The traditional ruler of Arigidi Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun has revealed the big plans the late founder of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua had for his hometown.
The monarch, who has been mourning since the day the death was announced revealed that TB Joshua paid the the ancient town’s electricity debt worth millions of naira and he didn’t want people to suffer, The Punch reports.
T. B Joshua paid our electricity debt worth millions of naira, didn’t want people to suffer – Oba Olanipekun, Arigidi Akoko monarch
Can we meet you?
I am the Zaki of Arigidi Akoko, Oba Yisa Olanipekun.
How did you receive the news of the demise of Prophet Temitope Joshua?
The late Pastor TB Joshua was an illustrious son of this community. He was a kind-hearted person to us in Arigidi and Nigeria as a whole. I received the news of his death with shock. Somebody called me at about 1am on the fateful day, informing me that TB Joshua had passed on. So, I started calling people. Initially, I didn’t believe he had died it until I was told that his remains had been deposited in a morgue. It was then that I believed. Since that is God’s wish, there is nothing we can do.
What step did the community take when his death was announced?
Immediately, I summoned some of my chiefs to prepare to go to Lagos. But they called me from Lagos that a team had already been sent from Lagos to Arigidi Akoko. So, we waited for them. In the evening of Sunday, they arrived and delivered the message to one of the siblings of the deceased.
Thereafter, they were told to meet me in the palace. But to my surprise, a man that was my kingship opponent, Tunde Olanipekun, was the leader of the team. He refused to come to the palace, saying he was not sent to the palace. He forgot that TB Joshua’s death is the concern of Arigidi and I am the king of Arigidi. The deceased and I were very close, so I saw no reason they could not come to me.
Many have spoken about the late cleric’s kindness. How much of an impact was he to the people of Arigidi Akoko?
He did very well. His contribution to the development of this town is countless. He was a person that did not want people to suffer. I can count the number of times he used trailers to deliver bags of foodstuffs to us in the Akoko area. He would ensure the foodstuffs were distributed town by town, village by village. We, in the Akoko North West Local Government Area, were disconnected from the national grid due to our indebtedness but he paid the money we owed –millions of naira – and electricity supply was restored. We still have some local government areas that lack electricity today because of their debt. There is nothing we requested from him that he did not do for us. I can’t count them. They are numerous. During festivals, he would send cows and bags of rice to all streets for us to enjoy the festivities.
Since you are close to him, what was your last encounter with him?
Two days to the last Sallah celebration, his call woke me up from bed. He asked how we were going to celebrate it; he told me to send my account number and within a few minutes, I saw an alert of a very huge amount of money. That was how he usually did it. You didn’t need to ask him; he would do it at the right time. Everybody enjoyed him – the Christians, Muslims, traditional chiefs, the local government council and the ordinary people on the streets. We all benefitted from his philanthropic gestures. All the buses used in our four local government areas today, he provided them for us. He called me some time ago and said he wanted to buy us tractors to help boost our agriculture. He said the tractors would be under the control of the traditional rulers. So, he tried for us.
How much would he be missed in this community?
He will be missed greatly. I tell you, since the night I received the sad news, I have not been able to sleep. Before now, he told me he would soon come back home; he had asked for land, that he wanted to move his church down here and that he would buy buses that would bring his international guests and worshippers from Akure Airport to Arigidi with full security. Now, all these plans have stopped.