T B Joshua House Collapse:Its Now 80 Dead

Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, however said the possibility of recovering more bodies was high.

The agency’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Farinloye, who confirmed yesterday that the death toll was now 80 and the rescue operation was still ongoing to remove more victims trapped in the rubble.

“We now have 80 dead and 131 rescued alive. More are likely to be recovered today. We need less distraction to enable us concentrate on the operation to possibly conclude today.”

Observers are of the view that the incident has recorded the highest number of casualties in the history of the state.

However, the Lagos State Government yesterday said it had no plan to seal the church until investigations were concluded.

The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde, in a statement reiterated that the collapsed building had no building approval from the state government.

He, however, expressed his sincere condolences and sympathy with those who lost their loved ones and those that were injured in the unfortunate incident. Ayinde said the state government and indeed the ministry was particularly saddened that innocent lives were lost.

The statement reads in part: “The Honourable Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoyin Ayinde, has reiterated the position of the ministry, that the six- floor guest house of the Synagogue Church for All Nations that collapsed on Friday, 12th of September, 2014 at Ikotun-Egbe, a Lagos suburb, did not have building approval.

“There is no plan to take over the collapsed structure site until thorough and detailed investigation as to the cause(s) of the collapse has been concluded.

“Government does not arbitrarily take over properties when investigation is still ongoing. Government is conducting a preliminary investigation into the cause(s) of the collapse and would leave no stone unturned and if there is any violation of relevant planning law, residents are assured that government would take appropriate action.

“To this end, a team of engineers from the ministry and other state government agencies are taking samples from the foundation and materials from the wreckage of the building for detailed analysis and testing to ascertain the structural integrity of the building.”

On the veracity of the “Strange plane theory”, alleged to have dangerously flown low over the building 50 minutes before the collapse, the ministry had submitted the video clips as provided by the church to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, with the coordinates of the collapsed site for investigation and professional comment.

Opinions are however divided on the role and duty of the church pastor, Prophet Temitope Joshua, in the whole saga as a renowned seer who had predicted several events in the past.

Some are of the opinion that he should have seen the incident coming and warned against it or prayed to prevent it while others said he could not see everything since he is not God.

According to a resident at Ikotun, Bello Mensa, “he is a prophet of God. He only speaks the mind of God, which implies that he has to listen to the voice of God. So, if God did not speak to him, there is nothing he can say. God knows the reasons why that happened.”

Another commentator, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “Enough is enough with this professional Christian pastors. Most of them are fakes. I don’t believe they are genuine. The more people start seeking and understanding the truth, the less you will believe in these professional preachers and prophets who deceive people about. Don’t let another human being tell you how you should relate with your God.”

However, relations of victims were yesterday barred from entering the Isolo General Hospital wards to ascertain whether their loved ones were on admission.

It was gathered that the relations were asked by health workers to obtain clearance from the church authorities before they could be allowed in.

Meanwhile, the South African government has said that as many as 300 of its citizens were visiting the Synagogue Church when the building collapsed.

The country said 67 South Africans were killed in the incident, and an unknown number are still unaccounted for.

The government spokesman Mac Maharaj, who gave further insight to the claim yesterday, said that it was not clear how many were on the spot when the tragedy struck.

President Jacob Zuma had on Tuesday said that at least 67 South Africans died in Friday’s accident and described it as one of the worst tragedies in South Africa’s recent history.

Zuma’s tally however conflicted with that of the emergency services late on Tuesday that put the death toll at 62.

There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.

Members of the church had at first prevented emergency officials from participating in the rescue, making it difficult to establish a toll for the injured and dead, originally estimated at 41. State rescuers were only allowed in on Saturday.

Pretoria described the search-and-rescue operation as “very fluid” but defended the credibility of its count of 67 dead, saying it was based on records and information on the ground from five tour groups that had arranged for South African worshippers to go to Lagos.

“This number is based on credible information,” foreign ministry spokesman Clayson Monyela said.

Late on Tuesday, Zuma told the SABC national broadcaster that an unknown number of South Africans were “not yet accounted for” and that the nation needed to “grieve together.”

Maharaj later said the government believed around 300 South Africans from four to five groups were visiting the church on Friday but it was not clear how many were on the spot when the tragedy struck.

“It’s a very popular church with South Africans,” Maharaj said.

The regular influx of visitors from abroad for the church’s services, which can last up to a week, creates demand for accommodation that the church’s own guest house has been unable to meet, and often spills over into local hotels.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

Previous Post Next Post

نموذج الاتصال