Prophet TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN based in a Lagos suburb will on 1 January, 2015 host a New Year’s memorial service for the South African relatives of those killed in a building collapse at his Church.
SCOAN spokesman Patrick Iwelumor said 44 South Africans have flown to Lagos to attend the ceremony following the September disaster which killed 116 people, including 81 South Africans, according to a report published by a South African news portal.
Joshua, a self-proclaimed prophet, “is going to lead the service to commiserate and offer spiritual support, as the chief mourner, there is a need for (Joshua) to connect with these people,” Iwelumor added.
Joshua is one of Nigeria’s most influential and wealthiest pastors whose followers include prominent politicians and business leaders from across Africa and around the world.
Wednesday’s candle light ceremony will begin at sundown and last through midnight, Iwelumor said.
The victim’s relatives arrived in Nigeria on Christmas Day and Joshua is said to have paid for their travel.
When the trip was announced earlier this month, some South Africans took to social media to condemn Joshua’s move as a bribe aimed at discouraging relatives from filing a lawsuit over the deaths. But SCOAN’s South Africa based spokesman, Kirsten Nematandani, has said the trip and New Year’s memorial service are about “the spirit of caring”.