The Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum, Ayo Fayose , in the early hours of Wednesday, blocked operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, from arresting the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, in Ado Ekiti.
The cleric, who is in the Ekiti state capital for a two-day crusade that started on Tuesday, had earlier called for the killing of any Fulani herdsman that strays into the church premises, stating that he was earlier told of a plan by Fulani herdsmen to attack his convoy and shoot him.
In a video that recently trended on the internet, the controversial preacher said, “I have told them in the church here that any Fulani herdsman that just enters by mistake and want to pretend, 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, he said pumping with emotions”.
Suleiman put a distress call to Fayose, who had attended the first day of the programme, when the DSS operatives stormed his hotel room in Adebayo area of Ado-Ekiti and almost forced their way to his room.
They were, however resisted by security men of the hotel who insisted on knowing their mission.
Shortly afterwards, Fayose, on whom the cleric had earlier paid a courtesy call, led a rescue mission to the hotel and saved Suleiman from being whisked away by operatives of the secret police.
Narrating his ordeal to newsmen around 2am on Wednesday , Suleiman said , “I came to Ado Ekiti for a crusade. But I had a premonition that I was being trailed after I preached that Christians should retaliate any attack or killings by the Fulani herdsmen.
“These Fulani herdsmen had turned many Christians to orphans and widowers but the time has come
to protect ourselves.
to protect ourselves.
“I received several calls from hidden numbers trying to locate where I am and I had warned my security not to allow any Fulani man to come nearer me. So when the men of DSS came in the middle of the night I knew their mission and I had to call the Governor because if they arrest me, they will put this country on fire.”
“The DSS men came with trucks and tried to break into the room but the Governor came and took me out of the hotel. It was the crowd that scared them.
“But the truth I want to pass out is that if I spend a day with the security operatives, I have churches in 42 countries and I have alerted them, every Nigerian embassies in those countries will be in trouble.
“If I spend one day with the security operatives, that damage that will be done to this country will take one year to repair. In this country alone, I have over half a million people and there are reactions already,” Suleman said.
On his part, the Governor criticised the DSS for ambushing a man of God on crusade, stressing that he expected the security agency to show decorum.
His words, “I expected the security operatives to invite him if they have any issue with him instead of arresting him in the dead of the night after a powerful and spirit – filled crusade in my state .
“I personally attended his crusade and I think it is wrong for a man of God, who is armless, that could be invited to be ambushed. If they have any issue against him. Are Christians and Moslems under different dispensation of the rule of law? That’s why I went there to rescue him. Let them kill two of us together. But when they saw my vehicles and the crowd, they fled.
“But we have information that instructions came from DSS in Abuja that the Pastor should be arrested. We are not in a fascist state, Federal Government must learn to respect the rights of Nigerians and freedom of expression.”
Fayose further expressed concerns that the Federal Government was championing a cause to harass clergymen in the country, stating that the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, was harassed and forced to resign shortly after he visited him in Ado Ekiti.
“This is unacceptable. We are in a democracy and Nigerians should warn the Presidency against putting this country on fire because religion is an emotional thing,” he said.
The Governor also warned security operatives against intimidating and arresting men of God in the interest of peace and religious harmony in the country, pointing out that “the constitution guarantees freedom of worship”.
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