DSS Attempt To Arrest Apostle Suleman In Ekiti, Fayose Rescues Him To Govt. House (Photo+Video)

Unconfirmed reports have it that last night, a team of DSS operatives stormed a hotel in Ekiti in an attempt to arrest the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleiman.

It took the intervention of Governor Ayo Fayose and his security team to rescue the self styled apostle and bring him to the Ekiti State Government House.

It is believed that Apostle Suleman’s attempted arrest may not be unconnected with his recent “inflammatory” statement, asking Christians to pick up arms and kill Fulanis.






Kill any Fulani herdsmen around you – Apostle Suleman (See Video)

Those were the exact words of General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman during one of his church service.

Watch below:

Suleiman who had a running battle with Kaduna state governor, Nasir El Rufai, after the governor gave an order that churches in his state must obtain license from the state before they can preach told his congregation while preaching last Sunday January 15th, that someone called him to intimate him that there is an alleged plan to send some Fulani herdsmen to kill him.

He says he has instructed his security officers to kill any herdsmen seen around him or around his church premises.

“Somebody called me and told me that there is a plan to send Fulani herdsmen after you and I said ok and the person said I should be careful and I said careful of what. He said the herdsmen are just going to run into the road like herdsmen and begin to cause confusion and while your security men clear them and you come out, they will open fire. I said okay. After about a week, he called me and said please, if you don’t do that, they might bring them to come around church premises. I said its okay. And I told my people, any Fulani herdsman you see around you, kill him. I have told them in the church here, that any fulani herdsman that just entered by mistake, 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

They may poison Aisha Buhari next year – Apostle Suleman

As 2016 comes to an end, many Nigerian religious leaders have been bringing up prophecies that are meant to be earth-shaking.

One of such predictions stated that the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, risks being poisoned by “Aso Rock forces.”

According to the President of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle John Suleman, in his 50 prophecies for 2017, Aisha must be wary for her life.

Apostle Suleman, in a statement issued by his Public Communications Advisor, Phrank Shaibu, said some ‘forces’ in Aso Rock were planning to poison Aisha and that the same ‘forces’ will alienate vice-president Yemi Osinbajo.

The prophecy states that the “Aso Villa forces” will make attempts to remove Osinbajo from office, but they won’t succeed.

The Apostle also said that “God will humble Buhari in 2017;” and that Mr. President will be bereaved in 2017. He did not elaborate, however.

A summary of the prophecies, with focus on Nigeria and the world at large, is as follows:

  1. I see terrorism on the increase
  2. Federal Government of Nigeria should not relax yet on Boko Haram. It’s a deception.
  3. Buhari to face impeachment threats.
  4. America and China to have major face-off
  5. Crude Oil to flow in Northern Nigeria.
  6. Abuja to experience major fire explosion.
  7. Donald Trump to face impeachment attempt as members of congress are divided on his style of leadership.
  8. I see an airplane that has Nigeria’s logo (national carrier)
  9. Things will pick up a bit in Nigeria but hunger will persist.
  10. I saw people crying over Bamanga Tukur
  11. Buhari will be bereaved in 2017.
  12. Ecobank, Diamond, Fidelity, GTB to retrench staff.
  13. President Buhari’s health needs attention.
  14. 2017 budget will have crises.
  15. More judges to be humiliated.
  16. MMM to dupe more Nigerians and I see court cases.
  17. Dollar to exchange for N615.
  18. Recession in Nigeria to become depression in 2017
  19. MTN and Glo to face hardship.
  20. A former First Lady of Nigeria needs prayers over her health.
  21. Forces in Aso Rock planning to poison current First Lady (Aisha Buhari)
  22. I saw huge number of Chibok girls released; some of them with kids
  23. Nnamdi Kanu’s detention to cause international crises. God is angry with Buhari for the continued detention.
  24. Donald Trump to favour Israel. American Embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem.
  25. Liberian election: CONTINUITY.
  26. Ghana’s new president to send many to jail.
  27. Buhari and Senate to have crucial disagreement.
  28. Nigeria’s Budget will be delayed.
  29. I see killings in Ekiti.
  30. EFCC to come after National Assembly members in Nigeria in a politically motivated arrests because of their refusal to confirm Magu.
  31. I see kidnappers entering schools.
  32. Nigeria will lose a great man of God and the New Year is when the Nigerian government will fight the Church like never before.
  33. Some terrorists will be arrested in Lagos.
  34. Traditional rulers indicted and arrested for corruption.
  35. Lufthansa, Dana Air, Ghana Air, Aero Contractors… I see staff protests.
  36. America to have financial crises.
  37. A serving cabinet minister in Nigeria will die.
  38. Nigeria to secure foreign funds.
  39. Doctors will embark on strike in Nigeria.
  40. A new mega party in Nigeria will swallow up APC.
  41. I see a new leadership for the APC in Nigeria.
  42. I see the DSS being taken to court.
  43. France, Spain, Russia to pray against train going off the rail.
  44. I saw a huge school building collapse.
  45. Nollywood to pray. They will get help but will lose two major people. The Yoruba movie industry too; but prayer can avert it.
  46. Fulani herdsmen again! Taraba, Benue, Imo and Jigawa states.
  47. Kogi State to organise state prayers to avoid major deaths and natural disasters.
  48. Edo State; major celebration but pray against road crashes.
  49. I see presidents being removed in Africa, I see presidents being installed.
  50. Two times, Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, will face removal from office. They will alienate him and they will make attempts to remove him. But God will humble Buhari in 2017.

