Johnson Suleman, general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, who recently escaped arrest from operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS), has revealed that his father is a leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in his hometown of Auchi in Edo state.
Operatives of the secret police had stormed the hotel where the fiery preacher who was in Ekiti state for a 2-day crusade lodged, with the intention of arresting him.
The incident happened days after Suleman told his security aides to kill any herdsman found around his church premises.
Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti, had prevented the arrest.
Addressing members of his church after the encounter, Suleman accused his opponents of giving the impression that he does not like the APC government.
“I am speaking to clear the air, because number one, people who are going about saying things about me, do not know me,” he said.
“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.”
Suleman, who said he had nothing personal against Fulanis and Muslims, vowed not to apologise for instructing his aides to go after herdsmen.
“I need to speak about this because of my friends and most of our northern pastors who have Fulani members,” he said.
“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’.
“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.”
Suleman said he was angry because those who he was referring to in the video, which went viral, are now rejoicing that the issue had veered towards a religious dimension.
He said he has, and will continue to have, high regards for Fulani people who are tolerant and respect the sanctity of life.
Suleman also singled out Muhammad Sanusi, emir of Kano, for commendation, narrating how the monarch built a church reportedly destroyed during crisis.
“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,” he said.
“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’.”