The following is an account from my diary, Thursday 19th November 2009.
At about 9:00pm on 19th November 2009, after visiting my friend at Ijegun, I was driving to Mile 2 on the Ikotun – Ejigbo road when I suddenly observed that I had a flat tyre, just close to the Synagogue bus-stop, of the ever popular Synagogue Church of all Nations, the church headed by the controversial Prophet TB Joshua.
While trying to fix the tyre as quickly as possible so as to get home and observe my rest for the day in preparation for the next day’s job and activities, I observed that a large crowd had gathered at the gate of the church. They were shouting at the top of their voices and hailing the hero of the recently concluded FIFA U17 world cup in Nigeria, Sani Emmanuel and his team mate Ogenyi Onazi. I had previously read an article and also an interview granted by Sani Emmanuel, where he declared that he was an altar boy at the Synagogue, and so I was not completely surprised. As the shouting persisted, I decided to have a close look to know exactly what the crowd was cheering at.
On getting there, I noticed that the two Eaglets were posing with some persons who were gathered inside the beautiful water fountain outside the church entrance, for photograph shots. The crowd’s enthusiasm increased when the much sought after and highly criticized Prophet TB Joshua joined the gathering in the photo shots. On seeing the large crowd that was on the increase as the each second went by, the Prophet invited everyone of the crowd to come into the church premises and have an opportunity to see the boys live and direct.
Once inside the auditorium, the crowd continued to build up, as expectations grew. TB Joshua started interacting with the crowd and sampling the opinions of individuals concerning the performance of Sani Emmanuel and Ogenyi Onazi in the competition. Those who stood up to speak were full of praises for the duo for their contribution to the success of the team. They also prayed for both of them to get the nod of top European football clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea Fc, Arsenal Fc, etal, and get signed into their team.
Then came the moment that all were waiting patiently for; Sani Emmanuel and Ogenyi Onazi walked into the auditorium to join the ecstatic crowd. Dressed in the official playing kits of the National football teams of Nigeria, they both thanked the crowd for their support and prayers during the tournament, and asked for more prayers as they believe that there are still more hurdles to cross in the quest for the peak of their careers.
After the speech and greetings by the duo, Prophet TB Joshua thanked the crowd for their support and ordered that they all be provided with refreshment before they would leave the premises. Cold drinks were immediately served to each person in the auditorium. Just as we were all beginning to thank Prophet TB Joshua for his kind gestures, he dropped what was to be the biggest surprise of the day; announcing that every member of the crowd would get the sum of N500 before leaving the premises. The crowd went wild on hearing this and showered praises and prayers on the Prophet.
I went home with my N500, and the drink that I had. It was nice to have an opportunity to meet the duo just after they awed the world. And it was good to meet Prophet TB Joshua for the first time. I know that the money might not be a big deal for me, but I considered the people in the crowd, who perhaps had no idea where their next meal would come from, having the opportunity to get the sum of N500 just because they were fortunate enough to be there at the time.
Source: Amita Jones