ACCRA – The death of four worshippers during a stampede for “holy water” inside a church in Ghana has provoked anger against the Nigerian preacher TB Joshua.
At least 30 other worshipers were injured after thousands of people pushed into the church hall of a branch of TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) in the Ghanain capital, Accra.
TB Joshua, who halted a Sunday service at the church’s headquarters in Abuja after receiving the news, is now facing charges of “cultism” from Ghanains.
While others have questioned why TB Joshua — who claims prophetic powers — failed to foresee the tragedy, others were making allegations of a more sinister kind.
“The victims were used for rituals by TB Joshua,” claimed Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah, a prominent Ghanaian cleric and outspoken critic of the Nigerian evangelist.
Bempah, the founder of the Glorious Word Power Ministries International, claimed TB Joshua, whose real name is Temitope Balogun, and fellow Nigerian preacher, Pastor Chris of the Christ Embassy, real name Christian Oyakhilome, “are not true men of God but leaders of occults, winning souls for the devil.”
The attacks on TB Joshua led one of his aides, Madam Lina Kankam, to call on Ghanaians to “season their words”.
Ghana police spokesperson Freeman Tetteh said there was a larger than expected crowd at the service after church officials announced that “holy water” would be given to worshippers.
The “holy water” would “close the poverty gap between the poor and the rich in Ghana,” one of TB Joshua’s pastors in Ghana, Evangelist Samuel Excellence, said.
“We need to investigate and establish responsibility,” Tetteh said of the tragedy.
“All of us were caught by surprise. No-one knew the crowd will be so huge. The church was also caught by surprise… Nobody can apportion blame (at this stage).” — Agencies