Apostle Suleman says Fayose is a “rebel with potentials”

Apostle Johnson Suleman of the Omega Fire Ministries International, has described governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, as “a rebel with potentials”.

Apostle Suleman said this in a statement on Tuesday ahead of a major crusade in the New Year, hailed Fayose as a man of the people.

Part of the statement reads: “I love rebels. Rebels with potentials are my friends. I see the governor as a rebel with potentials.

“if one has enemies, it shouldn’t cause him anger; it is because of what that person carries. A star attracts both the good and bad.”

Suleman disclosed that as part of his visit, he will pay a courtesy visit to Governor Fayose, during which prayers will be offered for peace and development in Ekiti State.

Osinbajo will face intense removal from office next year – Apostle Suleman

The founder of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle John Suleman has said his prophecies for the year 2017.

Suleman cautioned citizens of African nations to ‘sit up and sit tight’ for he perceives God’s hands coming into the affairs of Africa, especially Nigeria and Ghana, in the New Year.

“I see presidents being removed in Africa, I see presidents being installed,” said Suleman while ministering at the just concluded ‘Fresh Fire’ revival which held at the new Lagos headquarters of his ministry, OFM.

“Two times, Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, will face removal from office. They will alienate him and they will make attempts to remove him. But God will humble Buhari in 2017. And the New Year is when the Nigerian government will fight the Church like never before,” he said.

Ondo Election: I Advise Mimiko Of PDP Defeat, Apostle Suleman reveals

Apostle Johnson Suleman  of the Omega Fire Ministries in Auchi of Edo State, has called on political leaders at all levels to always listen to words of God and messages sent through His servants for the nation and her people to progress.


Suleman  made this call during a Sunday service in his church where the new Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, visited for Thanksgiving. He also disclosed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would not have lost the guber election in the state if governor Mimiko had listened to him.

The cleric, known for his accurate prophecies and humanitarian services, said this at the back-drop of the just-concluded governorship election in Ondo State which ended the administration of the incumbent PDP.

According to Suleman, the PDP would not have lost the governorship to APC if its leaders had heeded his 2014 divine message at the palace of the Akure king to seek God’s face in future elections.

“PDP ignored God’s warning. I warned them, especially through the governor, Mimiko, when I had a crusade in the palace of Deji of Akure in 2014. I gave the governor God’s message that the party should seek God in its future activities and it’s leaders must go on fasting and praying, otherwise its reign will end in another election.

“The record is there. I specifically told Mimiko when he visited me in the company of his party leaders, where I told him that God said he will be governor for a second term. I said God is ready to terminate your party’s reign, except you pray and fast for a number of days.

“They ignored the warning. It was on the second day of that crusade that God revealed to me that a new governor with initials AK had been prepared for Mimiko’s seat,” he said.

The cleric, who on December 10, 2016, would be leading a pack of Gospel music ministers in the maiden edition of an evening of miracles, importation and divine restoration aptly tagged, ‘The Amazing Grace Jubilee Night of Praise’ which at the headquarters of the church, charged Obaseki the governor of Edo state not to disappoint those who elected him

God fights for Christians, other religions fight for their gods – Apostle Suleman

Controversial  preacher and founder of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has lamented the hardship in the country as a result of the current economic recession.


