Monday, January 30, 2017

Apostle Johnson Suleman: I’m Not Angry With President, DSS or Anybody

The founder of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman went to Ado Ekiti, In the Ekiti State capital for a church Programme tagged: HELP FROM ABOVE, However, the successful mission of Apostle Suleman to Ekiti was outweighed by reports of attempt by the operatives of the department of States Services (DSS) to arrest him for what he had allegedly said earlier concerning the burning issue of herdsmen attacks on Christians. 

Apostle Johnson Suleman: I’m Not Angry With President, DSS or Anybody

The fiery preacher explains his experience when he spoke with newsmen in Ado Ekiti. Sam Nwaoko, provides excerpts: Since the report of the foiling of an attempt to arrest you by DSS operatives by Governor Ayodele Fayose, has there been any other attempt?

No other attempt has been made since then. But the surprise we are getting, which is very alarming, is from the comments following the incident. It showed that people don’t even know what instigated the arrest. I have been very instrumental in seeing that there is peace since the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, because of the things that I hear. I always urge agitated people to calm down because it hasn’t come to that yet. 

There are orphans, widows and widowers that we take care of and there are many people from the North that we also take care of. It is very alarming. No leader will be happy to see his flock dying and we keep quiet. I preached in church about two weeks ago. I said then that I got anonymous calls about Fulani herdsmen that were being sent to attack me. In response, I told my people that if they came around me, know that they are not there for prayers. You had better respond and attack. If you see them around the church, know that they are not there for prayers, you better respond and attack. But it was taken out of context and it was reported that I said that Nigerians should go on the streets and attack any herdsman that they see. I didn’t say that. I’m not stupid. 

I can’t say that because I lead quite a crowd. I can’t do that, I can’t just tell them to just attack anybody because that’s even senseless. But, I said self -defense. You can’t tell me whether you’re a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist or anything that somebody will walk into your house and attempt to kill your wife and children and you will not say or do anything. I said if they come after you, don’t keep quiet, but don’t go after them; don’t go attacking people. That’s the issue before the recent incident. Since then, there hasn’t been any other attempt. I only heard that they went about it the wrong way but I wouldn’t know because there hasn’t been any more information.

The funny thing is, I was in Abuja last week for three days. Why didn’t [they] come for me? Because I’m in Ekiti, you want to team me up as somebody who’s a friend to a man who is against you. And I’m seeing the governor for the first time. And he also said it on the altar that we were meeting for the first time. I never met him. If I had been taken in Abuja, that would have been easier. Why drive all the way for hours to Ekiti; why Ekiti? I don’t live here. I don’t stay here.



With this development, what steps are you going to take to prevent the future occurrence and to let people within and outside authority understand your point of view?

I think if this will make them ask me what I mean, that would be nice. Let me give an example: A video was presented to me. There’s a town before my town. Muslims entered into the church, drove out all the church members, spread their mats and began to pray in the church with the microphone of the church. The town is Aviele in Edo State. The people came (with the video) and they wanted to mobilize and I said no. They listened to me and I told them not to mobilize and react because if they did, Nigerians won’t want to hear what happened; it is reaction and statements that they check. I told them to go to the police and complain. 

The statement is lodged with the police, and I told the DPO I didn’t want violence. They can verify. Go and investigate who those people are because it is not proper. If Christians go into a mosque and chase out the Muslims and take the microphone and start praying, there will be chaos. But, they do it now, I am the man who said, ‘youths don’t fight. If I am a man to instigate violence, that would have been an opportunity but, it doesn’t make sense and it’s not proper to do that. The police will be able to look into the matter. The statement I made was taken out of context. I said ‘if you see them around me, around the church premises’ but they said what I said was ‘kill Fulanis.’ 

Even a child will not say a thing like that. The only thing I’m saying is that we should learn to investigate things before taking action. To the authorities, investigate things respectfully. I’m very unhappy now because the Christian community is alarmed and they want to react. I have been getting reactions and I keep calming them down, telling them that I am fine. We have churches in more than 50 countries. 

They said they’re marching to the embassies in those countries and I have told them not to. I don’t want that. I said that the damage of one day might take one year to repair and the damage is not physical as such. It is an image. It is not physical assault (God forbid that, I will not be alive to see that happen). Christians should not allow that to happen. But if the Christians march to these embassies, there will be problems. The damage may take a while for us to fine-tune and to explain what really happened. This is not necessary. If you had called me to say ‘no Apostle, what you said infuriated us, tone it down,’ I would go back and tell the people exactly what I said and tone it down, not for them to be coming after me in a Gestapo style.

 Since that happened, have you been invited by the security agents in any way?

I’ve never been invited. I’ve never been called. Nobody has invited me. Maybe, they will call me or invite me. If they invite me, I will go. But if they invite me, they will give me time because that’s what the law says. The law doesn’t say if you invite me, I will start running to you. I will plan my programs and plan my visit to you, not that I will just abandon everything.



Your morning program at the Pavillion in Ado-Ekiti was brief. Why?

At that point, I had to depend on security report to go out. Somebody else was ministering, holding the fort for me before I went there. On a normal day, on occasions like this, many preachers would not even go out to preach. But the gospel is more than threats. The gospel of God is more than threats and nothing will stop me from preaching. I got security report on when to come; that’s why I went late. Because I delayed in coming, our morning program dragged into early afternoon instead of the 11.am that we normally close.

 From your disposition, one may deduce that you have a feeling that there is a deliberate attempt somewhere, from some group of people to frustrate Christians in the country. Do you feel that way?

Feel? I was a journalist for many years. As a reporter, maybe I will throw the question back to you because even a mad man knows that’s what’s going on. But the truth is, in Nigeria, people were killed in the Kaduna crisis. I’ve not seen one person arrested, but for speaking, you are being arrested. I don’t know what the agenda is, but what we pick from that is that Christians are dying too much. And if we see one person being prosecuted, we will keep quiet. But nobody is prosecuted.

 What is your advice for members of the National Assembly on the issue?

The National Assembly members should not fold their arms and watch these things happen. They should not just fold their arms.

 How do you see all of this as an apostle and a Christian leader?

Prophets in the bible are always hated. They’re misunderstood and they’re always confronted by the governments of their day. So, I have no grudge against anybody, I have no grudge against the President. I have no grudge against the DSS, I have no grudge against the police or anybody. They’re doing their work; they might have gone about it wrong. I am not angry with anybody and Nigerians should not be angry with anybody.




2 comments:

  1. the authorities should investigate things respectfully

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Edifiers,
      You are right because if the authorities does not investigate things respectfully, it brings dishonour to their words.

      Delete