From the Archives: ON APOSTLE SULEMAN: WHAT AILETH THEE O DSS?



Preamble
  1. Two wrongs don’t make a right
  2. Regardless of the validity of reasons, war and violence do not represent a better alternative. If in doubt, consider Syria.
  3. The Security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of Government - Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria


Let me emphasize from the onset that this is a speak-the-truth-to-power piece and there will be no attempt to be politically correct because we can do nothing against the truth but for the truth. However, I do worry that the main person that needs to hear this truth has a persistent ear infection (pun intended). I therefore plead with those that have his ears to relay this message to him verbatim, they should please remove the garb of sycophancy and say it the way it is to him. This is our collective public service.

Apostle Johnson Suleman of the Omega Fire Ministries recently made remarks about the killing of herdsmen if they come near his church due to the report he got earlier from a friend that they are planning to attack him. Expectedly this has generated a lot of controversies. The Department of State Services recently attempted to arrest him in Ekiti. This was resisted. If the Buhari led government have been up and doing, there would not have been any need for this brouhaha in the first instance. Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that "The Security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of Government".


By happenstance or perhaps not, since this present administration began, the Fulani herdsmen have been emboldened, killing and causing mayhem across the length and breadth of this country. The best that has been done is to issue statements and life goes on. While we may be quick to caution our religious and political leaders to be careful not to make sensitive statements, let us also be quick to ask this government for accountability regarding the provision of the constitution that guarantees our safety and welfare. Are these herdsmen ghosts or witches on broom with Harry Potter kind of skills such that the Nigeria Police force, the officers of the DSS or even our military cannot apprehend? How come there has been no single arrest or conviction since this madness intensified under this present administration? Is the life of a cow worth more than that of a Nigerian under this administration? Would it not have been fantastic if the DSS can also move swiftly to arrest the herdsmen the way it trailed the Apostle to Ekiti? Once upon a time, as a perpetual presidential aspirant, President Buhari once said “If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’’ why didn’t the DSS invite or arrest him then for that sensitive statement? These are questions begging for answers.

This is my submission; regardless of the Apostle’s statement, when senseless killings and violence against a people by another people linger unabated with laughable statements culled from prepared templates by the government as the only response, eventually, the theory of self-preservation and balance of terror will perpetuate itself. This is the bitter truth and this is an expected end. The President must therefore resume from this ill-timed albeit entitled vacation to confront this malady headlong. As human beings, intrinsic self-preservation instincts lead to self defence from perpetual attacks, this eventually engenders the balance of terror. This ensures that both parties have equal respect and/or disdain for each other knowing that an offensive action will lead to an equal and opposite reaction. Nigeria will not get to this point provided we have responsible and capable leadership and our preachers and other men of influence will not need to burden themselves with balancing the truth and political correctness when they are compelled to make statements on the state of the nation. President Buhari’s primary Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is found in Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (The Security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of Government). Has he met it? Every morning he wakes up he should ask himself this question and not listen to sycophants around him that may be telling him all is well.


On a last note, no Nigerian should be above the law, not even the President for this is what guarantees justice and fairness therefore regardless of status and magnitude of followership, when the state invites anyone, that invitation must be honored. No one should overtly or covertly display any air of self-confidence that gives the impression that he is above Nigeria or when he is arrested Nigeria will burn. On the other hand, the men of the DSS can do better next time and act more professionally. They should have formally invited the Apostle rather than storming Ado Ekiti to arrest him Gestapo style. This is 2017 and not 1984.

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