The fiery founder and general overseer of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman, is arguably one of the most talked about persons this year in Nigeria – a country, where religious schism and ethnocentrism have continuously gorged hard to the abysmal depth of moral sanity.
The outspoken prophet gained prominence earlier last month after a video – that went viral – surfaced where he revealed that he had ordered his security aides to kill any herdsman found around his church premises.
The inciting comment was met with outrage from a section of Nigerians in the social media community.
Apparently unwilling to cringe or cower to the backlashes that ensued after the comment, Apostle Suleman averred that he made the remark on the back of information received on a plot to assassinate him.
The development led to a ‘foiled’ – middle of the night – raid by detectives of the DSS in Ekiti State to arrest him.
DSS operatives had stormed the hotel where he lodged after a crusade, but Suleman quickly reached out to Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti state, who intervened on his behalf.
Subsequently, the premier agency invited him, and he honoured the invitation, after which he commended the security operatives for their “professionalism
In a detailed report, The Cable reveals to us some of the things we probably did not know about the fiery prophet.
He Was Born Into A Home Of Parents Practising Different Religions
He was born in Benin, capital of Edo state. The date of birth of the preacher nicknamed: ‘The Oracle’, is unknown. His father was a Muslim, while his mother, a Christian. According to information available on his church’s website, some prophets came from Warri in Delta state to Benin a few days after he was born. They were said to have come with a message from God, and the message was that a prophet who would minister in God’s presence had been born.
His father rejected the message because as a Muslim, he did not see the possibility of his son leaving the fold. His parents disagreed on a number of issues, which eventually led to their separation.
He Joined An Occultic Group
The separation of his parents had a negative effect on him later in life. Suleman said the craze for acceptance made him take to cultism.
“I was a dignified cultist. I am from a home of separated parents. My parents had some issues. Any child from a home like that is bound to fall into the streets,” he said.
“So, I got into school and I wanted acceptance somewhere. Someone told me that there is something called brotherhood and that I would be accepted as a family member and I liked it. I didn’t know there was a beating part and being taken to the bush.
“I didn’t like that. But you have to go into it. What I always avoided then was the assignments. I was just like a floor member. I would go to meetings and when assigned to do something and I couldn’t, I had to look for someone to do it and pay for it. I was not really happy but I was there.”
In an interview with Encomium, Suleman spoke on how his mother, a retired police officer, tried to instill discipline in him and his siblings.
“My mother laid down the rule that you must be home by 6 pm. If you come home at 7pm, she would open the door for you. Then, she was in the police force,” he said.
“She would open the door and spray teargas into the room. That’s where you’d be locked up and you’d be battling till the morning to breathe. She was very tough. You can only think of getting out of the room if you can find your way to the door. It was a horrible experience.
“But now, I am happy that I went through that training. She had instilled discipline in us but then I didn’t like my mother. When I went to my father’s house, we were free to do all sorts of corrupt things. As a young Muslim, I finished my Quran and did my Wolima.”
He Hated Christianity
The influence of his father rubbed off on him, as he hated the religion upon which his fame now lies. Suleman said his youthful experience caused him to dislike Christianity. He thought many Christians were not sincere. Seeing the pastors collect donations from church members without accounting for the expenditure was a turn-off for him. But that was to change in 1989.
“I went to bed in December 24, and I woke up on December 26. I didn’t see Christmas day. I slept all through. In the midst of that, I was seeing hell, heaven and a voice told me that I was going to be a preacher,” he said of that experience.
“I woke up and went to meet a Mallam and he said I should go and do some recitations. But when I went back, I felt beaten.”
Suleman established his church in 2004, with its headquarters in Auchi, Edo state. The church is said to have more than forty branches across the world.
Photo credit: His Facebook page.