Over the weekend, One of Nigeria’s most controversial Pastors was in the news again, and this time, it was for a horrible reason. His convoy was attacked by some ‘yet-to-be-identified’ gunmen and no fewer than seven people perished. The aftermath of that ugly occurrence has got many people talking with many unanswered questions now hitting the front burner.
Apostle Johnson Suleman, the fiery Omega Fire Ministries Pastor is not new to the spotlight. Over the past decade, he is perhaps the Pastor that has featured the most on newspaper headlines the most, not for his groundbreaking expositions or ‘prophesies’ or his breathtaking miracles, but most times, for reasons ranging from accusations bothering on infidelity, promiscuity, and other forms of scandals.
That he is ‘Man of God’ makes it even more distasteful because it is expected that people like him should uphold an intimidating degree of moral standards that his Church members, admirers, and society can emulate, sadly, that hasn’t been quite the case with Suleiman. In defence, the Auchi-based-pastor has always pointed accusing fingers at some unnamed personalities as being behind his travails. The question here, has remained; ‘Why always Pastor Suleiman?’
Apostle Suleiman as he likes to be addressed has always insisted that he is being targeted over his stance on sociopolitical issues and over his opposition to government officials. However, the truth remains that he is not the most vocal Christian cleric in Nigeria. He has not spoken up against bad governance more than the likes of David Oyedepo, Paul Eneche, and their likes, so why are these people not facing similar attacks? Why is no one accusing them of sleeping with actresses and jumping from one honey-pot of a female celebrity to another? Why has no one shared their nudes on social media? The answer to these questions is not far-fetched, but, the truth remains that Suleman is not telling his followers and Nigerians the entire truth.
Following Friday’s assassination attempt on the controversial pastor, it was sad to how quick he was to deploy people’s misfortunes to elevate his own narrative and stories. Less than two hours after the attack which occurred on Wakere road, Auchi in Edo state, it was rather painful to see Suleman in a video boasting that he cannot be killed or harmed. To think that this was even happening when the members of the seven security operatives who lost their fathers, uncles, and brothers were still grappling is simply heart-wrenching. In the badly made video that went viral as Suleman planned, he clearly showed no remorse. Since he claimed that the attack was specifically orchestrated to eliminate him, one would have expected that he should be feeling very bitter about the fact that seven gallant officers had to die just for him to stay alive. These men were simply doing their job and trying to put food on the table of their families amidst the biting hardship facing millions of Nigerians. All this made zero sense to Suleman who’s ONLY aim at that point was to seek public sympathy for his unscathed self, suck up media oxygen from the reactions of people and sell his well-coordinated agenda of being targeted.
In the said video, Pastor Suleman clearly announced that he knew the assailants but will not real their identities. One will be wondering how useful that information was at that time. If he wasn’t going to mention their names, why then rub it on the faces of their grieving families? Didn’t they deserve some expository information to aid the police investigation? Is his life in any way more valuable than that of the police officers and civilians who were murdered in the unfortunate attack? Since he knew he was being targeted and rightly bought himself an amour-plated vehicle to ensure his protection on the roads, what efforts did he make to secure the lives of his security details? Did he even put them in the know of how endangered his life was so they could take precautionary measures? These are questions Suleman must find answers to, and fast he must be made to provide them.
Apostle Suleman is notorious for clout-chasing and media sensation. Added to that, he has a penchant for going low with social media trolls from time to time. On many occasions, the pastor has been caught on social media trading words with social media users, something rather not expected of a man known to be preaching the gospel. Throwing slurs and using unprintable language has remained his hallmark on social media and perhaps one of the biggest reasons behind this is that he loves the attention that comes with it which he is always desperate about. That he will go to the extent of using people’s deaths to chase similar clouts was rather heart-ripping. From that action, it is safe to posit that Suleman lacked a conscience, or better still, his conscience is long dead and forgotten.
Moving on Apostle Suleman must end the wild Goose chase and start speaking up since he already set a precedent. Nigerians want an answer to the myriad of questions that have been flung his way. This is not the time to hide under religious antimony and spiritual confusion to deceive the world. He must tell Nigerians who the people after his life are and why they are after him and not after his other colleagues in the tithe and seeds collecting business.
At this point, the Nigerian Police must step in. The Inspector General of Police should as a matter of urgent national importance personally institute a special investigative team to unravel what Suleman is hiding from Nigerians. The lives of those seven human beings who have been prematurely sent to their early graves matter so much. The pastor’s life is not more valuable than theirs. A full investigation should and must be opened immediately until those behind the shooting are arrested and given what they deserve by law. Already, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Auchi Division, CSP Ayodele Suleman has clearly raised some dust by summarily killing one of the suspects extrajudicially even when he was perhaps the biggest lead in the investigations, therefore a lot of digging needs to be done to give Nigerians and indeed the world, useful answers. Lives are precious, they cannot continue to be wasted on the altar of the god of men.
Finally, for Christians and gullible followers who have continued to delude themselves about Suleman’s escape, it is important to take full cognisance of the fact that their beloved pastor will have been a dead man if he didn’t travel in a bulletproof car. It reeks of hypocrisy that he is constantly admonishing them to commit their protection in God’s hands while he commits his, to security aides and bulletproof cars. Following the latest attack on him, Suleman will definitely acquire more bulletproof cars and buy more sophisticated security gadgets, while you continue to pray harder to secure your security in Nigeria where the security of lives and property has almost collapsed.
Lastly, for the individuals who currently work closely with or for Pastor Suleman, it is high time they take precautionary measures because, from all indications, he appears to know something that is capable of putting their lives at risk which hevis obviously not telling them. Nigerians must break away from organised religion to think critically, they have been taken for a ride enough. Suleman and his likes must end their religious gimmicks now!