President Jacob Zuma of South Africa announced on Tuesday that 67 South Africans died in the tragic building collapse at The Synagogue Church premises in Lagos.
Mr. Zuma said,
I am greatly saddened to announce that 67 South Africans died and scores of others sustained injuries, after a building at the Synagogue Church of All Nations collapsed on Friday, 12 September 2014, in Lagos, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The collapsed building was initially a two-storey building but the church increased it to a five-storey building, so it is more than likely this is what caused the collapse. However the leader of the church TB Joshua believes it was an attack by Boko Haram using a strange aircraft [READ WHAT HE SAID AT AN INFORMAL BRIEFING WITH JOURNALISTS]
As at yesterday the death toll was put at 80 dead, with “more likely to be recovered.” Rescue workers deployed three police sniffer dogs (we have police sniffer dogs in Nigeria?!) at the accident scene to assist in the search of trapped bodies.
Last night the church released an official statement in which they said the building collapse is an attack on Prophet TB Joshua. Read it after the jump
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE SYNAGOGUE, CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS IN RESPECT OF THE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 INCIDENT.
“Emmanuel – God is with us.
“The pain of one is the pain of all. It is indeed a sad and painful moment for the families and friends who have lost loved ones. It is equally so for us in The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (The SCOAN), under the leadership of Prophet T.B. Joshua.
“On Friday, September 12, 2014, at about 12:44pm, one of the buildings on The SCOAN property unexpectedly collapsed, tragically resulting in death and injury. Nigerians and citizens of other nations were affected. This incident was preceded by the appearance of a strange aircraft which flew very low over the building four times and then disappeared.
“Since the day of this incident, The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations, its members and partners, have worked in collaboration with the Nigerian, South African and other nations’ authorities to ensure that survivors are rescued, attended to with the best medical treatment, cared for in the most humane and hospitable manner and reunited with their families, while those who passed on – martyrs of the Kingdom of God – are retrieved, identified and treated respectfully.
Amongst those we are working hand-in-hand with, are: The Federal Government of Nigeria, the Government of the Republic of South Africa, Lagos State Government, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Ministry of Health – doctors and nurses, the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), the Red Cross, the Nigeria Police Force and various Non-governmental and humanitarian organisations and construction and engineering corporations.
“It is very sad that inaccurate reports are coming from some quarters that we are not cooperating with the rescue teams and other agencies in collating information and providing assistance on the incident. Contrary to this, we want to categorically state that the church has provided assistance when and where required and continues to do so – good Christians are good citizens.
“We emphasise our commitment to cooperate with all relevant authorities in establishing the cause of the collapse of the building.
The church views this tragedy as part of an attack on The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations and in particular, Prophet T.B. Joshua. In due course, God will reveal the perpetrators of this unfortunate tragedy.
“We wish to express our gratitude to all who continue to work tirelessly, show their solidarity and share their condolences in this grievous time, particularly all Government and non-Governmental bodies mentioned above, Diplomatic Missions, National and International media houses, society groups, traditional rulers, all concerned citizens and the residents of our local community, Ikotun-Egbe. We equally appreciate all members and partners of The SCOAN and Emmanuel TV, along with Christians and clergy worldwide for their prayers and support.
To all those who lost family members and loved ones, please accept our heart-felt commiserations. No one knows by the present sign or situation what the future holds. We must therefore live each day as if it were our last and leave tomorrow’s trouble for the One who bore our troubles on the cross. We thank God for the martyrs and we pray for the family members and loved ones left behind.”
For further information, please contact: +234-(0)-807-528-2495
DO YOU THINK THIS IS AN ATTACK ON TB JOSHUA & THE SYNAGOGUE CHURCH OR JUST AN UNFORTUNATE TRAGEDY?
Image via Vanguard