• Says CAN, PFN, Catholics must protest killing of Christians
By Christy Anyanwu
Rev. Moses Iloh of Soul Winning Church, Yaba, Lagos recently shared his views with Sunday Sun on Pastor Johnson Suleiman’s of Omega Fire Ministries utterances on Fulani herdsmen to his congregation. The octogenarian believes that Suleiman went a bit too far by reacting spontaneously on the basis of provocation by the herdsmen, saying he should be ignored and forgiven. Excerpts:
What’s your take on utterances of the pastor?
The pastor went a bit too far, because he behaved like a human being and he was so angry. The reason I should fault him is because he’s a pastor. If he’s an ordinary Christian, his utterances are normal. But as a pastor he has followers. A lot of people would have taken it in and gone home and prepared and next time there will be bloodshed and everything would escalate. The pastor has spoken out of anger and because he was so infuriated by the sacrilege, he then went beyond the limits of a pastor and Christian. If he was saying all he said the moment he saw them killing people that’s understandable. As a human being, he can so react. It’s also not right as a Nigerian leader. Two wrongs will never make a right. What we need to do as leaders of Christians is to come together and put pressure on the government. We know what the bible says. Even without anything, we can come together and agree to lead a delegation to the government. We can mobilize Christians for the sake of one Christian life; we can ground this government tomorrow morning. Fulani herdsmen have been killing innocent Christians and nothing happens. We could say we are not letting any of them go to work; we are going to do nothing unless you tell us what you will do to the herdsmen and to those who will kill in future. But one of us will hide and go behind and betray the cause.
We can send a delegation and tell them that what is happening is unacceptable. When you take that step, nobody tells a Christian to defend himself. Let the nomads come and counter the spontaneous reaction of human beings trying to protect their own lives. The government must do something based on our organized protest to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore.
Now, they are castigating the pastor, are they right?
He should be forgiven and ignored because he was provoked. He was angry and justifiably angry. He has every reason to be angry but he went too far to advocate revenge. The Bible says you can be angry but sin not. He got too angry and he couldn’t control his emotions; he did what he shouldn’t do. He should be forgiven. He should go back to his church and tell his congregation he said all he said out of anger; nobody should kill anybody.
Don’t you think the government of the day should do something to stop these killings by Fulani herdsmen?
What has the Christian leadership done? What has CAN done? What has the Roman Catholic done? What has PFN done? All the business houses that call themselves churches what have they done? The first protection should be from the body of Christ. They don’t have to call any meetings, since they already have the body of Christ. Say to government it happened once, you did nothing, twice you did nothing, we are asking all Christians to sit at home until we see what you will do about this thing. If Christians are well organized, once the bishops and pastors say it, others will support it. It’s not a question of tomorrow some will go to work, some will say it’s that church that said it and then the members are destroyed. This thing the pastor has done is an error but it should now wake other Christians up to the fact that Christian leadership has the responsibility to do something about their followers as they were killed because they were Christians and not because they were Nigerians. The reason they were slaughtered is because they were Christians, so what are Christians leaders doing? We don’t have to go and fight because we are the organized body of Christ. If we are actually organized, we the leaders will take it to the government and say to the rest that every one of you from tomorrow will not go to work and those of you who have nothing, you go to the church they give you one meal a day.
They knew Christians are soft. Do you know my statistics of those who go to church every Sunday? We have 83 million people who go to church, who call themselves Christians. And they can’t ground this country? You don’t have to kill anybody. If we are the organized body of Christ, this is what we’ll say. We can ground this government and make them come to their senses. All they will do is get angry and they begin to arrest church leaders. Go ahead, lock church leaders up but Christians in Nigeria will not go anywhere. In this country, human life means nothing. They kill people anyhow. Do you know what we see today in Nigeria? One cow is the equivalent of two Christians and nothing happens. That’s the truth. Where are the Christian leaders? Is it by flying in jets and who builds a better house or rides the best cars and all that nonsense? Who is the Christian that we can see? All we are seeing are leaders of Christians. A Christian leader is first a Christian. He is born again, he regenerates but we have leaders of Christians. He’s wearing the cassock and running a big church and he is a cultist, not a Christian. His congregation of 10,000 or more are Christians led by a non-Christian. Do you understand the implication? When Christian leaders meet in Nigeria, we can ground any government. Don’t we have plenty of Christians in the Senate and the House of Representatives and houses of assembly?Can we not stop this mess?