Apostle Johnson Suleiman of the Omega Fire Ministries, OFM, has insisted that he would not withdraw his statement directing his members to kill any Fulani herdsman found around him and the church.
Operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, had in the early hours of Wednesday attempted to arrest the fiery preacher but were prevented by the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose.
Suleman’s attempted arrested was not unconnected to his message where he urged his members to kill any Fulani herdsman found around him and the church.
In a recent message to his congregation, Suleiman had said, “I told my people, any Fulani herdsman you see around you, kill him. I have told them in the church here, that any Fulani herdsman that just entered by mistake, Kill him, Kill Him. Cut his head. If they are busy killing Christians and nothing is happening, we will kill them and nothing will happen.”
But addressing his congregation on the incident, the fiery preacher vowed not to apologise, stressing that he had nothing personal against Fulanis and Muslims.
Suleiman maintained that he holds Fulani people who are tolerant and respect the sanctity of human life in high regards.
According to the fiery preacher, “I need to speak about this because of my friends and most of our northern pastors who have Fulani members.
“Many of them have been so concerned. They said: ‘Daddy, we know you love us.’… My driver in Lagos is a Muslim. He has been driving me for nine years and I have bought him two cars. If I am not tolerant, a Muslim won’t drive me.
“One day, there was an issue that happened at the gate of the church and I met with all the security men. I discovered that one of them was a Muslim and I asked how he happened to be there.
“He said he had been here for a long time and he was their supervisor, chief security officer. The way people make comments online, they say, ‘He has asked Muslims to kill Christians’.
“Let me give you an example, the emir of Kano is an intelligent Fulani man. He is a Muslim. There was a church that was destroyed, but he rebuilt it.
“Will I tell people to go and kill such a person? The Fulani people who are very enlightened have called me. They understand me.
“The reason I’m speaking now is because the herdsmen whom I am angry against are happy that this issue has become a religious one.
“I’ll not withdraw my statement and those of you who are my children and pastors need to know what I’m fighting for, so that you can stand tomorrow and say ‘this is what I’m fighting for’.”
He accused his opponents of portraying him in a bad light before the All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government.
The preacher revealed that his father is a leader of APC in his hometown of Auchi in Edo state.
He said, “I am speaking to clear the air, because number one, people who are going about saying things about me, do not know me.
“They owe me an apology for all of those statements. They are making the issue political, as if I am with PDP. Let me say this thing that Nigerians do not even know. Let me shock them. My father is a leader of APC in Auchi.
“If I were to be political, don’t I know who to follow? But I am not interested in politics.
“I come from a Muslim family. Some of my family members are Christians, some are still Muslims… I have decided to ignore them (people criticisng him) because your viewpoint is what determines your point of view. What gets your intention should not get your attention. They don’t know me.”