Leaders of Arigidi community in Akoko Northwest Local Government Area of Ondo State have closed down markets and shops to honour the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua.
The late cleric hailed from Arigidi and he had been providing support for the needy in the community and its environs.
He worked for restoration of electricity in the area, provided scholarships for indigent students, gave money and food to the elderly and widows.
Besides Arigidi, other nearby towns also shut down their markets to mourn the man they regarded as a father.
It was gathered that condolence registers have been opened at the palace of Zaki of Arigidi, Oba Oba Yisa Olanipekun and the home of the late T. B. Joshua’s elder brother.
Several mourners were said to have besieged both places to sign the condolence registers.
Those who spoke with The Nation said it would take a long time for the wounds the late cleric’s death caused in their hearts to heal.
The Onigedegede of Igedegede, Oba Walidu Sanni, said the late Joshua’s philanthropic gesture extended to widows, orphans and disabled persons in many communities, apart from Arigidi.
He said Akoko land has lost one of its shinning lights.
Also, Oba Olanipekun yesterday explained why the people were pushing for Prophet Joshua to be buried in the community.
Addressing reporters at his palace, the monarch said other clerics, like Moses Orimolade, were buried in his Ikare hometown.
He added that burying Joshua in Arigidi would ensure his philanthropic legacy remained in the heart of the people.
Oba Olanipekun said the late preacher touched many persons in every part of Akoko land.
The monarch said his greatest regret was that the late Joshua could not complete the university he started in Arigidi.
“He would bring rice to the people whenever we requested. He hated to see people go hungry. He was instrumental to the electrification of many communities in Akoko land after years of darkness,” he said.
Authorities of Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN) have opened a condolence registers at the church in Ikotun, Lagos State.
Two registers were opened at three of the five church entrances in which members and other sympathisers signed and paid their last respects to the late prophet.
Some of the messages read: “We’ll miss you prophet, rest on”; “You are the last of the prophets for this generation”; “The world rejected you but you lived and died well” and “Rest on, my father and mentor, we love you”.
The President of Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Israel Akanji, has said Prophet Joshua died at a time the country needed him most.
He described the death of the late preacher as a big loss to Nigeria.
A statement yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, by Nigerian Baptist Convention’s spokesman, Pastor Eben Durodola, also described the late prophet as humble, peaceful and lover of the poor.
Rev. Akanji said Nigeria needed his prayer, particularly for insecurity, which the country is currently battling to overcome.
He commiserated with the family and church of the late priest and prayed God to comfort and grant them the fortitude to bear the loss.