More foreign worshippers died in Lagos

2014-09-18 16:50
(<a href=''>TB Joshua, Facebook</a>)

(TB Joshua, Facebook)

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Lagos - A church building collapse that killed at least 80 and injured more than 130 people in Lagos involved Nigerians, South Africans and other overseas nationals, the head of the property said on Thursday.

"Nigerians, South Africans and citizens of other nations were affected," the popular preacher and televangelist TB Joshua said in a statement posted on Twitter and Facebook, without specifying the countries.

South Africa's president Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday that 67 of his compatriots were killed in last Friday's collapse at Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) complex in the Ikotun area of Lagos.

But rescue workers have said a lack of co-operation from the church authorities had hindered the search operation and efforts to establish the identity of the other victims.

'Martyrs of the Kingdom of God'

Joshua had not commented directly on the deaths and in the statement he rejected claims that his officials had obstructed the rescue effort and investigation.

The church, its members and partners had been working closely with the authorities in Nigeria, South Africa and "other nations" to help the rescue effort and care for the injured, he said.

He described those who died as "martyrs of the Kingdom of God".

"The pain of one is the pain of all. It is indeed a sad and painful moment for the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones," he said.

"To all those who lost family members and loved ones, please accept our heartfelt commiserations."

He added: "It is very sad that inaccurate reports are coming from some quarters that we are not co-operating 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."

Engineers have suggested that the addition of extra floors on top of the existing building for foreign followers of the Pentecostal church overloaded the structure, causing the collapse.

On Wednesday, the Lagos State government ordered urgent structural checks of all buildings on the Scoan site.

But Joshua, who counts presidents among his followers, again suggested that a low-flying aircraft that was apparently seen circling over the guesthouse before the collapse may have been to blame.

"The church views this tragedy as part of an attack on The Synagogue Church Of All Nations and in particular Prophet TB Joshua," he said.

"In due course, God will reveal the perpetrators of this unfortunate tragedy."

Read more on:    tb joshua  |  jacob zuma  |  nigeria  |  sa  |  west africa  |  nigeria building collapse

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