Outspoken cleric and the General Overseer of Omege Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman, will be reporting at the office of Department of State Security (DSS) this Monday morning after he was invited by operatives of the security agency.
Recall that the security agency summoned the controversial preacher after a video surfaced showing him calling on his congregation to kill Fulani herdsmen so as to protect themselves.
“If they are busy killing Christians and nothing is happening, we will kill them and nothing will happen,” he allagedly said.
In a reaction over his visit to the DSS, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) restated its support for the pastor, and also spoke on the rumours that CAN would send an entourage to accompany Suleman to the office of the SSS on Monday.
The media aide to CAN President, Olasupo Ayokunle, Bayo Oladeji, said the association’s leadership would not go with the pastor, but was solidly behind him.
“I spoke with him (Mr. Suleman) this morning. CAN is solidly behind him. He was invited to the office of the SSS; let him go. We are behind him, but as for whether or not we are going to the SSS office with him, my answer to that is no. He was invited alone. But we are solidly behind him,” Oladeji said.
The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, also reacted to the Pastor’s invitation and warned the DSS not to detain Suleman and also spoke on the alleged invitation of the General Overseer of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, David Oyedepo.
In a statement on Sunday, Fayose described the alleged attempt to detain the two clerics as “a development that could plunge Nigeria into religious crisis,” and urged the security operatives to face the task of apprehending “culprits in the various religious crisis in recent times”, rather than “attacking persons who were forced to express their frustration” over “government’s failure to protect the citizens”.
“There is plan to charge Apostle Suleiman and Bishop Oyedepo for incitement and attempt to cause public disorder on Friday, and make sure that they are not granted bail so (as) to get them remanded in Kuje Prison perpetually,” Fayose alleged.
According to the statement signed by his media assistant, Lere Olayinka, the governor claimed that more Nigerians have been killed in this administration than in the last 20 years of Nigeria’s history.
“Apart from during the civil war, Nigerians have not been badly divided as a nation as we are under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. Killings under this government in 18 months are more than what was witnessed in the last 20 years,” the governor said.
He said the planned arrest was aimed at humiliating the men of God as well as silencing them and creating fear in the minds of other Christian leaders.
“Even though the SSS has allowed common-sense to prevail by properly inviting Apostle Suleman as against the gestapo manner with which the service attempted to abduct him last week Wednesday, it is still questionable that the SSS is more interested in a man who threatened to defend himself against any attack by Fulani herdsmen rather than those herdsmen that murdered thousands of Nigerians.
“It is sad and worrisome that after muzzling opposition politicians, judiciary and the press, the APC-led federal government has taking its desperation to suppress dissenting voices in the country to the House of God. If the SSS had acted swiftly like it is doing on Apostle Suleman, so-called inciting comments when people were being killed by herdsmen across the country, so many lives would have been saved.”