The Nigerian international image has been bastardized over the years by a number of factors. The unattractive, frighteningly threatening image has been a result of the questionable attitude of some Nigerians who specialize in certificate racketeering, internet fraud, robbery, drug business, credit card manipulations and prostitution.
Though some of these people left Nigeria to foreign countries to pursue “greener pastures” as professionals, scholars, and menial workers hoping to be gainfully employed to better their individual lot, the situation often changed when they got there. In desperation and without respect for the legal system operating in these countries, some Nigerians embraced the shameful culture of devilish acrobatics, dangerously cutting corners and polluting their environments with pestilential social commitments.
Nigerians in foreign countries are hardly ever respected, with some of them facing racial antagonisms and hatred in places. Some are perpetually marginalized in work places, while some are confined to menial jobs despite their experience and qualification.
Some are molested and humiliated in garages, railway stations, airports and in places of their work. The security officials in some places do not allow Nigerians to experience peace. But this has to be understood from the perspective of the fact that some Nigerians (of course, some other blacks from Africa) make life difficult for themselves. Drug business, credit card abuses and prostitution are three major problem areas. Most Nigerians often disrespect the laid down rules. They create measures to distort the existing system and even endanger the commitments of the positive-minded ones. Foreigners do not believe Nigerians with ease in any form of transaction. The recent misunderstanding between Nigeria and South Africa, in which some Nigerians had to be deported on very flimsy grounds (Nigeria also retaliated), was an ample illustration of this reality. Many Nigerians are in prison (and terribly molested and maltreated) in places like Italy, China, USA, Asian countries and the United Kingdom, even when some did not commit the offences slapped on them. Reports daily published or aired in some media establishments on the situation with Nigerians in foreign countries are terribly shocking. The harshness and inhuman treatments meted out to young Nigerians passing through the Trans-Sahara routes to enter the likes of Libya or Spain or Morocco are too disturbingly frightening to be believed.
The Federal Government of Nigeria had some programmes meant to refurbish Nigeria’s image at different times. Every past government had flouted different programmes aimed at restructuring the country’s image, spending billions of naira and recruiting image-launderers – all of which did not yield much fruit. In fact, some Nigerians happened to be involved in making a mockery of such efforts, while praying for opportunities to go and withstand any ‘molestation’ outside (in order to attract hard currency) instead of remaining in poverty and darkness which have ruined millions of people.
Today, many Nigerians are ‘champions’ as jail birds in different parts of the world. Many had been sent out of their chosen countries by the indigenous legal system; some had been killed. Many are rubbished at the airports, regardless of their positions in society. Prof. Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, had suffered such in South Africa (even when he had gone to deliver a lecture in honour of Dr Nelson Mandela, that country’s former President), as well as General Yakubu Gowon (Nigeria’s former Head of State). Tens of government officials had suffered in the hands of foreign security agents. The situation has not changed drastically.
This is where Emmanuel TV, the media organ of The SCOAN comes in. Founded six years ago, this extensively-received television outfit is managed by well-tested, committed, hardworking and result-oriented staff, all of whom are loyal to The SCOAN and TB Joshua.
One feature of this television outlet is its ability to reach all corners of the globe with scintillating messages of prophetic hope and truth, images of Nigerians and foreigners (from the USA, Africa, Asia, Europe) who receive deliverance, healing and spiritual transformation in their millions. Though The SCOAN came into operation some 23 years ago, the station (which is six years this year) has perpetually beamed spiritual light far and near and the beneficiaries have not been limited to those who personally visit the headquarters of the ministry. Such beneficiaries include people who wisely place their hands on its screen to receive their answers from God (as distance is not a barrier!) on issues of family curses, diseases, nightmares, sicknesses, confusion, marital difficulties, spiritual wives and husbands, ancestral manipulations and madness. Without ever stepping into the church, thousands of people all over the universe do receive God’s mercy and favour, spirits are destroyed, homes are unified and peace and tranquility experienced. Businesses which failed are restored and evil plans on people exposed.
