A video has been seen circulating on social media platforms with a claim that the president of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, rejected all documentaries and evidence made by BBC against late Nigerian renowned prophet, Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua. The video captures President Tinubu giving a speech on Channels TV, as well as some moments of the prophet when he was alive.
The statement in the video reads: “The president of Nigeria rejects all documentaries and evidence made by BBC against our noble prophet. Prophet TB Joshua he was a good man and he brought many foreigners into Lagos while I was the governor. They hate him because he was from a black country.”
Prophet TB Joshua, who died in 2021, was a charismatic preacher and televangelist who had an immense global following. He founded the Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) which operates a Christian TV channel called Emmanuel TV and social media networks with millions of viewers. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, tens of thousands of pilgrims from Europe, the Americas, South East Asia and Africa travelled to the church in Nigeria to witness Joshua performing “healing miracles”.
In January 2024, BBC Africa Eye released a three-part documentary titled “Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua”, which revealed evidence of widespread abuse and torture by the founder of one of the world’s biggest Christian evangelical churches. The documentary featured dozens of former SCOAN members – five British – who alleged atrocities, including rape and forced abortions, by TB Joshua. The documentary also showed how Joshua faked his “miracle healings”, which were broadcast to millions of people around the world.
The documentary sparked outrage and controversy among Joshua’s followers and critics, as well as the general public. Some defended the late prophet and accused the BBC of bias and defamation, while others praised the courage of the survivors and called for justice and accountability.
President Tinubu, who was elected as Nigeria’s president in February 2023, has not publicly addressed the BBC documentaries or the allegations against TB Joshua. His 2024 New Year speech, which was aired on Channels TV and other media outlets, focused on the achievements of his administration and the challenges facing the country, such as insecurity, corruption and unemployment.
The video that claims to show President Tinubu rejecting the BBC documentaries against TB Joshua is a manipulated version of his 2024 New Year speech. The video was posted on Facebook by a page called “ooasha_yourthroughtstalk” on 14 January 2024, with the caption: “TINUBU REJECTS TB JOSHUA DOCUMENTARY BY BBC. SAYS THEY H*TE HIM BECAUSE HE IS FROM A BLACK COUNTRY.”
The video has been edited to insert a voice-over that mimics President Tinubu’s voice and accent, saying the false statement about TB Joshua and the BBC documentaries. The voice-over does not match the lip movements of the president, who is seen speaking in the original video. The video also includes some clips of TB Joshua performing his “miracles” and interacting with his followers, which are unrelated to the president’s speech.
To verify the authenticity of the video, the Explainer, a fact-checking platform, broke the video into several keyframes and subjected one of the keyframes to a Google reverse image search, which led the Explainer to the 2024 New Year speech of President Tinubu that was published by various TV, online and newspaper media. The Explainer also visited the official website and social media handle of Channels TV to see if such a video or claim can be found, but found no such claim except the New Year speech of the president Tinubu having the same background as the alleged video circulating.
Further findings by the Explainer reveal that no credible media platform have published such news. The Explainer also searched the official website and social media accounts of the presidency and found no statement or comment by President Tinubu regarding the BBC documentaries on TB Joshua ever since the documentaries came out.
The video is a doctored version of President Tinubu’s 2024 New Year speech, which had nothing to do with Prophet TB Joshua or the BBC documentaries. There is no evidence that President Tinubu has ever commented on the BBC documentaries, which showed claims of rape, torture and forced abortions by the late founder of SCOAN.