*Fayose a rabblerouser, ignore him, Prof. Akintola urges Nigerians
*Blood of any Nigerian is not worth the careless statement of any religious leader – CIG
*Sultan, Bishop Adegbite recently agreed hate preachers must be arrested, prosecuted
Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has alleged that Department of State Services (DSS) has perfected plans to detain and prosecute 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.
The chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Fayose, who spoke in a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, warned that the alleged plan could throw the country into an unprecedented religious crisis.
But in a swift reaction to the statement, Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola, urged Nigerians who want peace for the country and themselves to ignore the Ekiti State governor who, according to him, only found Apostle Suleiman as a partner in the act of incitement being that he himself had been known for making provocative and inciting statements causing confusion in the country.
The DSS had already asked Suleiman to appear in its office on Monday in Abuja over alleged inciting preaching.
Fayose added, “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 to get them remanded in Kuje Prison perpetually.”
“Even though the DSS has allowed common sense 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.
He said it was “sad and worrisome” that after muzzling opposition politicians, judiciary and the press, the APC led- federal government has taken its desperation to suppress dissenting voices in the country to the House of God.”
Fayose maintained, “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 government and 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.
The governor urged the APC-led federal government to pay attention to the economy it allegedly destroyed, with the aim to revamping it and saving Nigerians from the hunger ravaging the land.
“Nigeria is already being ravaged by war of hunger, economic recession, job loss and lack of leadership direction. It will be disastrous for the country to be plunged into religious crisis.
“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.”
Fayose has however been replied by a leading light in the South West, who said the governor should just face the business of Ekiti government and stop misplacing recent history.
“Nigeria is now a serious country and so, there is no opportunity for any politician to do impunity and get away with it. The era of impunity is long gone and now if anybody thinks that he knows how to incite and still weep sentiment so to divert attention from the evil of his unholy act, he will be making a big mistake,” he said.
Apostle Suleiman Johnson had on January 15 said in his preaching that, “…any Fulani herdsman that just enter by mistake…kill him. Cut his head.” Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State said there was nothing wrong with the statement…But a Nigerian scholar and member of the Centre for Islamic Guide Group, Alhaji Razaq Ajibade, said a lot was wrong with the statement…Noting that nowhere in the world is the preaching of genocide a legitimate action, Ajibade posited that, “The statement made by Apostle Suleiman is ripe enough to cause chaos/havoc in the Nigerian society considering his position in the Christian leadership and his over 500,000 members nationwide.
Fayose’s statement unfortunate – Akintola
Reacting in a telephone conversation with The DEFENDER Sunday night, the Director, Muslim Rights Concerns (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola said it was not surprising that Governor Fayose would find Apostle Suleiman as partner in the act of incitement since, according to the university don, Fayose, himself, had been well known for making provocative and inciting statements all along.
He said it was the reason the governor could be visiting the cleric’s pulpit and bringing him to the Ekiti State Government House.
Akintola said, “That Ayodele Fayose is credited with a statement like this, after he had obstructed the duty of DSS operatives in handling this matter earlier, is very unfortunate. Fayose is just one government miss road. He has been rabblerousing and interfering in issue that does not concern Ekiti State. So much that 99.9 percent of this governor’s utterances has been devoted to criticising President Muhammadu Buhari and irrational discourse.
“He is a Christian fanatic, who talks without thinking. I think the best Nigerians should do is to ignore him. I don’t know when he became the defender and determinant of who should be arrested and who should not be arrested.
“Well, we are not surprised, he is well known for making provocative and inciting statements. So, the DSS has invited Apostle Suleiman for doing the same incitement that he (Fayose) is known for, that is why he has found the Apostle as partner in the incitement business going to the pulpit of the cleric and bringing him to the Government House in Ekiti.
“Whoever has made a statement capable of disrupting the peace efforts on ground which the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari together with Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has been leading across the country, such person, no matter who he is, should be arrested and prosecuted by the security agencies,” he said.
It would be recalled that recently Sultan of Sokoto and Leader of the Muslim Ummah of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III along with other top Christian leaders, at joint religious seminar, in Abuja called for the arrest and prosecution of any hate preacher to save Nigeria from being into religious and ethnic crisis, especially as the government was just getting of the Boko Haram insurgency that had ravaged the lives of people of the North East for over six years.
The Sultan had said, “While we pray for peace and dialogue, preachers of hate must be reported to the security agencies. Therefore, we must work hard for peace and live in peace and harmony.”
In corroborating the Sultan, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, who represented the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told news men after the event that anybody who did hate preaching should be arrested and prosecuted.
Apostle Suleiman Johnson had on January 15 said in his preaching that, “…any Fulani herdsman that just enter by mistake…kill him. Cut his head.” Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State said there was nothing wrong with the statement.
But a Nigerian scholar and member of the Centre for Islamic Guide Group, Alhaji Razaq Ajibade, said a lot was wrong with the statement.
Noting that nowhere in the world is the preaching of genocide a legitimate action, Ajibade posited that, “The statement made by Apostle Suleiman is ripe enough to cause chaos/havoc in the Nigerian society considering his position in the Christian leadership and his over 500,000 members nationwide.
“Yes, we may have the security to handle the situation in case it happens but the blood of any Nigerian is not worth the careless statement of any religious leader. On this note, Nigerians demand the security agents, #ArrestPastorSuleimanNow as with one voice, #NigeriansStandAgainstGenocidePreaches.
“Nigerians also demand to know if the silence of the Christian religious leaders portrays their support for the statement made by Pastor Suleiman. Otherwise we expect by now that the leaders should have condemned this statement as did by the Sultan of Sokoto,” he said.