Apostle Johnson Suleiman is the General Overseer and Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministries (OFM) and President of Celebration TV, Auchi, Edo State, and he’s also known for his accurate prophecies across the country and beyond.
In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly a couple of days back in Ikeja, Lagos, the brilliant clergy dissected Nigeria’s situation and much more…
The Nigerian economy is getting worse by the day and Nigerians keep lamenting. In fact, Nigerians who voted for change are now regretting their action. As a prophet of God, what is really happening?
Let me start by painting this background that when you start anything on a wrong foundation, it becomes a big problem. For instance, you know that the foundation of a building determines the height it goes; President Muhammed Buhari is confused, he is very confused.
In 2012, Buhari was against subsidy removal, he saw it as a scam and now in 2016, he removed subsidy. This is something you didn’t believe it existed. President Buhari still sees Nigeria with the eyes of 1984. In 1984, the government controlled the economy of Nigeria but now, the economy of the nation is with the private sector. The Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), control the nation.
So, when you come with the consciousness that your agenda is to tackle corruption, corruption… there are other things to handle. You don’t operate leadership with a one-agenda mentality. So, what he did now is to block the inflow and outflow of money into the country, which is what controls the economy and creates employment. Let me ask, how much is minimum wage? So, when you block their inflow and outflow and a man puts in $50, 000, he gets a call from the EFCC, CBN, because they think he is a thief. The man will have to think of going to Ghana to do his business. So, Buhari crippled the private sector and they have to relocate.
I hear some people who are talking about the economy and they are shouting budget. No, it’s not about budget. If you understand the economic laws, you will know that even when the budget is passed, seven months into the next year, it can still run, it can still run on the outflow of the previous budget of the other year but now, we have a problem where the president does not understand the economy at all and those around him are not telling him the truth.
Do you know that in Bayelsa now, people sell their children to feed? A woman went to the market to buy something and handed her child over for sale. She told the woman selling food stuff that she was coming but she never did. After much wait, the seller had to tell the child to take her to their house; on getting home, they met the woman cooking the food for other three children.
The woman had to respond to the seller that the child with her had to starve so that she could feed the other ones. When the police were invited, they were touched that they wanted to pay. It’s that bad. Like I said during my crossover service, we don’t need change and if we need change, then what are we changing to? Are we changing from good to better or from good to worse? I want to tell you that PDP is a fraud, APC is a scam. People came with the mentality of change and now, no one is talking.
Do you know that part of the APC who are leaders are staging a protest against their party soon? One of them spoke to me and he said that the highest that will happen is that they will take the leadership from him. We have a president who is an evangelist. Today he is here, tomorrow, he is there and you criticized this same thing during the previous government.
Buhari is fake, I have no personal issues with him but I don’t like lies, I hate people deceiving others. Sometime ago, I was in Sweden and I was listening to their campaign on phone.
All I was hearing was change, change and change; I asked myself, is that their agenda? Yes of course, Goodluck Jonathan was not good in leadership but is there nothing more to be done? When Buhari took over, I gave a prophesy that in few months, Nigerians will stone Buhari but unfortunately, Nigerians took me up.
Some insulted me on the internet that I don’t want the good of Nigeria, but the same people are revisiting those things and they are saying, oh, how we wished we knew because we have a president whose agenda is corruption, corruption… I want to ask a question because I have found out that, that is the reason most people queued behind him but is that the only virtue for leadership? What about creativity and understanding the economy? Every day you are shouting that you don’t like corruption and you are catching thieves.
If we wanted a man that will only be catching thieves, we would have voted for the Inspector General of Police (IGP). To me, it’s senseless.
Today, we started prayers but I told the church that I warned them not to vote at all; yes, I know it’s their civic responsibility but we are in a point in Nigeria where the person who is contending against the incumbent is worse and you can’t be taking side with two criminals.
Sir, with the situation on ground, is there hope for Nigeria?
Yes of course, there is hope for Nigeria because God is still on the throne. God is our hope. Though the country is in a critical situation, God is able to turn things around and that is why we are praying, organizing prayer summit and championing the campaign that all Nigerians should be on their knees crying to God on behalf of the nation. Though there will be casualties because certain people will want to maintain the status quo, they must be booted out. What we need now is prayer and not roundtable, no. Let me shock you, they held a national conference, but do you know they will hold another one but nothing will still come out of it?
Check those at the helm of affairs of the APC or the centre, they don’t know leadership. They all have dossiers of corruption; if you want to fight corruption, start with your own people and not handpicking. Like I said, they have made business hard for the private sector that controls the economy and the men have pulled back their funds and Nigeria is grounded. There is hope for Nigeria if we can pray. Don’t forget that our president is a dictator, the court has freed Kanu but he’s still in prison.
