Popular Nigerian preacher tells church members to kill Fulani herdsmen

Johnson Suleman, Founder Omega Fire Ministries

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!

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  • nd

    I support wat u said my pastor, if other pastors can be bold enough like u

    • Haba mallam

      Bold or stupidity, you kill Fulani, fulani will retaliate and you will suffer like the rest, ask the people of Jos for advice.

      • Oluwavictor Sunday Oluetuk

        SO U ARE PROUD OF FULANI

      • mega choicedstv@gmail.com

        U are a mad man 4 saying dat

    • tundemash

      Why not ask him to kill first before asking others to kill ? Mumu !

  • Olisa Maduka

    This is wrong, there is no ‘us’ vs ‘them’, the way of a Christian is Love and that includes the love of all people everywhere. It is Christ we are following; the same same Christ who prayed that the Father forgive those who were torturing him to death.

    Now I’m not saying we should just keep quiet and take it, definitely not; However, in our society today there are right ways, better ways to seek redress, justice and compel the constituted government to do more to protect lives. We must learn as a nation, but most importantly as Christians, to persist in the right way and even though it may be long, the end thereof will last many lifetimes and the children of tomorrow will be grateful that we did.

    • Benedicta

      I wanted to respond to the fellow “nd” but its best to avoid negativity and hatred. Anyone who promotes killing is not of Christ and does not represent Jesus and his teachings. I like the fact that the bible has addressed almost everything. And the bible has said that its not everyone who says Lord Lord will see the kingdom of God. So, everyone is free to preach, and heal and make prophesies in the name of the Lord but each must be aware that not everyone who does that is known in the kingdom. The Lord advocated for love of neighbors. And he did not say for us to be selective of who among our neighbors we should love.

      Dear Christians, we must learn to rise above ourselves and understand what is required of us of Christs followers. Let no pastor lead you astray with false teaching. It is wrong to ask people to kill especially from the pulpit. It is very unchristian as much as that is what the flesh will desire. Lets learn to live in love and respect of our neighbors

      • Watch man

        Pls I want to ask you, just be honest: suppose two Fulani herdsmen meet you with your loved one relaxing outside and taking fresh air in the evening, and (God forbid) one points a gun at you and the second one cuts of the head of your loved one and then turns to cut off yours, what would you do? Be honest!

    • Watch man

      Pls I want to ask you, just be honest: suppose two Fulani herdsmen meet you with your loved one relaxing outside and taking fresh air in the evening, and (God forbid) one points a gun at you and the second one cuts of the head of your loved one and then turns to cut off yours, what would you do? Be honest!!

      • Olisa Maduka

        If that were to happen I would definitely defend my loved one and myself, no doubt about that. And If I fail in that and I live, I will, by God’s grace, seek justice through the law not vengeance. However, it is another thing to agitate others to start killing Fulani herdsmen who are yet to attack anyone.

        Is it not better to alert the police, hire security personnel or even arm yourself as a last resort to ward off threats if you feel insecure in your environment as opposed using your influence to agitate a multitude along ethnic and religious lines?

        • Watch man

          Thanks for that honest response. Now, if you listened to the full message (which is over one hour) you will understand the context. He started by reading 2Sam.3:33,
          “And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fo0l dieth?”.

          Now, the king lamented that Abner ought not to have died like a fo0l. What happened? In verse 27 Joab took Abner aside to speak with him like a friend and then murdered him:
          “And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother”.
          The king considered that kind of death to be left for fo0ls.

          Now, Abner’s guards were down and he was not even expecting that Joab would kill him, but then Joab murdered him. That is the point.
          The pastor is drawing a parallel here. He was saying, just like you rightly answered, if you were in your house or church or wherever and some Joab (in this case the Fulani herdsmen) meet you when your guards are down, you do not give Joab your neck to cut off. You must make effort to free yourself, at least. This is called self-defense and it is constitutionally recognized. There is a difference between persecution for your faith and wickedness manifested in murdering people. If you are persecuted for preaching Christ for instance that is understable, for you will be sharing in the suffering of Christ. But not when someone just wants to kill you out of hatred; you don’t allow that to happen. This has gone on for too long in Nigeria. It is because nothing happens when these guys murder their fellow humans, that is why they keep going on killing spree. Even the Bible said it, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Eccles.8:11).
          That is the point the pastor was trying to make.

