From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Grief and mourning on Sunday enveloped the ancient town of Arigidi-Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of Ondo State following the death of a prominent son of the town, Prophet Temitope Joshua.
Joshua, who was the founder and General Overseer of the Lagos-based Synagogue Church of all Nations, hails from Arigidi-Akoko in Ondo State.
The people of the town, who received the news of the death of their kinsman with shock, expressed worry over the incident.
Commercial and social activities were halted in the town for hours as many, especially relatives of the late televangelist, grieved over the incident.
Many churches in the town offered special prayers for the family of the deceased prophet, with many townsfolk in tears, describing Joshua as a philanthropist who was always identified with his town.
The chief imam of Arigidi-Akoko, Alhaji Salisu Musa, who is an uncle to Joshua, said the town could not forget the role played by the late Christian minister for its progress and development as he was always willing to assist.
He said the death of Joshua was the end of an era in the town and the world at large.
The traditional ruler of the town, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, said he received the news of the sudden death of the illustrious son of the town with shock.
Oba Olanipekun said the late TB Joshua gave global recognition to the town through the works of his ministry and his philanthropic activities.
He said the deceased cleric will be sorely missed by all the indigenes of the town and those who came near him while on earth.
Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, meanwhile, said he received the news of the death of Prophet Joshua with a heavy heart.
Governor Akeredolu, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde, said the renowned cleric was a blessing to humanity and a great ambassador of the state whose ministry was noted for charity.
‘Undoubtedly, Prophet Joshua’s demise came as a rude shock. The pains are not mere emotional flashes; they are indeed piercing. The Ondo State-born Pastor and Televangelist was a philanthropist whose exit will be sorely missed by many,’ the governor’s statement read.
‘Prophet Joshua was committed to giving and was more often, inexorably imbued with calmness while lifting the downtrodden. As a televangelist, he did not just win souls for Christ, he was passionate about changing lives.
‘He demonstrated timelessly, an alluring service to humanity and compassion by assisting not only his home local government, Akoko North West. Other adjoining local governments in Akoko land benefitted from his large heart of benevolence.
‘Of significant note too, Prophet Joshua never hesitated to assist in whatever manner the Ondo State government desired such. To us in Ondo State, we consider this a personal loss. He was a pride to the Sunshine State.
‘The reality of the finality of death truly hurts the heart. But for TB Joshua, he had played his own part of the endless life orchestra; he has departed. We must take solace in his good deeds while here. He is now Heaven’s gain. The people have lost a committed giver. We shall continue to remember his contributions to the development of our state.’
While commiserating with the immediate family, members of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Governor Akeredolu expressed heartfelt condolences to the Zaki of Arigidi Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun, and the entire community over the loss of a great son of the soil.
The governor also prayed that God grant the late man of God eternal rest and comfort grieving family members, friends and associates.