God’s Oracle, as the Auchi-based preacher is fondly called, said things are going from bad to worse under the current dispensation, adding that only those who are close to God will enjoy despite the untold hardship in the nation.

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The apostle condemned some religious fanatics who kill people in the name of fighting for God.

According to him, any god that cannot fight for himself should not be worshiped.

He said, “In Christianity, our God fights for us, but in other religions, they fight for their gods. We do not look for trouble but if you trouble us, we will trouble you.

“Naturally, human beings are meant to stay together by default but when there is no peaceful harmony altogether, it might be difficult.”

Speaking on the current situation in the country, the outspoken cleric said, “the only thing that is constant on earth is change. Change may be for the better or for the worse, whichever one, it is change.”

“In my opinion, a real change in Nigeria should be that: There were no job opportunities before for graduates but employment opportunities are everywhere now.

“Roads were very bad before but all road networks are good now. Government functionaries were looting the treasury and corruption is everywhere before, but no more looting of treasury and corruption now.

“We used to import nearly everything before including toothpick but our country is now a producing nation and that our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased.

“People are dying before because of inadequate health facilities but things are improving now because there are well equipped hospitals now etc. All these would be a change to me.

“As for how Christians can enjoy change in truth is by following after righteousness in truth which exalt a nation including Nigeria, according to Proverb 14:34.”

Just recently, the man of God affirmed that there’s no hope in the current government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Fani-Kayode denies message to christians, Apostle Suleman

Former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, has denied reports that he sent a message to Christians and Apostle Johnson Suleman, General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International.


A statement by Jude Ndukwe, his media aide, said: “This is to inform the general public that the purported message making the rounds that Chief Femi Fani-Kayode wrote a certain message to Christians and Apostle Suleiman from detention is not true.

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“That message was part of a long and systematic plot by mischief makers, his traducers and detractors to continue to discredit and malign his person and character, and cause disaffection among his friends, associates and supporters.

“We therefore urge members of the public to disregard that message and treat it as non-existent.”

Below is the purported message Femi Fani-Kayode allegedly wrote:

“God willing am in custody of EFCC. But to me is a great time to commune with God just the way Paul and other brethren did in their days. I am here not only because my party gave me money to campaign for them like every other politician even in APC.

“But if it might interest you to know,what is going on is the persecution of Christians. Before I forget,this message should be taken to apostle Johnson Suleman the founder of OMEGA fire ministry.

“I had a revelation that they are planing to attack him because he is one of the major voice crying out for justice in the body of Christ. The Muslims are out to persecute the Christians. I am here under custody because the likes of Kabiru are not comfortable with my position as a Christian. God willing,the dark age will soon be over.

“They refused taking me to court to defend my civic right. They want to keep me for the next 4 years. But they don’t know it is dangerous. I now have time to pray more, study more, and even meditate.

“Before my arrest, Lai Mohammed offered me an amnesty if only I decamp to their anti-Christ party. I refused because I know who I am. No man can cover your sin for you. If am guilty, I will surely come out strong. This is not just anti-corruption fight. Where are the PDP governors and leaders from the North? They are walking freely today.

“This is a fight to pocket the voices of Christians. A situation where an officer picked offence on me for relating with my God through the name Jesus. He threw my bible to the floor today. If it where to be the Quran,will he do that?

The head of who did that would’ve been at the gate of Aso rock by now. So many secret plots to eliminate top politicians and pastors who are Christians is on going. Tukur was right when he raised alarm that, a meeting was held in Dubai to overthrow Jonathan by all means.

“Part of what they discussed at the meeting is what Aregbeshola and El-Rufai are displaying in their various states. I am not an infidel and I will never be one. I am a man of dignity. I will not stop fighting even here in prison. I am the John the Baptist of my generation.

“I will not keep mute and watch anti-Christ imposing policies that are not religious friendly. What has bible got to do with my case with the EFCC? Why are they keeping me here when we have a competent court to prove if am guilty or not? I am blowing the whistle now for Christians to go on their knees.

This was how i warned my brothers against Sheriff whose mission is to destroy the PDP and give room for Buhari to install one party system.

“We gave them opportunity to be opposition. Why are they depriving us such right if they don’t have interior motive. A democratic system without vibrant opposition is said to be dictatorship government. God willing,i will be alive to witness Nigerians glamouring for referendum like what took place in great Britain.