The station has also created a platform of integration among people who believe in the “strength and power” in The SCOAN. In countries as Namibia, USA, Ghana, Pakistan and South Africa, Emmanuel TV Partners have kept emerging and attending faithfully to the unfortunate ones in the prisons and also the orphans, widows, widowers, physically-challenged, the hungry, diseased, sick and hopeless. The partners have been deeply committed and progressive in orientation and are ever cheerful on the number of people’s lives that they touch. Clothes, food, bedding, money and accommodation are often provided in a gesture of love since God insists that we are our neighbours’ keepers. The partners have been active, sensitive and happy doing what God has chosen them to do and they are reaching out to the less privileged and the hopeless, starved, sick and terrified. Of course, the philanthropic gestures of Prophet T.B. Joshua are being widely imitated by the beautiful-minded partners all over the world and they keep attracting applause from the leaders and the led, young and old, men and women across the globe. Their actions have enriched humanity with virtues of goodness, Godliness, helpfulness, love, kindness, sincerity, hopefulness, humility and sensitivity to people’s plights.
Emmanuel TV is being empowered as a reliable channel of information (it is on the internet at http://www.emmanuel.tv) on life generally – its hardship, disturbances and the role of satan in human affairs, the role of evil spirits and what is needed to get emancipated from the manacles put in place by the terrible spirits (from water, trees, family background, environments, etc). The channel has helped to universalize such realities as “the miraculous healings, deliverances and accurate messages of prophecy every service day but also for the works of charity towards the less privileged, physically challenged, widows and widowers, orphans, little people and the citizens of the earthquake-ravaged nation of Haiti and others” (as indicated in the volumes of the book, What The Future Holds). The channel actually makes the ministry an international one and what happens in the main branches (Greece, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa) are beamed to the world. There is the air of active centralization of information and education concerning the church, which is projected through the channel.
The station is effectively packaged by qualitative, serious-minded and focused staff, making use of up-to-date gadgets and well-arranged and well-programmed computer facilities to make The SCOAN’s activities reach the four walls of the universe. Significantly, these well-motivated staff are well-groomed to produce VCD and DVD cassettes which are sold to the public, aside serving as reliable library for past sermons and deliverance and prophetic activities. Interestingly too, most staff are also from different parts of the world and are effectively involved in the day-to-day management of the ministry.
Emmanuel TV has served as a channel through which important messages are urgently sent to the world. These include Prophet Joshua’s prophecies (some of which are earth-shaking!). The world has benefitted from political, economic, social and spiritual revelations which have kept benefitting presidents, prime ministers, business gurus, artistes, diplomats, etc. The Wise Men, who are also active spiritual leaders in the church, are often shown on this channel, preaching and delivering people.
The idea of writing on Emmanuel TV is to project the kind of image it has assisted Nigeria to sell to the rest of the world. The channel has benefitted all religious groups (Christians, Muslims and other believers). It has convinced people that Nigeria is not all about odious negativity and seedy stagnation but a place which is capable of producing world-acclaimed citizens like Prophet T.B. Joshua. Joshua is an international preacher, Bible expositor, philanthropist, spiritual leader, inspirer and mentor to Nigerians and international citizens. Highly respected for his profound humility and sense of humanity, he has shown the world that Nigeria is a peaceful place (The SCOAN is a centre of peace and tranquillity) to which diverse people can meet and unify as members of the human race. Those people (foreigners) who are often afraid of Nigerians, think and act differently whenever they come to The SCOAN – a home of Godliness, belief and nobility of character. The channel has attracted diverse people from USA, Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. Prophet Joshua and the Wise Men have also successfully performed revivals in other parts of the world and are shown on this moving channel. Music is being dished out to people through the Emmanuel Singers on the channel.
It is wrong to see the channel alone as a basically Christian-promoting one but as a moral-inducing, social-training and good economics-inspiring platform, whose clear messages have enriched humanity. It has changed the feeling of non-Nigerians who used to see the country as a dark den of vicious robbers and hiding place for violent criminals, drug addicts and prostitutes. Nigeria is a great country – only if the citizens could attempt to do what Joshua and his team are doing – opening doors for noble minds and seasoned and intelligent workers, believers and preachers. It is a country indeed, where the sick, hopeless and helpless can regain freedom and tenor of their humanity.
Fajenyo and Patrick are foremost journalists and Fellows of Social Engineering Research Initiative.