Apostle Johnson Suleman, president and founder of Omega Fire Ministries, is reputed for his fiery preachings and blunt but precise prophecies. But there are other sides of this minister of the gospel who has made Auchi, a hitherto sleepy town in Edo State, where his church headquarters is a located, a mecca of sort for politicians, captains of industry and notable Nollywood actors. Apart from his prophecies which are mostly on target, Apostle Suleman, despite his radical and tough mien, is also a very soft and compassionate person. According to one of his church members, Chibuzo Chukwu, “We look forward to our Sunday worship because apart from blessing our lives spiritually, Papa also ministers to our welfare through monetary assistance and other gifts”.
He cited the example of a few weeks back, during worship, when he asked all the intending Youth Corp members to come out for prayers. At the end of the day, 254 persons came out, and after blessing them with prayers, he ordered that they should be given N7,000 each, which translates to about N1.5 million.
According to other OFM members, among those who came out were Muslims and even non members of the church. “Papa does not discriminate as he treats everyone as a human being”. Apostle Suleman is described by his members as a chronic giver. “He gives as if giving is the only way of life. On that particular day that he gave money to intending Corp Members, he was blessed with a RAV 4 which he gave to one of his photographers, and as the God of host is wont to do, on his way back from the photographer’s house, he was given two cars as gift”, Chukwu added. The preacher has be giving out cars to members for the past ten years without fail. Since 2004, he has allegedly given out over 200 cars, YES INTERNATIONAL! was told. Why does he not make public all these donations which are more than what certain notable philanthropists give and make noise? “Apostle Suleman believes he is carrying out the directive of his father and does not need to show man his efforts. He is accountable to God”, a close aide explained. One of his most celebrated programmes is the weekly feeding of 120 widows. Meanwhile, he recently commissioned his personal home in Auchi. The palatial home which has a helipad, a sumptuous swimming pool, games village, etc is reputed to have cost about N400 million and was allegedly furnished with over N800 million. The house opening witnessed the presence of two African Heads of State.
Even the Otaru of Auchi (Alhaji Aliru H. Momoh) while declaring the house open described it as the most beautiful house in Edo State. The palatial home is sitting pretty on about an acre. With an intimidating gate and spacious compound, the roof is corrugated. Marbles and tiles were professionally united, both inside and outside. Exotic automobiles ranging from Range Rover Sport to G-Wagon Benz, Toyota Highlander to Toyota Cruiser adorn the compound, which also has some portions of it designated as staff quarters. Coated majorly in cream and brown colours, the water fountains, flower pots and interlocking stones were still enjoying serious attention while we were filling this report. One of the biggest and richest pastors in Edo State, Suleman, according to legend, was visited in Benin, from Warri, Delta State, by some men at birth who requested to see him. According to them, they had a message for him from God. The men who said they were prophets told his parents that he would grow up to become a renowned prophet whose good works will resonate far and near. Being Muslims, the parents didn’t particularly like that. But during his secondary education in Auchi, the prophesy started taking shape. Then, on June 20, 1994, a revelation came to him – with Acts 10:38 as the focal point. On April 29, 1998, he joined the Armour of God Church in Lagos as an Assistant Pastor. The church was located then at No. 2, Ireoluwa Street, Oke-Ira, Lagos. On February 1, 2000, he was mandated to begin his own ministry – Omega Fire – and ever since he’s been moving from glory to glory.
NB: First published March 2014