Apostle Johnson Suleman is the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, Auchi, Edo State. It is one of the leading new generation churches in Nigeria today and a Mecca of sort as people from all walks of life throng there for counsel, prayer and healing. The suave but firebrand man of God spoke to us in Lagos about his life, prophecies and relationship with God.
Would you like to tell us more about your recent prophecy concerning the general elections coming up in Nigeria?
There was a prophecy before February 14th 2015 that we didn’t see any election coming up in Nigeria. That prophecy came and passed. Now, on March 28th 2015, we are still not seeing an election. We are only praying that the counsel of God comes to pass. But we need to pray very well for there to be an election on March 28. This is so because we kept seeing the revelation of the uniform men. We kept seeing uniform men on the radar. And you can tell what that implies. Going by what we are seeing, it will take God for an election to hold, and even if an election is held, it will not be free and fair. We are seeing lots of bloodshed.
So, you are seeing crisis, in spite of promises from the government and other stakeholders that there will be peace during the elections?
You need to understand that prophecies don’t generate crisis. They only inform you of what is ahead. A lot of people feel that prophetic statements are being given to heat up the polity, but this is not so. Prophecy is a guide. Only a wise man who hears about the future and hears about an impending doom knows how to line up his life so that what was foreseeing doesn’t catch up with him. APC, PDP, LP or APGA or any other political party is not the issue here, politicians are. Elections have come and gone in Nigeria, but this one, the inflammatory statements, the hate messages involved are what make this election somehow worrisome.
How do you take it when you get hostile reactions at prophecies you give about the government?
Every true prophet is misunderstood and confronted. Major prophets are not always friendly with any system. Not because they don’t want to be friendly but because it takes a system that is sincere to befriend true prophets. True prophets always see things the way they are; their conscience will prick them if they say otherwise. Most times, people in government don’t like the truth. It is not as if prophets just decide to pitch tent against those in government. When some prophets speak the truth, those in government feel offended and they feel it is targeted at them. For instance, PDP is in power at the centre; if a prophet speaks against the PDP, they feel you are with the opposition. And if you speak in favour of the PDP, the APC will feel you are against them. That is the kind of system Nigerian politicians operate. On my part, I usually take it calmly. Anytime prophecies come, people criticize them because what people don’t understand they criticize. So, when I give prophecies and people in government or people on the social media are reacting against it, I don’t say anything. But when these prophecies start coming to pass, I just sit down and watch reactions from the people.
You seem to have gone slightly calm given the fact that your past prophecies were hard on the government of the day…
(Grins)… I don’t think my prophecies have ever been targeted at the government of the day. What I will just say is, when God gives me words, I speak. The present government is not even my friend. Yes, I relate with some people in the APC, and some in the PDP, which is normal. A man of God should not belong to any clique. You can give counsel to anybody who believes in the grace of God upon your life.
Do you have any message for the government this year?
Yes. In my prophecies for this year, I told President Goodluck Jonathan to go home and rest. In the same prophecies, I said I see Jonathan coming to power again and I also warned that if Jonathan knows what is good for him now, he should go back home and rest. This is not about winning the election, but about the level of bloodshed that will come up after the March 28 election if it holds. I’m not speaking for and I’m not speaking against: I speak the counsel of God. Most Nigerians are focused on who wins the election but it is beyond that, it is about what comes up immediately after the election.
I want you to be specific on this particular message. Are you saying that there will be war?
Jonathan will win the election but as soon as he wins, there is going to be a serious mayhem. This is not going to come in form of Boko Haram. Let me be clear now. I see an election being held and I see the ruling party doing their best to maintain power. I see General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) becoming violent and I see him being arrested just like a repetition of what happened to the late Chief MKO Abiola. I see the March 28 election, if it holds, ending up like the June 12 1993 election.
Have you had to face challenges for being frank with your prophecies?
People have this impression that I’m a fighter, but I’m not. But I hate people who are double-faced. I don’t like people who are arrogant and I hate lies. People mis-read me a lot, maybe it is because I’m outspoken. I think the only challenge I have really faced is, when people you trust backstab you. Every other thing, I feel, normally comes with running a ministry. And they don’t hit me below the belt because I know people have been through them. But the only thing that has shocked me is about certain trusted friends who turn their backs to backstab you. These are certain friends in the ministry who know you very well to be a man of God and know you to be for God; but because they are jealous, they go to the press and sponsor stories against you and present you as a mischievous person.
Were you born a Christian or you converted from Islam, considering your surname, Suleiman?
I was a Muslim. My father was an Alhaji, but he is now a Christian. I hail from Auchi, Edo State. I was already a Mallam at the age of 12. I did my Quranic graduation and other stuffs at that age. I was extremely versed in Quran reading and I used to preach in Arabic. I never liked Christians. The impression I had about pastors when I was young was that they were hungry because they would come to beg my father for money. Then, my father was very popular as a politician. He was a local government chairman then which is like being a state governor today. He was also working with UAC Foods then, so he had enough money to cater for his family and to give out. Pastors used to come and beg for money from him, so I was angry and I would be telling myself that, ‘ah these people are hungry people.’ I never knew I would also become a pastor someday.
When did you get converted to Christianity and what was the turning point?
I became a Christian in 1989. On December 24th 1989, which was the Christmas Eve, I slept and never woke up until December 26th. I didn’t see the Christmas day. While asleep, I was seeing hell and many other strange things. When I woke up, I was so worried. I came out to greet people ‘happy Christmas’ and they said I should just go back and sleep that Christmas was yesterday. I now sat back and started recollecting all the things I saw in my sleep and I was scared. One month after, the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa held a crusade, where he said that those who wish to repent should come forward. So, I came forward based on the encounters I had prior to that crusade. In the crusade, he was talking of hell and other things as if repeating all those things I saw in my sleep. In fact, I was scared and I started asking myself, was this man in my dream? So, I came out and repented. That was my turning point.
So, how did you get your father converted?
In fact, my father disowned me when he realized that I have become a Christian. He did not only disown me, he banned me from using his name, Sule. I was actually Sule before I became a Christian but because I was banned from using the family name, I added ‘man’ to my name to become Suleman. And now, everybody in my family is using Suleman (general laughter). Now to your question, I didn’t convert my father, he embraced Jesus himself. It happened that he was very sick. The sickness was so serious that he was at the point of death. He had problems with his intestines, they treated him, but there were no positive results. So, he started crying. And I came and prayed for him, he got healed instantly. As soon as he got healed, he said he wanted to serve Jesus. That was in 2006.
Tell us about your happiest moment in life.
That was when I got married. It was my happiest moment because I was really afraid of getting married because of what I knew about post-marriage. I was scared because I saw almost everyone around me then having problems with their marriages. And my wife has been extremely supportive of my mission so far. Everything about us has been alike. She read Mass Communication like me, she is a preacher like me and she is also into healing ministry like me. So, we are a perfect couple made by God. We are blessed with five good and Godly children. The only difference we have is that she is patient, while I’m not very patient.
What is your ultimate goal in life?
My ultimate goal in life is to fulfill the assignment God has given to me and get a reward from Him, and to meet with Jesus face to face and for Him to tell me, ‘you did well.’
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