The General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet T. B. Joshua, has taken up the medical expenses and the welfare of victims of the stampede that occurred at the Accra branch of the church last Sunday.
He has also offered to compensate the bereaved families and ask for God's blessings for them.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic on behalf of the church yesterday, the acting Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the church, Evangelist Samuel Excellence, said Prophet Joshua had also offered his condolences to the bereaved families and wished those who were injured speedy recovery.
According to Evangelist Exellence "what happened outside the premises of the church" was an unfortunate incident and prayed to God that never again should such an incident happen.
He explained that the large crowd gathered outside of the church auditorium in great anticipation for the 'anointing water' which they had seen being introduced on Emmanuel TV the previous Sunday.
On Sunday, May 19, four people died in a stampede at the Ghana branch of SCOAN when thousands of people seeking divine intervention besieged the church premises to benefit from the distribution of anointing water.
The anointing water was said to be a gift from the head pastor of the church, Prophet T. B. Joshua, who had announced during a church service in Lagos on Sunday, May 12, 2013 that the repackaged anointed water would be sent to the other branches of the church across the globe.
Evangelist Excellence said although Prophet Joshua never mentioned specifically on Emmanuel TV or any other news media that people could receive the new anointing water at the Ghana branch of the SCOAN, it appeared many people anticipated that the only place to get the new anointing water was the Ghana branch, and it was upon this anticipation that people came from far and near, resulting in the stampede.
He said the lives that were lost resulted from the stampede outside the main church auditorium, and debunked the claims that people died as a result of their attempt to collect the anointing water from Prophet Joshua.
Evangelist Exellence said the leadership of the church had sought the assistance of the police who were in the environs of the church to maintain order but the people who were in their numbers defied all instructions from the police.He said they broke down the crash barriers mounted outside the church, and rushed towards the main gate leading to the church building. "This was what brought about the stampede," he explained.
Evangelist Excellence explained that the church auditorium could only accommodate 1,500 people at a service and not 15,000 as had been peddled, adding that the church's security measures were always in line with the country's rules and regulations.
He explained that one of the reasons for the creation of the church's branch in Ghana by Prophet Joshua was to help the poor who had to sell their property to be able to travel to Lagos, where the headquarters of the SCOAN was located for deliverance and healing.
According to Evangelist Excellence, it was in consideration of that stress coupled with calls from many Ghanaians, both in the country and the diaspora, that culminated in the establishment of the branch in Ghana, after Prophet Joshua had said fervent prayers to God for direction.
He pointed out that since the establishment of the church in Ghana, there had not been any such incident, and that the church had never flouted the laws of the country.
Some of the responsibilities taken up by the church so far have been the award of scholarships to some brilliant needy students in the universities and other higher institutions of learning in Ghana.
Evangelist Excellence said as a law abiding entity, the SCOAN would seek the permission of the police and other relevant authorities before holding a revival programme in the country.