President of the Omega Fire Ministries (OFM) worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has continued to make the headlines for the right reasons. Beyond his deftness as a fire-spitting evangelist, the Edo State born cleric is also celebrated for his craving for pursuit of good governance and equal rights for all even beyond his native country, Nigeria, for which he is steadily winning global acclaims.
Now in the place of activist-pastor, Suleman engages both the rhetoric that excites his followers and uses the suasion religion has to place in his followers strong moral fibers. The recent agitation by the Nigerian youths against police brutality and extortion is a perfect case to understand that Apostle Suleman’s mindset about the country’s general welfare is always in the public space. He has never been silent about the social and economic challenges in the country. While his support for the protesting youths was an open subject, the servant of God was patriotic enough to preach national cohesion while the protests lasted.
Reacting to the call for social justice that united both the Muslim and Christian youths at the protest ground where they had their prayers on a Friday and Sunday, Apostle Suleman declared thus: “Those rooting for ethnic bigotry with nepotistic, tribal and separatist tendencies should be ignored, a cry for justice and good governance is not about religion.” Even though he was supportive of their agitation, Suleman did not encourage violent uprising by the youths, neither did he demonize the government by accusing it of sponsoring killers of peaceful protesters. Likewise, he did not use his privilege to set up the angry youths against one another across religious or tribal lines. He simply promoted peace.
Those who follow Apostle Suleman’s development would say he really aspired to be where he is today; he has been a rebel against moral meltdown from inception. He could see its negative impact on every valued institution of the nation. Thus, he set to work via the pulpit by leading his flocks who were in desperate need of direction on the great social issues affecting the country.
What was discovered afterwards was that overwhelming majority of Christians became thirsty for his kind of pulpit ministry, having spawned in many a general confidence and respect that here is a real man-of-God, an authentic preacher, a true prophet who is unmoved or compromised by prevailing modern thought.
Meanwhile, as the protest went rancorous with reports of hoodlums looting and attacking innocent citizens, Apostle Suleman instructed genuine agitators to go on break, for those bent on taking advantage of the good cause were only “administering a cure more dangerous than the disease.”
Looking carefully through the annals of history, one would find that most of the great reform movements that have positively impacted the world’s moral and social structures were sparked by men on pulpits who defiantly raised high God’s banner for right living. Apostle Suleman is a modern day example of that glorious past. It is for this, perhaps, that an anonymous suggests that, “If we could get every pastor in this country to do what Suleman is doing, we could turn this nation around.”