The federal government through the Minister Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday appealed to the founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua (TB Joshua) to reconsider his decision to relocate from Nigeria.
He said the such move will not be in the best of the country.
TB Joshua on Sunday announced that he would relocate from Nigeria to Israel due to “hostile environment.”
He said, “This is the most persecuted ministry in the world. Who are the people persecuting the ministry? My people, Africa.
“That is why I choose to live a lonely life. If you want to see me, come to this church. I don’t go out. It has not been easy – because I don’t know who is a friend or who is an enemy.
“If you learn TB Joshua is not around, I am in a revival. I live in the church here. I don’t have a house outside.”
“What happened to me from the beginning of my ministry is enough to chase me out of this country.
“But I am still in your midst. Upon the persecution and hatred, I decided to follow the path of love. You show hatred; I show love.
“When I go for a revival, you will see the stadium full but I am not carried away by that. I leave where I’m celebrated to live where I’m persecuted.”
But Mohammed in a chat with journalists during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) in Lagos, described Joshua’s decision as unfortunate.
Mohammed called for dialogue between the pastor and the authorities over whatever challenges he was facing.
His words: “That will be very unfortunate in the sense that if he does move out, it will affect our tourism in Nigeria.
“Pastor Joshua is an important person, he must bear with us. This is his country; if he moves out and go to South Africa, for example, the revenue will go to South Africa.
“It is better that Pastor Joshua sits down with the relevant authority and resolve whatever problem he has. If I have access to him, this is exactly what I am going to tell him.”