Controversial Nigerian cleric T.B. Joshua is in the news again after revelations that he accurately predicted the result of Nigeria’s game against Guinea which saw the Super Eagles astonishingly bow out of the African Cup Of Nations (AFCON).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I was just sitting down and God showed me the game between Nigeria and Guinea next week,Ã¢â‚¬Â Joshua stated on Sunday 2nd October during a church service, broadcast live on his Christian television station Emmanuel TV. Ã¢â‚¬Å“What I saw was not favourable towards Nigeria. If at this time we are stopped, it would be very shameful.Ã¢â‚¬ÂExpounding on the match details, he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Anyone who scores first takes the dayÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ I am seeing the Guinean side shouting.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Clarifying that it was not within his powers to change the outcome, Joshua added, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I could do it alone, I would pray and fast to ask God to change the result. But it’s not possible for me to do it. Two of must believe to make things happen. We must agree and instruction must be given. Let’s honour God and carry Him along. Pray as if it all depends on God; play football as if it all depends on you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Six days later in crucial final qualifying game for the AFCON, Guinea held Nigeria to a 2-2 draw. The closely fought game saw Syli Stars of Guinea take a lead in the 55th minute as Ismael Bangoura smashed home a rebound after the ball ricocheted off the post. However, 16 minutes later Nigeria looked to be cruising to victory after two well-worked goals from Obinna Nsofor and Ikechukwu Uche. Pressing forward for a third goal to ensure automatic qualification, the Super Eagles left gaping holes in their midfield and in literally the last moments of the match, Guinea snatched an equaliser through Ibrahim Diallo. The result saw Guinea top Group B and Nigeria missing out on the African Cup of Nations for the first time in 25 years.
In a chat with reporters at the reception hall of the Transcorp Hilton shortly after the match, West Bromich Albion striker Osaze Odemwengie affirmed that the team knew of the prediction and were unhappy they did not meet Joshua before the game. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The prediction of Prophet TB Joshua really affected us. We thought we could see him to see how he could overturn the negative prediction but the officials came with another prophet who prayed for us and told us that all was well.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Reportedly, Joshua has predicted the results of several other international matches involving Nigeria, especially in their run-up to qualification for the 2010 World Cup. He owns a football academy named My People FC which produced Lazio starlets Sani Emmanuel and Ogenyi Onazi. Emmanuel was voted the MVP at the 2009 U-17 World Cup. Joshua caused quite a media stir in Ghana after their 2009 U-20 World Cup triumph when coach Sellas Tetteh controversially said he had been in communication with him throughout their final game against Brazil.
His ministry, which regularly attracts African political heavyweights such as Zimbabwe’s Morgan Tsvangarai and Ghana’s John Atta Mills, is renowned for claims of healing, prophecy and extensive humanitarian activities.