“And such referendum will tell if we truly saw the future under president Buhari’s government. Arresting Kayode is the greatest achievement they’ve achieved. But for me,God used them to keep me here,in order to prepare for the challenges ahead. Today is pregnant. Let’s see what tomorrow will deliver.

They were not elected to be permanent. They have maximum 8years to stay. And is already counting. Thank you all for your prayers. –Femi Fani-Kayode”

It is not a crime to acquire private jet, says Apostle Suleman

Fiery preacher and founder of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman has spoken on the allegation that he acquired private jet.

Suleman said though it was not a crime to own a private jet, provided it would propagate the kingdom of God, but that he had none yet.

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He said he was recently given a private jet but he had to return it after he discovered that the way of the giver was not pure.

Speaking with Newsmen, the Auchi-based prophet said he was not against men of God flying private jet.

He said, “it is no crime for a man of God to have a private jet, if it is meant to reach the world faster in spreading God’s mission. But I don’t have one yet.

“The truth is that, I was given a private plane as a gift about one month ago. But God told me that the giver was not pure. So I rejected it. You may have seen the pictures of the jet on the internet.

“In fact, I collected it. But when I prayed over it and found out that the source of the giver’s wealth wasn’t sincere, I politely turned it down.”

The Apostle that said I will die should mention the date – El-Rufai says over Preaching Bill

Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor in an interview with select journalists, speaks on the proposed religious preaching bill, face-off with trade unions, among others

How has it been since you assumed office?

elrufai apostle

I want to say it has been an interesting and successful journey and we are grateful to the Almighty God for His intervention in the state which led to our election. I know we got elected because the majority of the people of the state wanted a change as the way things were going was not acceptable to them and that was why they all came out to vote for us. We are very grateful.

I never expected that running a state would be very different from being a federal minister. I thought that running a state would be the same as running the Federal Capital Territory but I was wrong on that. I have seen that things are quite different and more complex.

One of the challenges we are facing in this state is that everything seems to be politicised or “ethnicised” or “religionised”. A very simple problem that can be discussed and resolved by logic and facts becomes converted into issues of ethnicity and religion and so on. Thus, these are some of the challenges we have to face but we are doing the best we can.

As far as governance is concerned, we have addressed frankly what we felt were the issues; first low revenues. In the first month we got here, we got about N5bn from Federal Allocation but in the last two months, we got N2.8bn each. Thus, even from the time we started to now, there have been massive changes, but we are taking steps. We knew that all things are scanty and we need to do some things. That is why, from day one, the deputy governor and I have decided to give 50 per cent of our salaries as our contribution because we are going to ask public servants to make similar sacrifice.

We also reduced the size of government; the number of commissioners has been reduced from 24 to 13. It was all in an effort to cut cost. We inherited 38 Permanent Secretaries, but now we are operating with about 18 of them. We are looking at Ministries, Departments and Agencies that have similar functions and merging them just to cut cost. This is because if your revenues are collapsing, you need to cut your cost. We are reducing the length of convoys; the governor’s convoy had 21 vehicles, but now, we only have five or six cars that go out with me and they are all essential. I don’t go out with the ambulance because I don’t expect to drop dead anytime. This is all in the bid to reduce the cost of running the government.

In some states, the battle of salary alone has incapacitated the government. But in this state, we pay salaries. Yes, there are issues, but on the whole, we have done pretty well.

Education is an area we want to revive. We inherited 4,225 primary schools in Kaduna state. We were told that 1.2 million pupils were sitting on the floor; we saw that virtually all the 4,225 primary schools had no windows, doors and seats in their classrooms. No toilets and roof. We found out that pupils had to go to the bush when they were pressed, girls could not come to school when they were menstruating because there was no water. We had to take school as a priority and we started working by renovating them. In some classrooms, we had 200 pupils for classrooms that were built to accommodate 40 pupils. We can’t do anything immediately because we can’t build classrooms overnight but we are serious about correcting it. We need to make our children like going to school and that is more important than anything. And we said one of the things that this administration wants to do is to eliminate the almajiri system in Kaduna State.

What measures are you employing?

The first thing is to ensure that there is an incentive for children to go to school and that is the logic behind the school feeding programme. We want children to go to school and look forward to something. Secondly, the first 100 months of a child’s development is when his brain develops, when he has adequate nutrition. So, there is also the nutritional aspect to it. Thirdly, we decided that we wanted to take the burden of giving the children pocket money every day off the parents. We could not start it immediately because we had to do a lot of planning to minimise the problems. Then, we said we would fix the existing classrooms as they were those were the doors, windows, roofs and what have you.

