A ex-aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has opened up on his friendship with the late founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Prophet Temitope Joshua.
He spoke in an interview with Premium Times.
According to him, he became very close with the man of God during his incarceration at the Kuje Prison in 2016.
FFK revealed that the televangelist put a call across to him while he was being detained in Kuje Prison in 2016.
“It was in 2016. I was in detention. In an underground cell and all alone. I had been detained for the second time and it was quite an ordeal. I had been in for 3 months and was later transferred to a facility in Kuje prison where they keep only Boko Haram terrorists. It is like Guantanamo Bay and I was there with only Boko Haram suspects and convicts.”
“The place was built by the British Government and it is almost like a secret facility away from the main prison. It was terrifying and a clear attempt to intimidate me and endanger my life. I was sure that they would either maim or kill me in that place because the people there were all Boko Haram except one Okah who was also accused of terrorism.”
“I prayed to God to give me strength and courage because I would rather die than bow or break before my enemies. I also asked Him to watch over my family in case anything happened to me. The following day one of the wardens came and told me someone wanted to talk to me on the phone. He gave me his cell phone. I asked who it was and he said Prophet T.B. Joshua,” he said.
He continued: ” I said but I have never met him and I don’t know him. I thought it was another set up or that the man was lying. He said that it was really him and that even though we had never met he insisted on speaking to me. I took the call and we spoke. He encouraged me and assured me that all would be well. That I would come out soon and even stronger. That even though we had never met he had been following my ordeal in the hands of the Government and that he was inspired by my defiance and courage. He said he knew that I was innocent of what I had been accused of and that it was nothing but persecution because of my strong stance against the tyranny of the government. He said that he wanted me to know that he was praying for me and that he loved me with the love of God.”
He said the way Jews hated Jesus was the same way people in Christendom hated TB Joshua.
According to him, their hatred doesn’t matter.
Answering question on why TB Joshua was hated by some pastors, FFK said:
If that is so then it is misplaced. There is no big man of God in this country that I do not know and respect. Like all human beings they all have their weaknesses and strengths. If they were sceptical about T.B. Joshua, that is their choice and view. That is merely their opinion of him and they are entitled to it. I do not share that view. More importantly, I do not need anyone’s validation to make me feel good about myself and neither did T.B. Joshua. Let God judge us all. He alone sees our hearts and knows what we do behind closed doors. He alone knows whether we are truly good or evil.
All I know is that, from all I saw and witnessed, this man Prophet T.B. Joshua was a good man who served a mighty God to the best of his abilities and he did so well. He shook the world for Jesus and he won many souls for Christ. He was a star in Christendom and like all stars, he was bound to attract a bit of envy and jealousy from his peers. I am not sure any Nigerian living or dead has had as much of an impact on the gospel worldwide as T.B. Joshua did. Go to places like South America and South-East Asia or Israel and you will be shocked by his following and the impact he had on the lives of ordinary people.
He was also close to many world leaders but kept it close to his chest. He never flaunted his connections or his relationships. His legacy is outstanding and many of his peers cannot handle that because they felt that his humble beginnings did not warrant or deserve it. On his part T.B. Joshua did not give a damn, he never defended himself publicly and he just kept looking to God and doing his work. And he did all this with the greatest humility, always being polite and kind even to his greatest detractors. He was much misunderstood, often misrepresented, often falsely accused and often maligned but the truth is that he was a very good man that was totally dedicated to his flock, his family and to his work.
The same way in which the Jews hated Jesus is the way many in the Kingdom hated T.B. Joshua. Even in death, some have insulted him. I do not see or know the basis or justification for such hate and I believe it is evil and divisive.
It is actually a shame and a disgrace for any Man of God to hate another. The Bible says “who is he that lays a charge before elect?” It says “it is Christ that justifies”. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ Himself said, “let he who is free of sin cast the first stone”. Who are these people that speak ill of T.B. Joshua and judge him? Are they God? Are they angels? Are they infallible? Are they perfect?
Unlike many others, T.B. Joshua did not judge others and he did not think only of his pocket. He thought of humanity. And I do not know any man of God in this country or outside this country that cared and catered for the poor and needy like him.
Maybe that is why a few of them hated him. He reminded them of what they ought to be doing but are not doing. I do not know and I do not care. I respected him, I loved him, I admired him and I always will.
On his sudden death, FFK said:
“I spoke to him two weeks before he passed on and he appeared to be fine. I was in Enugu at the time. I wanted to see him in Lagos but needed to pop up to Arewa first before coming back South. My plan was to go and see him after my visit to Bauchi state after stopping in Abuja to see my children. Alas in the early hours of the morning on the day that I left Bauchi I confirmed that he had passed on. The rumours started from 1.00 am and I could not sleep. Even though a relative of his lied to me that he was still alive at 3.00 am and claimed that he was just feeling a little unwell. By 5.00 am, it was confirmed to me that he was dead and that was it.
I left Bauchi later that day and went home to my children in Abuja. I have been in shock ever since but I will see his wife and children. I will always be there for them because he was always there for me and mine. I do not know whether he was ill or not but his passing really was strange, sudden and devastating to millions of his friends and followers all over the world. Many still cannot believe it. I have had calls from virtually every continent in the world over this issue. Everyone is so sad. I guess it was just his time to go and when God calls you home there is nothing anyone can do about it.
He was only 57 and would have been 58 a few days later on June 12th. For goodness sake that was too young. He was three years younger than me! It is very sad indeed because he still had so much to offer the Church, Christendom, Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world. I just give God thanks for giving me the privilege of knowing this extraordinary man who did such great exploits in the name of the Lord, who put so many smiles on so many faces and who did so much for God’s kingdom.”