Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state, has warned the Department of State Services (DSS) over its planned detention and trial of Apostle Johnson Suleiman of the Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide and the General Overseer of Living Faith Church Worldwide International (Winners’ Chapel International), Bishop David Oyedepo.
Fayose described it as indirect invitation to religious crisis in the country, alleging that; “There is a 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 and remanded in Kuje Prison perpetually.”
He said this plan was to humiliate these men of God and silence them to create fear in other people that may want to speak against the heinous crime against humanity being committed daily.
A statement yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said the DSS should tell Nigerians how many of the Fulani herdsmen that killed thousands of Nigerians have been arrested before going after Nigerians who merely expressed their frustration over failure of the government to protect them.
The governor said; “Even though the DSS has allowed commonsense to prevail by properly inviting Apostle Suleiman as against the gestapo manner with which the service attempted to abduct him last week Wednesday, it is still questionable that the DSS 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.
Governor Fayose maintained that; “If the DSS had acted swiftly like it is doing on Apostle Suleiman so-called inciting comments when people were being killed by herdsmen across the country, so many lives would have been saved.”
He advised the DSS not to go ahead with these plans as it will heat up the polity and threaten the peaceful coexistence of Nigerians, calling on well meaning Nigerians to prevail on the federal Government to desist from acts capable of throwing the country into further crisis.
Fayose also reiterated his call for the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since late 2015. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) has described the attempt by DSS to arrest Suleiman as intimidation against the church. A statement by the General Secretary, Phillip Nwaegeruo, condemned the act, saying it was one of the series of strategies by government to muzzle the church.
“Apostle Johnson Suleiman is being harassed for calling on his members not to surrender to murdering machine of the herdsmen. “We are worried that if the rising incidents of harassment, arrest and if possible imprisonment of the church leaders when they exercise their inalienable freedom of expression is not stemmed, the enemy of the gospel will accomplish his task without further shooting a gun.’’
Swiftly, Apostle Johnson Suleman has asked the Federal Government to compel Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to produce Fulani herdsmen to whom money was paid so as to disabuse the minds of Nigerians that Christians are not the target of President Muhammadu’s administration.
The cleric in a statement by his Communications Adviser in Abuja, said failure to compel El-Rufai to produce the herdsmen who purportedly collected money from the Kaduna State Government is an indication of the insincerity of this administration.