Another thing we want to do is to improve teachers’ quality. We got a report that 38-42 per cent of our teachers are not qualified to teach and we can’t throw them out overnight. We want to give them a period to train and upgrade their skills but we intend to have good teachers in our primary and secondary schools.

We are making progress on all fronts. In our boarding secondary schools, we have enhanced money for their feeding so that they can get better quality food and we conducted an experiment of taking out the feeding from the hands of the principals and contracting it out to restaurants and caterers. This is because when you give the principal the money, you are making the principal a cook. He has to go and organise food from the market and that is not his job. Using Queen Amina College as an example of where we have started, the students are so happy because the quality of food has improved. We are spending N180 per day on each student. We are even looking at improving that if our finances increase.

We are taking steps to block loopholes in salary payment by requesting every employee of the state to open an account with a Deposit Money Bank so that they can have a Bank Verification Number. You cannot cheat on the BVN and that is the final thing that we are doing and I am very grateful to the public servants of Kaduna State for their patience because they have gone through this over and over again. After all this verification and the real staff have been separated from the ghost workers, the people in account and personnel will remove the real staff and put back the ghost workers again just to cause confusion. It is a continuous battle because those that created these ghost workers are beneficiaries of huge amounts of money every month.

Why the persistence on the issue of salaries?

We have had issues with payment of salaries not because we don’t have the money like other states, but because of arrangement issues.  People in the system have been sabotaging our efforts. I don’t want to go into details but we have set strategies to deal with that. Another area we have a big problem with, is the local government payroll. Their records are much worse. We sorted out the state’s much earlier because those people that complained that they had not been paid salaries were mostly teachers and local government employees.

We are focusing now on the local government. We are doing a census of teachers so that we can know for sure who our teachers are. We are deploying technology to know if the teachers come to school or not. By God’s grace, before the end of the year, many of these issues will be sorted out and things will begin to work better. One thing that we know for sure is that we need to employ more teachers.

Is there a time limit to the ongoing verification exercise of workers?

The reason why I don’t want to say when it will end is practical. First of all, as an employer, you need to check the numbers of your employees from time to time and it is normal. It does not mean that after this verification exercise, we will stop or not do it again. Our hope is that the verification will uncover all the loopholes. We are dealing with crooks and staunch criminals that don’t want to give up the revenue from the ghost workers. So as we block one area of abuse, they open another.

 Last week, the Trade Union Congress and the Nigerian Labour Congress expressed worry over a form that was designed by the state government asking workers whether they intend to be members  of the unions or not. Why did you decide to make unionism optional in Kaduna State?

When we came into office, I wasn’t paid for three months. When I finally got an alert of three months’ salary, I asked a very simple question, ‘Thank you for the pay, but where is my payslip, since it is normal to have a payslip that will show you your basic salary and allowances, deductions for tax and any loan and so on?’ It took about three to four months before the Accountant General could organise our payslips. Thus, because of the absence of payslips, if the money they paid a worker last month was higher or lower than that of this month, then there was no explanation for it and there would be problems.

A worker complained that N2,000 was deducted as union dues from his salary. Imagine if all workers had such complaints; we have 87,000 employees in the state and local governments. It is a lot of money when you multiply N2000 by 87,000; you will have almost N170m. We called the unions and asked why the deduction and they told us that it was automatic. In fact, I asked why the government should be collecting check-off dues for trade unions? Do we charge them fee for collections? Thus we asked the Attorney General to go and check the law and give us an opinion. She came back and said it was compulsory for every employer to deduct union dues and remit to the union; as was the law. But she went on to say that the membership of the trade union was not automatic but voluntary. We then invited the trade unions and informed them that we would not be deducting the money of our staff until we know those who were members of the union and those that were not.

Personally, I would support trade unions. However, the law is clear; you have to legally declare that you are a member before we can deduct your money. That was how our argument with the TUC and the NLC started.

There is always a need to have a boundary between the union and the government. These are some of the things we are battling with. It is not that we are against the unions, but we are just doing the right thing. The unions are very supportive of us. Throughout the verification exercise, they stood by us and we appreciate that but that does not mean we should do what is unlawful or what is wrong. We met with them when they complained about this. They said the law made membership of the union  compulsory. We asked them to write us and quote the section of the law that said that and they never came back.  I think when they checked, they discovered that the Attorney General was right.