When you make yourself bigger than the judiciary, then there is trouble in the land. In those days, the judiciary was the last hope of the common man but today, the story has changed. You can see selective vendetta. In Nigeria. When I speak like this, people think that you are against somebody but that is the problem because we don’t know how to separate issues from people and that is a lay-back mentality. So, APC’s ambition was just to take over power but the interest of Nigerians were never at the centre.
As a prophet, with what you have said so far sir, this means God is not happy with Buhari. Are we seeing a change in leadership soon?
By the end of the year, by the grace of God, God will be speaking to us concerning the new year and if there is going to be change, we shall let you know. But like I said, the immediate problems are what we are handling now, and we need to pray because when we talk about austerity, poverty and those travelling for business meetings in China and the rest of them, can I shock you? They will disappoint him. It would have been better he looks at the challenges of Nigerians, and use the money being wasted to solve them.
Does that mean Buhari is not God’s choice for Nigeria?
Nigerians chose Buhari and not God. Let me tell you this, at times, God can allow you choose what you want. There was a time in the Bible that people wanted Saul and everyone was chanting and praying for Saul, Saul, Saul…and the coming of Saul was very dramatic, you would think God had a hand in it because he was the tallest and at the end of the day, when Saul started dealing with them, they regretted their choice. Your child screams ‘I want ice cream’; out of pressure, you may give him. You may have even warned him that it will cause diabetes but he won’t listen.
Buhari is the sugar Nigerians have taken and now we have become a country that is diabetic. You won’t understand my pain. I am not critical, it’s when you take care of people that you feel the pain. For instance, I have 300 widows, I pay them every month. Whether I eat or not, they must eat. I have 160 students in polytechnics that I pay their fees and about 92 students in the universities. When they come and say, daddy, I need transport to school, and you are giving them times three of what you used to give them and check that out, why won’t you scream? I have a television station, Celebration TV, where I am watched by almost half a billion people, so I don’t need popularity, I am known all over the world, I was a journalist, I have written over 80 books, I have antecedents.
So, I am not saying this because I need popularity. No. It was not this bad. Is it that when people were stealing money things were good and now we are recovering and things are bad? I don’t understand the irony of the whole thing. I can say it again, there is no hope in this government except on God. I heard the Minister of Labour and productivity, Chris Ngige said that Nigerians should be patient for the future, can I ask? Is it a man who is dying of hunger, starving that will see the future?
In Nigeria today, the level of poverty is rising every day? Every Thursday, aside the monthly salary, we distribute rice to widows and we have been doing this for seven years, we have never missed any Thursday but for three weeks, the money we spent is triple of what we used to spend because rice has gone up. I don’t have a company and neither do we print money.
The truth is this; God will not forgive the present leadership because Nigerians trusted them. Nigerians hoped on them and there is nothing as painful as hope dashed. In the time of Goodluck Jonathan, nobody abused him because they didn’t have hope in him, but today, people look at Buhari and they shake their head because they don’t even know what to say to him. Recently, I learnt that even the Northerners, his own people don’t want to hear anyone mention his name around them. I see his ministers resigning, and this will be as a result of frustration.
What is your take on the insurgency caused by the Fulani herdsmen?
There is nothing like Fulani herdsmen, it’s all fake. Those behind it will soon be exposed. In the first place, who armed them? AK-47… look at Boko Haram, it’s not yet over. What they want to achieve is to put the nation under siege, place Nigeria under the Northern fear. There are people behind them. Now, people were killed in Enugu, Aba, who was prosecuted? When the president was told, he said we shouldn’t worry that in 15 months, all these will be over. So the Northerners are free to kill and kill till then? That was the response of a leader. Nigerians walk on pillars. Abroad, their strength is their right but in Nigeria, our strength is the godfather. Everything happening is political.
What’s your take on the Biafra agitation for freedom?
The Igbo cannot even rule themselves, they should go and sit down. There is IPOB, MASSOB, you can see that they are already having division. You have not been able to rule yourselves and you want to rule a nation, it’s not possible. They should forget this agenda and seek relevance and not creation of a nation. Biafra is dead and buried. It’s now a mind-set. It’s not achievable because the real people who would have fought for Biafra are no longer in existence.
A lady recently came to your church and later alleged that she was asked to pay for miracle. How did you deal with that matter?
That was a ridiculous claim. It was a setup and an attempt to blackmail God because we speak His word. We later discovered that a Lagos-based prophet was behind the blackmail attempt. But rest assured that we serve a mighty God, so, small situations and circumstances would not move us.