A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has appealed to Prophet T.B Joshua to rescind his decision to relocate his church to Israel.
Frank made the appeal in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that Joshua’s prayers were needed more now, considering the challenges confronting the country.
“I am making this appeal bearing in mind millions of people who daily benefit from welfare programmes of this man of God, not only in Nigeria but in Africa,’’ Frank said.
He also called on government at all levels, their agencies and peace-loving religious leaders across the country to prevail on the prophet not to abandon the country.
He maintained that Joshua’s presence in Nigeria went beyond religion, adding that it had positive economic impact on the lives of Nigerians and the country.
The politician said that statistics from the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) revealed that six out of every 10 travellers to Nigeria visited the country because of T.B Joshua’s ministry, Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN).
According to him, such religious tourism into the country impacts positively on local businesses.
Frank urged the prophet to consider all what he termed persecution to what the Lord Jesus Christ paid to save humanity.
“Prophet Joshua should know that God did not make mistake to create him a Nigerian and an African with a big assignment. I believe that his God will vindicate him of whatever persecution that might come his way,’’ he said.
In a chat with journalists during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) in Ikeja, Lagos, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed said Prophet Joshua’s decision was unfortunate.
“T.B Joshua says he had faced the worst persecution among Christians He also called for dialogue between the prophet and the authorities over whatever challenges he was facing.
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,” Mohammed said.
Joshua declared his intention to relocate to Israel in his address on sermon on Sunday, on his return from the Holy Land.
He had told his followers that while in the Holy Land, he held meetings with Mayors of Jerusalem, Tiberias and the Jordan Valley.
He said that the Mayors offered land and facilities in an area around the biblical site of the Sea of Galilee for him to organise meetings for international pilgrims.