This is the basis on which we said that in the final verification exercise, we would have a box and ask workers to tick the box if they were members of any trade union or not.

After we printed the forms, the unions sent in their representatives who asked why we did not make it a negative question. Something like, ‘tick the box if you don’t want to be a member of trade union.’ I would have been happy to do it but we had already printed a hundred thousand forms and they had cost us a few millions. My point is that we try to accommodate everybody in the framework of the law.

How do issues get political and ethnic colouration in your state?

This is something I find both disturbing and disappointing. In any argument and situation, if you have your facts and you are right, you don’t need to refer to religion. Religion doesn’t win arguments for you. What I have found in life is that the moment a person introduces religion in any situation, I know they are wrong because if you are right, have facts and can justify your position, why bring God into it? God will judge us on the day of judgment. People only revert to religion and ethnicity when they have run out of convincing arguments. What I find in Kaduna State is that people can bring religion into everything. I think more than any state in Nigeria, Kaduna state has suffered more in terms of religious and ethnic divisions and that should be a lesson for us but what I found out is that the elite have one weapon and that is religion and it is sad. But, unfortunately for them they have not studied me. If anyone has studied my career at the FCT, they would know that playing the religious card with me will fail all the time, because the moment you play that card, I know you are an adversary that needs to be put down and I will not look back until I am done with you.

One of your policies that has generated a lot of controversy is the religious preaching bill. What does the government want to achieve when it becomes law and how are you going to tackle the anxiety that it has generated among the people?

Kaduna State, more than any state in Nigeria, if you take out the Yobe, Borno and Adamawa axis,  which suffered from Boko Haram insurgency, has suffered the most from death and destruction of property due to misuse and abuse of religion. More people have been killed in Kaduna from the words that people have said. And if you go back in history to when the Maitasine incident happened; he was a Cameroonian that came to Nigeria and started preaching. The Emir of Kano had him deported back to Cameroon. After that, he managed to smuggle himself back again and continued preaching. He was preaching a version of Islam that was intolerant, a version that called other Muslims pagans and so on. But in spite of what he was preaching, he acquired followers and we all know what happened. Military operation had to be mounted to flush them out. Those that escaped from the Maitasine crisis moved to Borno State and started the Kalakato sect, which again led to many deaths and destruction in the early 1990s. All these came from people that were not trained in religious matters, people that woke up and started preaching and acquiring followers and inevitably their sects grew in large numbers to threaten communities and there were clashes.

That was also how Muhammed Yusuf started. He was a student of Sheik Jaafar Adam in Kano. They fell out because Jaafar felt that some of the views he was expressing were extreme and intolerant. He went and started his own sect and we all know what happened and we are still dealing with it.

Thus, when you have such things happening in your country, I think as leaders, we have to sit down and examine ourselves and the society and see what  we can do to prevent it.

In my opinion, it is the lack of regulation of religion that led to all these circles of death and destruction. Just recently, we had the Shi’ite problem in Zaria, following a similar pattern.

I believe that before you start preaching in any religion, you should have gone through a system of education, training and some kind of certification. Even those that deal with the physical life get certified, let alone those that deal with the spiritual life. We initiated this bill from the Kaduna State Security Council, based on reports of new sects emerging in Kaduna State.

Are there recent cases?

There is one around Makarfi called Gausiyya, they do their Zuhr prayer around 11am, different from other Muslims. This is how this thing starts and if you don’t resolve it quickly, it grows into something else.

A woman in Makarfi said Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was speaking to her and sick people started going to her for their healing. The husband of this woman was busy collecting N1,000 as consultancy fee before people could see his wife. We had to take steps to end that movement because before you know it, people would start coming from far and wide and this woman would become our next problem.

It was the report of two or three of these that compelled us in the security council to ask the question, whether or not there was a law that regulates preaching. Then we were told there was a law; since 1984 after the Maitasine problems, the administration   passed the law. It was subsequently amended several times to increase the fine and the imprisonment term. This is a living problem and we know it. Christian priests, the ones I know, go to seminary and spend so many years there, study under a more experienced Reverend to learn what to say and what not to say.