        • otunne steve gofrey

          Which police would you call. where were the police when Fulanis killed over 200 people in Southern Kaduna, Where were the security men that were enforcing curfew imposed by El Nasir Rufia.
          How could killing of that magnitude go unknown under state of curfew if the security men were not involved or looked the other side for Fulanis to accomplish their mission.
          Where is balancing voice on national security issues when all security organs including the IGP were subtly religiously selected to be headed by a section of the country and dominated by a religious sect.

          Self preservation remains first law of nation but do not kill as it is now being done by Muslims and encoraged by the government – only on self defense.

  • Suleiman Alatise

    Wow, what a sermon, an apostle should be preaching the gospel, anyone doing otherwise is an imposter.

  • Smart

    Let him lead by example, so that he can start the killing atleast one fulani herdsman if he is serious.
    By the time this war starts he will be the first to flyout of this and leave behind the gullible listeners to suffer

    • Hah!

      Indeed. The Apostle will surely flee like Jamme of Gambia.

  • Mohd Sageer

    And Security agencies are watching him? Which type of country are we in? When criminals will be hiding under the guise of religion to instigate killing other people? If government did not arrest this useless man and prosecute him i believe by the time Islamic clerics issue the same command there will be no christian in Nigeria again for him to manipuate. What sort of rubbish is this?

    • Alex

      Islamic clerics has already issued their’s and moslems have been carrying out their fatwa on others.

  • Oluwavictor Sunday Oluetuk

    HOW LONG WILL THE CHRISTIANS REMAIN LIKE THIS DIE EVERYDAY

    • zygote

      Keep on complaining, no wonder your same is Sunday.

  • Oluwavictor Sunday Oluetuk

    HOWLONG WILL THE CHRISTIANS REMAINS LIKE THIS DYING EVERY DAY ALL IN THE NAME OF AM A CHRISTIAN IS IT NOT D SAME GOD THAT CREATED BOTH MUSLIM AND CHRISTIANS

    • zygote

      Learn from Israel and stop complaining. Christians are dying because they are lazy. If muslims kill 10 christians, kill 40 muslims and the killing will stop.

  • Alex

    This country is doomed. Only what I see now and in the future is more dead people. What kind of sudo people are we ?we know we don’t like one another but we insist on been one.

  • SamPsalm

    Charlatan. He bewitches people with claims he can tell phone numbers of strangers and see the future – but a small threat from a stranger? He is losing his head. When he could just tell one way or another what tomorrow brings.

  • otunne steve gofrey

    Nigeria heading steadly to implosion.
    Buhari and APC hidden agenda to wipe out Christianity from Northern Nigeria or to continue to subjugate them via coercive force would kill Nigeria very very soon.
    Buhari hidden agenda that made him to hand all security offices to core Islamic Northerners is driving other Nigerians to self realization and that would soon culminate to self defense, as Buhari Northern security officers plus IGP have not hidden the purpose for their selection and by their terms for selection have failed to protect other Nigerians but have turned the other side when None Muslims bleed or are killed..
    Self preservation remains the first law of nature.
    Nigeria under Buhari and APC does not have national security outfits that would protect all Nigerians.

  • Rominiyis

    Religion is increasingly becoming the number one problem of the World. Responsible directly and indirectly for many deaths. Boko haram in Nigeria an example. The Sheha crisis in zaria just recently. There are also uncountable unintended deaths attributable to it. All the power attributable to it did nothing to stop this deaths.
    There is no doubts that it is responsible for a lot goods but most of it is coerced, fear or out of reward expectations. Many con artist have infiltrated its leadership and used it’s resources to enrich themselves and control multitudes the attributed religion power unable to do anything about it. Why for example will a church collapse and killed it’s innocents flocks.
    There is definitely a supreme spiritual power unexplained by science but it’s questionable if it’s manifmanifestation is in religion as practiced today.