Attempt to arrest Apostle Suleman draconian, dangerous – Church

The Omega Fire Ministries has condemned Wednesday’s attempt by the Department of State Services to arrest its Pastor, Apostle Johnson Suleman, saying such a draconian action by a “Change” government is harsh, dangerous and negates the tenets of democracy.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Apostle Suleman’s Communications Adviser, Phrank Shaibu, the church wondered why its General Overseer could be so harassed for merely expressing his opinion on the menace of Fulani herdsmen, when freedom of expression is one of the rights guaranteed by the nation’s Constitution.
The statement said: “The Fulani militia, masquerading as herdsmen have stated that they are going to kill him. Everyone knows that they are armed with AK47 and have already killed over 7000 persons in Nigeria. Women have been raped and houses destroyed. Yet, not one of them has been caught or is being prosecuted by the DSS or Federal Government.
“Are we saying that the man should fold his arms and allow the same Fulani militia to kill him? Is he wrong to give his security aides orders that they should kill any of the so called herdsmen found near him or his church? Is there nothing like self defence in our law?”
Shaibu said that the firebrand pastor’s message, which may have drawn the ire of the DSS and the Federal Government, was directed at the fulani militia, in the guise of herdsmen, that have openly declared intention to kill him.
Shaibu said even if the comments made by Apostle Suleman were found to be inciting, as alleged by the DSS, a government that believes in robust debate as a means of strengthening democracy would simply have invited him for explanation, rather than attempting to “kidnap” him.
The church said the DSS’s attempt to forcefully arrest Apostle Suleman was disingenuous and cheap, adding: “We expected a more civilized conduct from a government that promised Change.
“What most people do not know is that Apostle Suleiman’s father was a Muslim. He was born into a Muslim family. He has brothers and sisters that are Muslims and enjoy very cordial relationship with them. So to brand him anti Islam or anti Muslim is being mischievous or taking apostle’s message out of context.
“It is sad that a government that promised a new dawn for Nigerians on 29 May, 2015 under a President who pledged to ‘allow all arms of government (including free press) to function optimally and avoid the confusion which all too often bedevils governance’, has now resorted to a tactic that was so cruelly employed by the military in the country’s not-too-distant past. Is this the Change that President Muhammadu Buhari promised Nigerians?”
The statement wondered why the government has chosen to dissipate so much time and energy on hounding an innocent citizen for the mere fact that he expressed his opinion, at a time of growing national insecurity, worsening electricity supply and mass unemployment, just to mention a few.
“The Buhari administration’s hounding of Apostle Johnson Suleman, instead of tackling headlong the many problems that are making life unbearable for Nigerians, brings to mind the adage that a man who carries an elephant on his head should not be searching for a cricket,” the statement said.
It said there is no way the Buhari administration will escape the kind of issues that Apostle Suleman raised if it does not stop the senseless killing of innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen.
The church called on the government to leave Apostle Suleman alone and apologise to him for the unwarranted intimidation and harassment to which he was subjected on Wednesday morning.