|Prophet TB Joshua|
Report By Teleayo Adedeji
Nigeria’s popular pastor of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet T.B. Joshua was Sunday rewarded for his ‘acts of love’ with an award as Ambassador of Peace by the country’s Arewa Youth Forum.
The tele-evangelist was all smiles as the grouping, which represents interests of the youth in the northern part of the country, conferred on him the meritorious award at his base in Lagos.
Justifying the award, National Director of Public Affairs for the group, Bello Abdulhamid, said Joshua deserved the honour because he had always demonstrated great love to all people irrespective of their race, religion, creed or ethnicity.
“Our independent research has revealed that The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, founded by Prophet T.B. Joshua, has since its inception been consistently committed to providing not only spiritual but also the physical well-being of all people simply on compassion.
Abdulhamid, speaking in front of an elated congregation and broadcast live on the pastor’s Emmanuel TV, said it was amazing that the profile of T.B. Joshua’s humanitarian activities goes beyond catering for the needs of widows and widowers, orphans, the physically challenged, the elderly, the impoverished, children, educational sponsorship to indigent persons through provision of scholarships from primary to the university level, rehabilitation of armed robbers and prostitutes through marketable vocational skills training, in order for them to be self-reliant and as well, active participants in development of society, feeding the hungry, providing relief and succour to the poor, the weak and the needy.
“In this regard, the states of Northern Nigeria affected by the Boko Haram crisis have received relief materials by our Daddy, Prophet T.B. Joshua, simply because of his innate burning desire and activity of providing succour – because of love,” he said adding, “We came for love, to, an apostle of love in this house of love.”
Abdulhamid said that was why, after the group’s wide consultation, looking for a man of love across Nigeria, ‘this man was selected and chosen because we need love to come together as a nation.’
“Where there is love, there is no killing, no stealing, no destruction as it is happening everywhere in our nation, today. We are looking for men and women of love for consultation on the way out for this country.
Where there is love, you will not say this man is a Muslim or a Christian; where there is love, there is no segregation,” he said.
T.B. Joshua is known for his magnanimity to the needy always publicized on his television station.
As if borrowing from the man of God’s mantra ‘Love is the greatest’, Abdulhamid said love was the solution to problems in Nigeria.
“Love is the way out. Love is lost; we are looking for love. We are here to give this man an award as Grand Patron of the Arewa Youth Forum and as Peace Ambassador. The medal is the award for his philanthropic and humanitarian activities,” Abdulhamid said.
He went on: “Prophet T.B. Joshua is a man with phenomenal vision. He shows a deep sense of compassion and unconditional love. He is a blessing not only to us in Nigeria but also the international community. This is the very first man of God that we are visiting and honouring.”
The eloquent publicist equated the prophet as ‘a candle that burns itself out to light the way for others selflessly’ and a man that was a blessing not only to people in Nigeria but to the international community – a philanthropist par excellence, whose lifetime is occupied by the acts of giving.
The delegation was led by the group’s National President, Alhaji Gambo I. Gujungu, who was recently elected President General of the African Youth Society – the first Nigerian to hold the office in the ten years of its existence.
Adorning a traditional regalia which was given to the prophet as an expression of the forum’s admiration and love for his patriotism, T.B. Joshua said: ““I receive this award in order to join them to bring peace to some troubled spots in our nation, Nigeria”.
And, as if taking a cue from the award, T.B. Joshua in his ceremony dwelled on love ‘that sees beyond hatred.’
“There are two loves,” he said, “the love we are talking about is the kind of love that sees beyond hatred, the love that sees beyond intimidation, the love that sees beyond rejection.
When you are rejected, you love. When you love, you will not want to see your neighbour on the street, dying for food. Love first because God is love. You cannot heal if you don’t love. If you don’t love, you will likely heal your friend and leave your enemy. When you don’t love, you cannot be given the grace to deliver people from trouble. You will likely deliver your friend and leave your enemy to die,” said the pastor who is famed for his controversial predictions and healing powers.
This was the first time since his ministry started that T.B. Joshua formerly accepted to be decorated in the church by any organization as a result of his commitment to preaching peace and unity.
(Adedeji Freelance Journalist Based in Ibadan, Oyo, Nigeria)