Following the call by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, who has called for the arrest and prosecution of Nigerian Pastors preaching that Christians should pick up arms against Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who have continued to attack and kill them.
His call came on the heels of an alleged attempt by operatives of the Department of State Security, DSS, to arrest Apostle Johnson Suleiman, of the Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, in Ado-Ekiti, at about 1 am, on Wednesday.
The arrest which was reportedly foiled by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, was sequel to a recent preaching by the Cleric, that Christians should retaliate against incessant brutal killings, by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen.
Suleiman’s preaching came following the reported killings of over 800 Southern Kaduna Christians, by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen, and other similar attacks across the country.
A recent video that went viral on the internet, also quoted Bishop David Oyedepo, of the Winners Chapel, calling on members of his church to spill the blood of any Muslim fanatics who attacks them. He went further to call on God to break up Nigeria, if it was His will.
Although, the church denied that the video was not new, and was not in respect to the Southern Kaduna killings, it however did not deny the Bishop making such call.
Many other Pastors across the nation, have also warned that Christians in Nigeria will no longer watch the Muslim attackers in the name of Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen, kill them without attacking back.
However, speaking at the opening of a two-day Conference organised by the International Dialogue Centre, an inter-governmental organisation that promotes dialogue to build peace in conflict areas, the Sultan called on the Federal Government, to ensure the arrest and prosecution of people who preach and promote hate speeches in the country.
The Conference was supported by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, IPCR, in collaboration with the Inter-faith Mediation Centre, IMC.
Accusing those preaching hate speeches of causing friction between Christians and Muslims in the country, he said: “While we pray for peace and dialogue, preachers of hate must be reported to the security agencies.
“Therefore, we must work hard for peace, and live in peace and harmony. All of us believe in dialogue, that is why we are here. Some of us are outside Abuja, and we have to travel long distance to be here. This shows what we want peace, because violence, killings, are contrary to the teaching of our Holy books.
“We are not here to teach ourselves the holy books, but to use them appropriately. We must tell ourselves the truth; we must collaborate with authorities to deal with those who don’t want peace.
“I have not lost hope in this country; I have never lost hope in my relationship with Christians.
“If you did something wrong, I will call you and advise you. We must continue to show love as our religion ordered us”, he said.