The building collapse that killed dozens of members of a popular Christian preacher’s congregation in Lagos last week, triggers a government investigation and a wide array of theories. Vanessa Johnston reports.
A week after this Christian guesthouse or dormitory collapsed in Lagos killing dozens, speculation about what caused it runs the gamut --- everything from construction issues to demonic forces. Arriving at the site on Saturday, President Goodluck Jonathan met with Prophet" TB Joshua, the head of the local church and one of Africa's most famous Christian preachers. At least eighty members of his congregation were killed in the incident, most of them South Africans Jonathan expresses his condolences -- and promises to look into the matter. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NIGERIAN PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN , SAYING: "The issues on the cause of collapse is not what I can comment on since investigation is going on." But that hasn't stopped friends and foes of Joshua from speculating. On a continent where misfortunes are often seen as an attack by an unseen enemy, living or dead... ...some are convinced that "demonic forces" are behind the building's demise. In addition,Joshua's PR team have circulated footage that purports to show a mysterious aircraft circling it prior to the incident -- but doesn't fully explain the connection. Others believe the collapse simply comes down to shoddy construction. Nigeria's emergency services say that additional floors were being built... ...and that Joshua's members had initially denied them entry after collapse. Lagos state governor says the church didn't have a permit for an extension. Joshua says he's cooperating with the investigation.