‘TB Joshua deserves Nigeria’s highest honour’
With two countries bestowing their highest national honours on Prophet T.B. Joshua, overseer of The Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), within three months, a director at Innoson Group, Mr. Jonas Ojukwu, says it is time the leading televangelist gets Nigeria’s topmost recognition.
He noted in a statement that, in what seems to buttress the adage, “a prophet is not without honour except in his home,” two countries, Paraguay and Dominican Republic, bestowed on Joshua their highest national awards in August and November 2017 respectively in recognition of his “immense contributions to the growth and development of humanity.”
Other virtues for which he was honoured are ”his wonderful and relentless social work which he had tirelessly extended to impoverished regions of the world, his large donations to help widows, orphans, the destitute, the elderly and the physically challenged.”
For instance, the cleric donated a field hospital to Haiti after the earthquake there in 2010. He reconstructed a collapsed school following a 2016 earthquake in Ecuador; he also built and donated Emmanuel School in Lahore, Pakistan; and on September 14, 2015, the prophet donated medical equipment, disposables as well as drugs to the Police Hospital and 37 Military Hospital in Accra, Ghana.
Giving further reasons for the awards, the Dominican Republic’s representatives were particular about the humanitarian work spearheaded by the prophet after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, including assistance to India, Ghana and the Philippines when they suffered various disasters.
Nigeria’s highest national honour, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR, is customarily reserved for occupants of the office of president and military heads of state of the country.
However, although no one outside these cadres has been given the GCFR, the second highest national honour, GCON, which is customarily bestowed on the chief justice of Nigeria and the president of the senate during their first year in office, has been conferred on private citizens. Among them are Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and Mike Adenuga, proprietor of leading indigenous telecommunication company Globacom, Ojukwu, said.
He explained that since an exception had been made with regard to the second highest national honour, such exemption should also be extended to Joshua because he has done so much by way of tourism and philanthropy such that he deserves the nation’s highest honour, GCFR. This is more so when the Nigeria-born international televangelist has been thus recognised by several countries.
According to Ojukwu, a peace ambassador, said that although the late President Umaru Yar’Adua conferred on Joshua the honour of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 2008, with what the cleric is doing to the glory of God and the nation of Nigeria, he certainly deserves a much higher national honour.
“This is more so when you add Prophet Joshua’s charity works to individuals, groups and even nations, not to talk of the healing and deliverance God has used this man of God to achieve,” he stressed.
Ojukwu also underlined Joshua’s empowerment of hundreds of stranded Nigerian deportees from Libyan prisons who were undergoing terrible conditions in the North African country. He gave them huge sums of money to start businesses, thus making them useful to themselves and to the society.
Furthermore, the cleric has been reconciling broken homes, providing food, shelter, educational institutions and hospitals to the needy in different parts of the world.
Ojukwu, a beneficiary of the prophet’s generosity, remarked that Joshua’s philanthropy is such that if there were ten men like him in Nigeria, poverty, hunger and disease would be drastically reduced.
According to him, Joshua’s acts of giving started from an early stage – at the very beginning of his ministry.
Ojukwu recalled that there had been many times when demon-possessed persons had cried to the man of God to deliver them of the evil spirits that seemed to propel them to engage in injurious activities, almost against their will, and to rehabilitate them. Oftentimes, Ojukwu said, such unfortunate souls had been freed of their dangerous propensities and given sufficient money to start new lives by Joshua. He also gave a bus to one Ms. Olaware, who said she had been suffering in the previous 15 years, with which to start a business. This was in 1995. It was the first bus which had been given to the prophet.
Joshua is committed to catering to the needs of widows, dwarfs, the elderly, physically challenged, orphans and the destitute as well as providing scholarships to orphans and children of the underprivileged, with educational support given from primary to tertiary levels. He said there is also a rehabilitation programme for militants from Nigeria’s volatile Niger Delta region, armed robbers, prostitutes and drug addicts, taking them away from the streets and empowering them to be useful to themselves and society.
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