3 minute read
17 Sep 2014
8:33 am

Nigerian church building collapse was not the first (video)

A building collapse at The Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) in Nigeria, which killed 67 South Africans, was not the first, according to information on the church's website.

FILE PICTURE: A handout photo taken and released by Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on September 12, 2014 shows emergency workers transporting an injured man on a stretcher after he was pulled out from the rubble of the collapsed guest house of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) at the Ikotu headquarters of the church in Lagos. Picture: AFP / NEMA

It describes the building that collapsed on Friday as an “architectural masterpiece”.

The church has had three previous locations, and each time something happened to its structure.

READ MORE: SA death toll in Nigeria building collapse up to 84

“The roof of the first church was blown off by a storm, the second church was washed away by a flood while the third church also collapsed due to severe weather conditions,” the church said on www.scoan.org.

“…In every situation, God is still saying something. Today, the Scoan is an architectural masterpiece located in the heart of …Lagos [Nigeria].”

A multi-storey guesthouse belonging to the church collapsed on Friday claiming the lives of a number of South Africans believed to be part of at least five South African tour groups staying at the church of faith healer TB Joshua.

Read more: TB Joshua: hit and miss? (video)

Agences reported that over 100 people had been rescued alive.

A handout photo taken and released by Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on September 12, 2014 shows emergency workers transporting an injured man on a stretcher after he was pulled out from the rubble of the collapsed guest house of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) at the Ikotu headquarters of the church in Lagos. At least three people were killed when a building linked to one of Nigeria's most famous preachers and televangelists collapsed in Lagos, the country's main relief agency said on September 12. NEMA said the building -- thought to be a guest house for foreign members of TB Joshua's The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) -- came down in the city's Ikotun area. AFP PHOTO / NEMA

A handout photo taken and released by Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on September 12, 2014 shows emergency workers transporting an injured man on a stretcher after he was pulled out from the rubble of the collapsed guest house of The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) at the Ikotu headquarters of the church in Lagos. At least three people were killed when a building linked to one of Nigeria’s most famous preachers and televangelists collapsed in Lagos, the country’s main relief agency said on September 12. NEMA said the building — thought to be a guest house for foreign members of TB Joshua’s The Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) — came down in the city’s Ikotun area. AFP PHOTO / NEMA

President Jacob Zuma’s spokesman Mac Maharaj was quoted on PowerFM on Tuesday evening saying the numbers should be taken with caution because it was still too early to confirm.

Read more: TB Joshua one of Africa’s wealthiest men

TB Joshua Ministries has been posting Bible verses and other comments on Scoan’s website since the accident.

“This is an official communication from The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations concerning a news story currently being reported by the media regarding an incident that happened today,” said the first comment posted on Friday at 10.03pm.

“The few people that were there are being rescued. What you wish to others, God wishes to you. Nothing makes us love a person as much as praying for him. The more I love you, the more I will pray for you.

“The following day, the ministry posted that the joy of the Lord “is your strength”.

“The peace of conscience we derive from our walking with the Lord produces internal joy – the kind of joy that nothing can destroy!”

On Sunday, September 14, it quoted a Bible verse from Matthew.

“Emmanuel! God Is With Us,” it said.

Minutes later another comment was posted about a Sunday service.

“Wise Man Daniel has just preached a message titled, ‘Do not mind the Devil’. He said, “As a child of God, whatever your situation is, there is a hidden agenda, plan, entity or principality Satan is using to undo you or harm you. Fight the devil ’til the last minute.”

SA death toll still uncertain

The death toll in a building collapse in Nigeria is still uncertain, South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria said on Wednesday.

“The numbers can still either go up or down,” Lulu Mnguni told eNCA from Nigeria.

He said there was a lack of access to information on the ground.

“We have put more people on the ground to assist us,” said Mnguni.

“At the moment about 20 people are hospitalised and then we have 248 who survived the collapse.”

South Africa was sending a team of experts from different departments to Nigeria to assist, he said.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Tuesday evening that 67 South Africans were killed and “scores others” were injured.

On Wednesday morning, international relations spokesman Clayson Monyela said no more information was available yet.

The Star newspaper reported that about 300 South Africans from five different church tour groups had been lodging in the structure that collapsed.

Sapa