Founder of the Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, will be visiting the office of the Department of State Services (DSS) today, accompanied by 30 lawyers.
Suleiman was invited last Friday to report to the DSS office today over alleged “inciting statements” he made.ý
Suleiman is expected at the DSS headquarters in Abuja today at 10:00am.
“Suleman will be appearing before the DSS with about 30 lawyers because we believe that his persecution has become politicised,” a church source told newsmen, yesterday.
The church’s Communications Adviser, Phrank Shaibu, also confirmed that the pastor will honour the invitation.
He said: “Yes, I can confirm to you that he (Suleiman) was officially invited and as a law-abiding citizen, he will honour the DSS invitation on Monday. The invitation, though ludicrous and an afterthought, is a welcome development.”
This comes after the security agency made an attempt to arrest the cleric in his hotel room in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The pastor, who was in Ekiti for a two-day crusade that began last Tuesday, was alleged to have been preaching against Islamising Nigeria, and asked members of his church in Auchi, Edo State, to resist the killings by criminals suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, who he alleged of targeting Christians for decimation.
It would be recalled that the cleric had asked his followers penultimate Sunday to kill any Fulani herdsmen who threatens them.
The attempt to whisk away the cleric was foiled by Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, early last Wednesday following a tip-off.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has warned the Department of State Services (DSS) against alleged plan to detain and subsequently charge to court the General Overseer of The Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleiman.
The governor also alleged that there were plans to invite and charge the General Overseer of the Winners Chapel Ministry, Bishop David Oyedepo, on Wednesday, alongside Suleiman for incitement and attempts to cause public disorder.
Reacting to the development, yesterday, Fayose said the plans to humiliate these men of God and as well silence them to create fear in other people that may speak against heinous crime against humanity being daily committed by criminals would be counter-productive.
He wondered why killer herdsmen were being shielded by the Federal Government that would rather persecute those speaking against them.
The governor advised the government and the DSS not to go ahead with these plans as it would heat up the national peaceful coexistence.
He said, “No herdsman or mastermind of the Kaduna killing has been brought to justice till date.
“The federal government should pay attention to the economy they destroyed and revamp it and safe Nigerians of the hunger ravaging the land.”
Similarly, the Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC), Delta State, has warned the Department of State Services (DSS), to rescind the invitation order on the President and Founder of Omega Fire Ministries, Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, to appear before it today, over his comment on the genocidal killings of Christians by Fulani herdsmen, saying, “it is an invitation to anarchy.”
FRHRACC, in a statement at the weekend by the National President, Alaowei Cleric Esq, urged the DSS not to stoke religious crisis in the country with its move to browbeat the fiery cleric.
It asserted: “The botched midnight arrest of Apostle Suleiman and his subsequent invitation by the Department of State Services (DSS) is a clear witch-hunt. The move by the DSS to arrest the man of God just because he expressed his feelings on the marauding invasions of the Fulani Herdsmen against Christians in the country is a clear attempt to murder freedom of speech, apparently to engender religious bigotry.”
“DSS should not stoop so low to venture into such dangerous journey, which end will only help to create religious crisis. Our Constitution forbids placing one religious practice above the other ones,” the group said.
It added: “Despite the genocidal killings currently going on in some parts of the country, which has being perpetrated by the now sacred Fulani ethnic-religious warlords, the DSS has not invited any of the Muslim leaders in the country for interrogation. Nothing is more inciting than the DSS’ plans to suppress Christians from exercising their constitutional rights.”
“Handlers of government institutions should be careful of their actions in order not to plunge the country into an anarchic end. Nigeria is a secular country governed by a Constitution. The DSS should not turn itself to an arm of one religious body in the land to perpetrate religious crisis,” the group warned.
“Nigeria belongs to both Christian and Muslim faithful in the country and so, no Christian leader should be made the scapegoat for expressing his feelings towards the Fulani herdsmen’s brigandage.
“We pray that the DSS should not by act or omission instigate religious crisis between Christians and Muslims in the country. We are calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the DSS to rescind its decision on Suleiman,” the group asserted.
