but I am not carried away by that. I leave where I’m celebrated to live where I’m persecuted.”
The minister in a chat with journalists during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), held in Ikeja, Lagos, described Joshua’s decision as unfortunate.
Mohammed called for dialogue between the pastor and the authorities over whatever challenges he was facing.
He said, “That 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. It is better that Pastor Joshua sits down with the relevant authority and resolve whatever problem he has. If I have access to him this is exactly what I am going to tell him.”
Dolapo is a writer and journalist who works with YNaija. He has interests in Christianity, politics and sports.