By Wole Alakija
Its perhaps surprising that most people who have heard about the iconic Synagogue Church of All Nations(SCOAN) steered by the controversial prophet, Temitope Joshua have yet to visit.For those who have visited,there is only one narrative to describe the feeling-wonder!Whether you are a christian,a muslim or an atheist,a visit to this gigantic edifice in Ikotun would shake you no matter how stone-hearted you may be.And to think that the area was a swamp a little over two decades ago makes the story more interesting.
Right now,it is a boom town with 3-star budget hotels,eateries and supermarkets catering largely for tourists not only from Africa but all corners of the globe.They all converge at this 10,000-seater Church for one thing-Religious Tourism.
From all records available,TB Joshua’s Synagogue had become Africa’s number one tourism attraction, driving religious tourism which has in turn led to massive economic growth and contributing to the gross domestic growth for lagos state and Nigeria as a whole.
In Africa,the Synagogue appears to have taken the lead in religious tourism,thanks to his Emmanuel TV platform which is devoted to his healing ministry and philantrophy across the globe.
Findings have shown that the Synagogue church is the most visited destination by religious tourists in Africa.The church’s popularity has led to an increase in flights into Nigeria from other African nations and from all over the world.Only a few days back,South African Airways celebrated 20years of its operation in Nigeria with fanfare and it was no surprise that part of the reasons for its successful stint in the country is the airlift of thousands of religious tourists from Southern Africa to Lagos, with most of them ending up at the Synagogue Church of All Nations.Records reveal that over 3million local and international religious tourists visit the Synagogue yearly and the number is expected to rise in 2019.Celebrityplusonline investigations reveal that over 50 hotels which include bread&breakfast(B&B)are currently in operation within the church area, catering for the thousands of worshippers who troop to the Synagogue daily.For many of them,the location of the church has helped put food on their table and they cannot thank their stars more.
CHECKMATE OPEN LOUNGE BERTHS IN ISOLO
For sometime now,fun seekers around the Ilasamaja, Isolo axis of Lagos have been treated to a different kind of hospitality in the Bar and Entertainment business. The new lease of life is offered by CHECKMATE Open Bar situated on 1 Salamotu street off Iyana Itire, Isolo.
The bar which boasts the latest canapes,spirits and assorted drinks is now the go-to place for young and old who want to catch undiluted fun after a hectic day
Having been in existence for like 4years now,the talking point of many is the first class service it offers its clients since it came under a new management led by seasoned Lagos businessman,John Okpara.
The club offers Karaoke,Comedy and Ladies Nites to the delight of its clientele week in week out.
For many who attended the special St Valentine’s show a few days back,it was a day to remember as several guests went home with mouth watering gifts from the management.
A grand opening of the fun place is scheduled for March 2023.
Primate Ayodele Gives Out Five Cars, Buses, Tricycles, Others To Celebrate Birthday
The Leader Of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Primate Elijah Ayodele has given out five cars, five tricycles, five buses and more than N25 Million naira empowerment package to journalists, widows, needy, students to celebrate his birthday.
The massive event which was held yesterday Tuesday, 14th Of February 2023 at his Lagos church was also to mark the end of the prophet’s 17-day appreciation and philanthropic activities which started on Sunday, 29th Of January 2023.
The event had in attendance the president of the Nigeria football federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau who declared the event opened, the chairman of the National drug and law enforcement agency (NDLEA), General Marwa, popular gospel musician, Yinka Alaseyori who serenade the crowd with her angelic melody, comedian Ayo Ajewole AKA Woli Agba who had the audience filled with laughter, popular nollywood actors and actresses, to mention a few.
Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, while declaring the event open described Primate Ayodele as a true friend who has shown support for the football federation. He explained the circumstances that led to his meeting with the man of God, stating that Primate Ayodele played a huge role in his emergence as the NFF president.
‘’One journalist sent me a video of Primate Ayodele during a press conference speaking about the election in NFF. He mentioned some of the contestants and said finally to him, the person that will become the president is Ibrahim Gusau. The journalist was surprised because I am not a Christian and didn’t know the prophet as I don’t even stay in Lagos. Consistently, he stood on his word whenever he gives prophecies concerning football and to God be the glory, the election came and I won. I felt I should find time to appreciate the man of God for his support. He visited me in Abuja, we spoke and ate together so there is no way he will have an occasion like this and I will not be there, it means I don’t appreciate God. We will continually ask for your prayers and will not disappoint you.’’
Also, the NDLEA chairman, General Buba Marwa who sent a representative expressed his surprise at the many gifts shared by Primate Ayodele while noting that the man of God will be the first to show practical love on Valentine’s Day despite the scarcity crisis in the country. He therefore asked the man of God to organize programmes that will allow the NDLEA support.
‘’General Buba Marwa is very interested in working with you and he has asked me to say it publicly that you should set a motion, programmes that will make the NDLEA join you. This programme on a day like this when everyone is showing love especially at a time like this when there is scarcity, we need to appreciate Primate Ayodele for showing practical love, I have been hearing happy valentine’s day since morning but this is the first practical one I am seeing.’’
The height of the event was when three church members and two journalists including an editor with The Sun Newspaper and the prophet’s media aide, Osho Oluwatosin were called out for a car gift.
One of the recipients who is the youth president of the church, Monday Sunday couldn’t hold back tears from his eyes when Primate Ayodele called his name. The man of God mentioned that he has been dedicated to the church’s service and has given his best whenever it is necessary.
Also, the two accountants of the church who were recipients couldn’t hide his joy when Primate Ayodele announced their names. The prophet who rewards good deeds appreciated them for being transparent and trustworthy over the years.
The media aide, Osho Oluwatosin obviously didn’t expect to receive a car gift from the prophet. He was visibly shaking when he was called upon to receive his car gift from Primate Ayodele.
Also, other dedicated church members were given tricycles and mini-buses for their support to the church.
Apart from these, a cheque of N200,000 was presented each to 11 journalists to empower them for supporting the man of God over the years. Primate Ayodele in his philanthropic attitude promised to pay the sum of N350,000 for one of the empowered journalists who has issues with his sight.
Furthermore, the widows and less privileged were not forgotten in the largesse. Several of them were given food items, accommodation fee, grinding machines, home appliances, to mention but a few.
The youths were also not left out as about 23 students were given scholarships to study in tertiary institutions. To show his generosity further, the man of God presented cheques to some churches to purchase landed properties.
In recognition and appreciation of his impact in the society, the Theatre arts and motion pictures practitioners (TAMPAN) led by famous Nollywood actor, Owolabi Ajasa made Primate Ayodele their grand patron and spiritual father.
It is worthy of note that Primate Ayodele has always done massive empowerment to celebrate his birthdays on every 14th of February. In previous years, journalists and church members have been given cars, tricycles, scholarships, to mention a few.
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