Religious leaders don’t preach hatred; they preach peace, tolerance and love. But today in my religion of Islam, anybody can wake up and start a sect; there is no control. In those days, from Islamiyya School, if you chose that line, you needed to study more books. After that, you would go to the East (Borno area) for more studies and training. Then from there, you would go to a mosque and begin to call people to prayer before you become an imam in any mosque. Before you became an imam of a Friday mosque, the community must agree that you were well learned and competent. But now, everyone can build a mosque, put up loudspeakers, call himself an imam and start disturbing people at night.

A priest that has gone through thorough teachings and training would not go and ask people to cause trouble and kill each other. They are trained men of God. In Christendom today, we all know that some people would drink something overnight and wake up the next day and claim they are apostles, that God had spoken to them. You could not disproof that because you were not there with him and he would start to collect followers. When he begins to preach hatred, what can you do? Is it the society we want? This is the question. The logic behind this law is to strengthen the 1984 laws so as to regulate and ensure that those that are given the opportunity to preach at least know what they are doing, they have a level of responsibility to develop the society rather than divide it. This is our goal; we don’t have anything against any religion or anybody.

What about freedom of religion?

Some people have argued that there is freedom of religion, of course; Section 38 is very clear: We must not have a state religion, every Nigerian is allowed to practise their faith or even if they  do not have any religion  at all. However, those that are quoting Section 38 of the constitution conveniently forget Section 45 which says that you can regulate any human right if it would affect the right of others. You can practise your religion but you can’t do it in a way that abuses the right of another. There is nothing in this law that is not in conformity with the constitution, or there is nothing new about it other than expanding the scope and after we sent the bill to the House of Assembly, I saw an article that alerted us of what we did not include: Blocking of federal highways, but that is in the Penal Code. It is good to have put it there because every Friday you see most mosques blocking roads. Why? We had to call them to a meeting to have a system that police would be there to guard and also control the traffic. In my opinion, this is a law that we need not only in Kaduna State but almost all states in Nigeria and I want to assure you that, I just came back from the National Economic Council meeting, and a handful of the governors asked me to send them our own law because they thought they also needed it in their state. Everybody is watching to see how we will handle our own. We sent it to the state assembly in October 2015 because some people are saying we sent it because of the Shi’ite problem. No! It was the state assembly that kept on looking at it and saying this one ‘na hot potato’ until now. But, on a very serious note, we don’t have any ulterior motive other than to put a framework that would ensure that Kaduna State people live in peace with everyone practising their religion and disallowing every Tom, Dick and Harry to come and say he can preach.

What will be the major role of the government in this?

We do not regulate as such, we have formed two committees that would issue the licence. It is not the government that will issue the licence. It is a committee of Christian umbrella bodies and Muslim umbrella bodies. We will just have an inter-ministerial committee to be checking once in a while and be keeping records because we want to know who is preaching here and who is doing what there. For us, the reaction was just disproportionate and many of the people that are talking about the law have never even read it. If you read that law, it is very short; it is 16 sections. I tell people who disagree with the bill to read it and tell me what they don’t like about it. Don’t tell me you don’t like the entire law because we know we have a problem and I am the governor and I need a solution. Don’t say the solution is not to have the law; we need the law but tell me what you don’t like, then we can discuss it. We want to find a solution that brings peace. We are not fixed in our position, what we are fixed about is that Kaduna State people must live in peace and everyone must be allowed to practise their religion without hindrance. We took an oath of office to do that. Apart from that, every other thing can be discussed. Are you telling me it is okay for someone to put up speakers in the night and start making a noise, be it Islam or Christianity, disturbing people? Is that okay? Which chapter in the two holy books says that Jesus or Muhammad (SAW) did that. Are we not trying to copy them? Are they not the perfections of both our religions? Jesus said, ‘Give to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s.’ Government is the Caesar.

We have informed the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam that if they have problems with any section, if there is anything to be done, and if they don’t want the government to be involved, we will remove it, but they must regulate.

What is your take on the assumption by some in the state that hold that the bill is aimed at stopping the practice of Christianity and Islam in the state?

I have not seen anyone talking about Islam actually. Most of the people that say I would die, as if I would not die, are people who call themselves Christian clergy. Of course, I will die. If that apostle is truly an apostle, he should mention the day I will die. There is nothing in that law that prevents or infringes the practice of religion. It seeks to ensure that those that preach religion are qualified, trained and certified by their peers to do it. And some sections of the media have made it as if the law was drafted against Christianity. It is most irresponsible and I have nothing to say except to leave the matter to God.