By Sam Eyoboka, Rotimi Ojomoyela, Gabriel Enogholase, Chris Ochayi ADO-EKITI — APOSTLE Johnson Suleiman of the Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, yesterday, denied reports that he instructed Christians to go after Muslims, describing the report as not only senseless but malicious.
The pastor was alleged to have preached against Islamizing Nigeria and allegedly asked members of his church in Auchi, Edo State to resist killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen, who he alleged were targeting Christians for decimation.
Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’s Forum, Mr Ayodele Fayose and Apostle Johnson Suleiman of The Omega Fire Ministries World wide after butched arrest by DSS at the Ekiti State Goverment House on Wednesday
Security report had led to his attempted arrest in the early hours of yesterday, at a hotel in Ado-Ekiti by suspected operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS.
But Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State prevented his being arrested over the comment he made a couple of weeks ago, which the authorities branded as too ‘caustic’ and ‘inflammatory.’
Sultan asks FG to deal with hate preachers
In another development, the Sultan of Sokoto, and President-General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammadu Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government and security agencies to arrest and prosecute hate preachers, saying they have brought friction between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.
Speaking, yesterday, in Abuja at a conference on dialogue for peace, Sultan Abubakar, however, said hate preachers hide under the guise of religion to vomit so much venom that one would wonder if they are religious leaders.
He said: “I think it is important for all of us as religious leaders to know what we must do to bring peace. Those who don’t want peace, we must help our authorities to deal with them because when they bring such problems, all of us will suffer.”
Only God has right to take life— CAN
Speaking at the same Abuja event, President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev Samuel Ayokunle, who was represented by Bishop Stephen Adegbite, expressed willingness of Christians to assist in preaching peace, noting that only God has the right to take life and called on all to embrace peace and avoid loss of lives.
“We welcome all initiatives for peace and we want to state that we support all efforts aimed at preaching peace. We deplored the level of violence that has led to killings. Only God has the right to take life,” the CAN President said.
He said there is no religion that encourages people to kill and called on Nigerian leaders to come together and design a road map, noting: “We have to be in Kaduna and Adamawa states to see what we can do to help the people that have been displaced.”
Suleiman denies asking Christians to kill Muslims
Meanwhile, speaking in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, on the contentious issue, Pastor Suleiman clarified that what he preached centred on the need for Christians to always defend themselves anytime the church is invaded by gunmen and not a direct incendiary comment that can make Christians and Muslims to confront one another.
It was gathered from a worker at the hotel, who pleaded anonymity, that when the DSS arrived the hotel, they told the receptionists that they had a message for the Apostle from the Presidency.
The receptionists passed the message to the Apostle’s Personal Assistant and his security details who informed their boss of the mission of his guests
The worker added that a few minutes later, he saw a convoy drive into the hotel premises and Governor Fayose emerged from one of the vehicles in the convoy, went straight to the preacher’s hotel room and left with him, with his bags already packed.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Head Pastor of the Omega Fire Ministry, Pastor Azemhe Azena, at a press conference in Benin, yesterday, said Apostle Suleiman was not a common criminal that should be intimidated from speaking the truth, saying if the DSS had anything against him, they should invite him to their office for questioning.
Fayose condemns DSS’ action
Also condemning attempt by DSS to arrest Apostle Suleiman as uncalled for and clear invitation to chaos, Governor Fayose challenged the security agencies in the country, especially the DSS, to tell Nigerians how many of the Fulani herdsmen that killed thousands of Nigerians across the country have been arrested.
He said: “Nigerians, either Muslim or Christian, deserve to be protected by the Federal Government, which controls all security apparatus in the country and the moment the Federal Government can no longer protect Nigerians from being killed by rampaging herdsmen, citizens of the country will have no option than to defend themselves.”
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose, who lamented that the APC-led Federal Government, was indirectly supporting attack on Christians and other Muslim sects, especially the Shi’ites, by looking the other way while they are attacked, he called on the international community to intervene before Nigeria is thrown into major religious crisis.
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