The founder of Omega Fire ministries, Johnson Suleman, in a sermon given at his church’s parked auditorium called for the killing of Fulani herdsmen.
The controversial Evangelical preacher, who caused a stir last year when he declared that the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, will die for his plan to pass a law restricting public preaching, in a video footage told his congregants that he was told of a plan by Fulani herdsmen to attack his convoy and shoot him.
It is unclear when the video was recorded but the preacher’s reference to the recent crisis in Southern Kaduna suggests the sermon might have been given any time within October 2016 and January 2017.
“Somebody called me on phone and said: ‘are you alone?’ I said yeah. He said I want to talk to you. I said what is it. He said there is a plan to send Fulani herdsmen after you. I said after who? He said after me. He said why are you saying okay? He said I’m telling you to be careful. I said careful of what? He said they are going to run into the road like herdsmen and cause some confusion and when your security men are trying to clear them, clear them, you will come out and the will open fire. I said Okay,” the cleric said.
The Auchi, Edo State based pastor, added that the same person called him about two weeks later to inform him that herdsmen have now planned to attack his church premises.
He said after the he received the call he instructed his “people” to kill any Fulani herdsmen they see around the church, to loud cheers of approval from the congregants.
Apparently spurred by the noise of approval from his followers, he escalated the call for Fulani herdsmen to be lynched.
“I have told them in the church here that any Fulani herdsman that just enters by mistake and want to pretend, kill him. Kill him. Cut his head. If they are busy killing Christians and nothing is happening, we will kill them and nothing will happen, he said pumping with emotions.”
The cleric made reference to the communal clashes in Southern Kaduna, where hundreds of people have been reported killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen saying no one has been prosecuted for the killing.
The preacher also accused Nigerians from the north of the country of being in control of the country’s security agencies. He wondered how Boko Haram members were able to escape from jail when pro-Biafra agitators are in prison.
He suggested that a state of emergency should have been declared in Kaduna State for the killings but for Mr. El-Rufai.
When reached for comments, a spokesperson of the church, who gave his name as, Pastor John Okafor, said he cannot give comment over the phone and that this reporter should travel to the church headquarters in Auchi, for answers to questions posed to him about the video.
Below is a transcript of the video:
I have not told my wife. I will tell you this. Yesterday she was telling me something and I walked away. She didn’t know why I walked away. I was battling between telling her and not telling her.
Somebody called me on phone and said: ‘are you alone?’ I said yeah. He said ‘I want to talk to you’. I said what is it. He said ‘there is a plan to send Fulani herdsmen after you.’ I said after who? He said after me. He said ‘why are you saying okay?’ He said ‘I’m telling you to be careful.’ I said careful of what? He said ‘they are going to run into the road like herdsmen and cause some confusion and while your security men are trying to clear them, clear them, you will come out and the will open fire.’ I said Okay.
After about a week, two weeks, he called me and said, ‘if they don’t do that they might bring them to come around church premises.’ I said it is okay. Are you the one they are after. I said it’s okay.
And I told my people, I said any Fulani herdsman you see around you, kill him. (cheers from the congregants). Yesterday she was talking I just keep quiet because you know women there are things you don’t tell them.
I have told them in the church here that any Fulani herdsman that just enter by mistake and want to pretend, kill him. Kill him (more cheers from the packed church).
Cut his head. If they are busy killing Christians and nothing is happening, we will kill them and nothing will happen (more cheers).
I said I’m not going to talk this year, so let me not talk. Am I talking to somebody here. ‘Apostle why are you saying we should kill somebody?’ Didn’t David kill Goliath? Was that spiritual?
Many people in Kaduna are now widows. Many are now fatherless. Many are orphans because some people think they own power. Kill them. Am I talking to somebody here? Are we Christians? Yes. Are we believers? Yes? You can’t be widows, you can’t be widowers because of some devilish people that say they have a religion? Now they are shouting Biafra wants to go, Biafra wants to go. Why won’t they want to go when you think that the north own the country. Every security, every position is from the north. Very soon south-south will start their own and say they want to go. Let’s leave your cattle for you.
We have lawyers here. We have some lawyers in the crowd. There is a lawyer here. 212 people in Kaduna are dead. Nobody is prosecuted. Not one. River State election, few people died now there is a panel of enquiry because it is South-South. In a state, when 50 people died they will declare a state of emergency. Two hundred and two people died and one short devil that calls himself a governor is moving about and no state of emergency. They caught a Boko Haram member, before we woke up they said he has escaped. Escaped! And Biafran agitators are still in prison now and they have not escaped. But Boko Haram members Escaped!