Over the years, the controversial Apostle Johnson Sulaiman has not ceased to curry controversy through his remarks on socio-political issues and prophesies.
First, in the wake of the controversial anti-preaching bill in Kaduna State in April 2016, the founder of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide had a spat with Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, calling him out for initiating such law.
So hot was the spat that the lanky clergy ‘predicted’ El-Rufai’s death.
Not given to such intimidation, Governor El-Rufai dared the cleric to declare the exact day he (governor) would die.
“Of course, I will die. But if that apostle is truly an apostle, he should mention the day I will die,” El-Rufai was quoted as saying in an interview.
Sulaiman’s response was, however, short of public expectation of the reinforcement of his ‘prophesy’ when he said: “The man (El-Rufai) said I should give him the date of his death. You are dead already, ask for the date of your burial. I don’t give dates for death, but I can give (the) date of your burial.”
Next, an attempt made by the Department of State Service (DSS) to arrest Sulaiman on January 24, 2018, during a two-day crusade in Ado-Ekiti, was foiled in a dramatic manner by Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, whose aversion to President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency is not hidden.
The botched arrest of Sulaiman followed a statement credited to him in which he asked members of his church in Auchi, Edo State to resist killings by suspected herdsmen and alleged plot by Buhari to Islamise the country.
Fayose, who had participated in the opening day of the crusade, stormed the hotel where the clergyman was lodged with his security men and prevented DSS operatives from arresting Sulaiman.
Like the proverbial tortoise in Nigerian folklore, Apostle Sulaiman again in May this year went prophetic on the recently concluded Ekiti governorship election as though he was in direct contact with God, saying: ”God told me expressly that APC is finished in Nigeria and you see how God will disgrace them in Ekiti.” With a dose of finality, he added: “They will lose heavily.”
With the turn of events during the Ekiti governorship election, where the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) standard bearer, Dr. Kayode Fayemi trounced PDP’s candidate, Prof. Olusola Eleka, garnering 197,459 votes as against Olusola’s 178,114 to emerge as governor-elect, Sulaiman attempted to rationalise his blunder in a Twitter message/video he posted on July 16.
Claiming that the video containing his prediction was done long before the election, he said: “That video making the rounds was done three weeks ago, before the Ekiti election. I gave a prophecy about Ekiti that I saw PDP taking over, but if PDP in that state do not take care, they will lose it because I saw people gathering to pray against it.”
But the pastor’s remarks on his failed prophesy did not go down well with many Nigerians who immediately called him out on online news sites as well as the social media.
A social media user, Solomon Lemoro, said: “Face saving! It won’t work. You didn’t see anything ab initio.”
“Come see wayo Pastor, said another respondent, Abdullahi Umar Palladan, who chose to write in pidgin.
George Okon on his part wrote: “Doesn’t it feel good when naysayers are made to eat their words for discrediting a honest government like President Buhari’s? Who God has blessed, no one can curse. Positive predictions about Buhari all the way from now.”
Yet another commentator, Wyclef Nzavi, wrote: “No, buddy. You can’t give two possible outcomes and claim it to be prophetic. It’s either a win or a loss, not a game of chances.”