RSG To Clamp Down On Illegal Private Schools …Approves Amendment Of State’s Education Law ….To Provide Stiffer Penalties, Sanctions On Breach Of Govt Policies On Education
The Rivers State Government has taken concrete steps to check the illegal proliferation of sub-standard private schools, with the consolidation of two extant laws in the state.
Addressing journalists after a State Executive Council meeting presided over by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Rivers State Commissioner of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, said that the state government would continue to improve the quality of education in the state.
He said: “Council today approved the amendment of the Education Law in the state by consolidating Rivers State Education Law Cap 47, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria (1999) and the Rivers State Education Private Schools Law Cap 48 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria (1999) under one legislation.
“This is to provide for stiffer penalties, sanctions to prevent the breach of government policies on education as contained in the extant laws.
“Council took this decision to check the present situation of indiscriminate proliferation of private schools in the State without compliance with basic requirements with respect to standards, curriculum, content and facilities.
“The overall goal is to ensure the development of quality education in line with the New Rivers Vision of the present administration.”
The council approved the dissolution of the Petroleum Monitoring Task Force in the state.
The State Executive Council advised members of the Public to stop dealing with the dissolved Task Force.
The Rivers State Executive Council warned motorists against indiscriminate parking of vehicles in front of Port Harcourt Mall.
He said henceforth, motorists who park in front of the Port Harcourt Mall would be sanctioned.
The commissioner stated that the Rivers State Executive Council appealed to residents of Port Harcourt to bear with the state government on the ongoing construction of three flyover bridges and other roads.
US To Place Visa Restriction On Nigeria, Six Others …We Won’t React To Speculation -Presidency
The United States President, Donald Trump, is set to add Nigeria and six others to a new list of countries on America’s visa restriction, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
According to the report, Nigerians would not be barred from entering the country but would not be issued with certain types of visas.
The Trump administration plans to roll out its expanded travel restrictions on Monday, marking the three-year anniversary of the initial travel ban Trump signed on his seventh day in office, sparking controversy at the beginning of his term.
Unlike the initial travel ban list of 2017, most of the new countries don’t have majority-Muslim populations.
Several of them, however, have had relatively higher rates of their citizens overstaying visas in the US, according to DHS data.
The report reads in part, “The Trump administration plans to add seven countries to a group of nations subject to travel restrictions, including Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, along with others in Africa and Asia, according to administration officials who have seen the list.
“The new restrictions would apply to travellers and immigrants from Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania. The countries wouldn’t necessarily face blanket bans on travel to the US, but could have restrictions placed on specific types of visas, such as business or visitor visas, administration officials said.”
Nigeria could be on the list because it has a high rate of persons overstaying their visas.
In the 2018 fiscal year, 24 per cent of Eritreans on business or visitor visas overstayed their permits, along with 15 per cent of Nigerians and 12 per cent of people from Sudan.
Those compared with a total overstay rate in the category of 1.9 per cent.
According to WSJ, some countries could be banned from participating in the diversity visa lottery program, which awards green cards to people in countries with low levels of immigration to the US.
Trump has called for an end to that programme, saying it lets undesirable people into the US, and he has proposed reorienting the existing visa system toward skilled workers instead.
Nigeria had already been barred from participating from the lottery programme over six years ago.
The officials said the list isn’t final, and last Tuesday, the White House was still debating whether to include one or two of the countries.
The Department of Homeland Security didn’t respond to request for comment.
The State Department declined to comment.
The administration has said its policy restricting travel is necessary to prevent potential acts of terrorism, as countries on the list don’t adequately vet their travellers to the US.
The first order, which banned travel to the US by most residents of seven majority-Muslim countries, was struck down by a federal court and withdrawn.
Going Too Far…
In his first broadcast to Nigerians after his longest stay away from the country on medical vacation during his first tenure, President Muhammadu Buhari used this expression “going too far…” The issue was that during his absence there were some agitations to rekindle Biafra, restructuring, etc. So, it became necessary to warn such agitators that they were going too far. Nigerians had expected in vain to hear their President say something about his prolonged health vacation and other matters relating to it, but something else was more important.
