The Ekiti State governor and newly elected chairman of the PDP Governors’s Forum, Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday foiled the attempts of the operatives of the State Security Services, SSS, to arrest a hate preacher, Johnson Suleiman.
The pastor had recently asked members of his church in Auchi, Edo State to kill any Fulani herdsman on sight.
Mr. Suleiman, who was in Ado Ekiti for a two-day crusade that was also attended by Mr. Fayose, was trailed after paying a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House to his hotel room by the SSS operatives in Adebayo area of the State capital.
Reports said the SSS men nearly broke into his room when the preacher alerted the governor who led his security men to prevent the arrest.
“I came to Ado Ekiti for a crusade. But I had a premonition that I was being trailed after I preached that Christians should retaliate any attack or killings by the Fulani herdsmen. These Fulani headmen had turned many Christians to orphans and widowers but the time has come to protect ourselves.
“I received several calls from hidden numbers trying to locate where I am and I had warned my security not to allow any Fulani man to come nearer me. So when the men of DSS came in the middle of the night I knew their mission and I had to call the Governor because if they arrest me, they will put this country in fire”.
Mr. Fayose expressed shock over the incident, saying the preacher should have been formally invited if the service had any issue against him.
“I personally attended his crusade and I think it is wrong for a man of God who is armless (sic) and could be invited if they have any issue against him.
“Are Christians and Moslems under different dispensation of the rule of law? That’s why I went there to rescue him. Let them kill two of us together. But when they saw my vehicles and the crowd, they fled.
“But we have information that instructions came from DSS in Abuja that the Pastor should be arrested. We are not in a fascist state, federal government must learn to respect the rights of Nigerians and freedom of expression.
“This is unacceptable, We are in a democracy and Nigerians should warn the Presidency against putting this country on fire because religion is an emotional thing,” the governor added.