Pastor T.B. Joshua, while proclaiming to his congregation on Sunday, 27th April,2014 prophesied that the abducted schoolgirls in Borno State were on the verge of being released by ‘God’, adding that almost half had already escaped their kidnappers clutches.
Amid mounting public fury and an international outcry over the fate of 230 kidnapped Nigerian teenage girls – now missing for nearly two weeks – the controversial cleric declared, “They have to be released. That is the voice of God!”
He proceeded to describe a revelation he claimed God had shown him. “I saw a vision where some of these girls have escaped and they are trying to find their way from the forest to the town.”
He added that the remaining children under custody would also be released soon. “God has spoken – these children must be released,” Joshua authoritatively declared. “We can’t wait to see them.”
In a message broadcast live via Joshua’s widely viewed station, Emmanuel TV and subsequently posted on his official Facebook page followed by close to 1,000,000, he counselled the girl’s parents to know that people share in their pain. “It is not your battle alone but the battle of all people of God all over the world. They are also our children.”
Joshua, however, warned that security forces involved in the rescue efforts should be careful not to be drawn into unnecessary confrontation. “God has promised all of them will come out free, without harm and hurt. However, if there is unnecessary confrontation, it may affect them,” the Pastor, whose recent YouTube clip showing a prophecy of the ill-fated MH370 plane went viral and garnered international media attention, cautioned.
“Let us be prayerful and at the same time be tactical and strategic, so they will not harm our dear schoolgirls,” he advised. “Their captors are in a place where they cannot move forward or backwards. Confrontation is dangerous.”
Joshua then led the 30,000 strong congregation at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) in prayer. “Pray for the protection of these girls. Remember our security forces too in prayer. Ask God to give them more wisdom and a clean and clear strategy, so that their approach will not be attack for attack. No matter what the militants do, even if they attack, they should not attack back in order not to harm our girls.”
On Monday, 14th April 2014, insurgents suspected to be Boko Haram abducted the girls, who were students of Chibok Government Girls’ Secondary School, from their dormitories, loading them into waiting trucks, before setting the boarding school ablaze.
The girls, all aged between 16 and 18 and mostly from Christian families, are thought to be held captive in a notorious region called the Sembisa Forest, a known hideout for Boko Haram in Borno State. The search and rescue operation for the remaining captive teenagers has yielded no positive results so far.