Perhaps, some well-meaning Nigerians may not be going too far in drawing the attention of the Federal Government to certain issues that should be of concern to a responsible leadership. Two of such issues were raised in The Tide newspaper, Wednesday, January 8, 2020, namely: “Nigeria Now Fulani Republic” (Page 6) and “You Are Fanning Embers of Civil War, Kuka Tells FG” (Page 7).
Alaigbo Development Forum (ADF) condemned the recent Federal Government’s Visa Free Policy for Africans. Chairman, Central Planning Committee of ADF, Dr. Onyi Gbiyie, called for thorough examination of an alleged January 13, 2018 call by National Movement of Fulani in Nigeria, “for all Fulani in Africa to prepare, get armed and come over to Nigeria for an immediate and inevitable Jihad 9war) ,“ Has this a connection with the Visa Free Policy for Africans?
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kuka, was quoted as saying that “The Federal Government is using different methods to achieve the same goal of Islamic dominance…” He went on to say: “if the people in power don’t do enough to integrate Christians, then they give oxygen to Islamism. If they have countries where everybody in power is Muslim, then you give vent to the idea that Islam should be supreme.”
In the Guardian newspaper of August 27, 2009, one Edwin Madunagwu wrote as follows: “if the ruling classes and blocks continue to behave as if Nigeria is their property and Nigerians are their slaves – to exploit as they wish – and if popular – democratic and Pan-Nigerian forces cannot remove them from power, then a fate worse than disintegration will befall us.”
It is a historical fact that religion is often co-opted and used as an instrument of power hustling and influence peddling. Those who pursue such strategy for political purpose rarely go too far before they encounter bitter challenges. Neither can a peaceful and stable polity come about through subterfuge.
It does not require the crafting of a bill on hate speech to reposition Nigeria or get maximum support of Nigerians. Neither should the settlement of the Fulanis in diaspora take some clever forms that would create some animosity in the country. Those pursuing such projects by subtle means would not go too far before they would encounter oppositions.
Why was it considered expedient to disburse the sum of N100 billion to the Miyetti Allah group by the Federal Government, when Ruga project could not fly? Similarly, why was IPOB considered so dangerous to warrant declaring it a terrorist organisation, while repentant Boko Haram terrorists are being re-cycled into the Nigerian armed forces?
Did the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) go too far by asking “how many Christians are heading any of the security agencies in the country”? Or did a former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, go too far when he raised an alarm about possible moves to Islamise and Fulanise Nigeria? Surely, a man in that position must have some reliable intelligence reports to be able to make such a weighty allegation.
If there is anything going too far in Nigeria, it is the joke in some quarters that Nigerians have become so gullible, malleable and docile that they can be recolonised. It is true that the military laid the foundation during several years of intervention in politics, but it would be false to assume that a state of docility can remain so indefinitely. One may not be going too far to ask if the nation’s armed forces are truly neutral, nationalistic and democratic in temperament! Also include the security apparatus.
To go too far is to do things in excess and cross the line of decency with impunity. Political chicaneries and religious zealotry can be taken too far when compulsion rather than conviction becomes a means of winning the minds of people.
Even the Holy Quran stresses this issue of a free volition, saying: “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects evil and believes in God hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.”
The origin of the “Arab Spring” began with the use of compulsion and intimidation to win popular acceptance. It was a proof of the truth that taking the docility of the masses too far and the use of the instrument of intimidation, can be counter- productive. There come a time when the merchants of power can run short of ideas and when prevailing tools of coercion can no longer perform magic. It is usually then that the deficiencies and hidden agenda of power holders can come to light. Things would fall apart!
The issue of one group taking an undue advantage of another group considered as weak, docile or conquered, can create instability in society. Be it in economic, political, religious or a combination of many forms, domination is a factor that raises tension. It is quite worrisome that the issue of resource control in Nigeria is not being seen as the basis of social justice. The use of “gun-boat diplomacy” of which the Ken Saro-Wiwa saga is a reminder, would not always be a winning streak.
A highly placed elder statesman said that the treatment given to Niger Delta people should not be taken too far. Those who lead others should go far enough to feel the pulse of the mases.
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