There was apprehension in Jos on Tuesday as youths numbering over 100 resisted the arrest of a radical pastor and the General Overseer of the Evangelical Outreach Ministries international, Prophet Isa El-Buba, `by operatives of the Department of State Services.
Northern City News learnt that the DSS allegedly accused the cleric of delivering an inciting sermon in which he challenged Christians to use their voter cards to vote out “wickedness in government.”
The incident, which happened on Kassim Ibrahim Street in Jos city centre, threw the neighbourhood into a panic when the DSS operatives in their large number moved to arrest the cleric.
When journalists visited the church, the incident was being discussed in hushed tones by the Assistant Pastors, while clerics from other churches visited to solidarise with El-Buba over the incident.
The security agents were said to have laid siege to the church till 11.30pm on Monday, but were prevented from arresting the cleric by the youths.
El-Buba, in an interview with journalists, confirmed the aborted arrest.
The cleric insisted that the killings going on in Nigeria must stop; and that all Nigerians must rise up to ensure that it stops.
He said, “What transpired was that the DSS (operatives) invaded my house and my church premises and wanted to have me on Monday night. They came in their number, including a Deputy Director to arrest me in connection with the cross-over night (New Year Eve) broadcast I made to Nigerians.
“I stand by my words. I am neither scared nor intimidated by their invasion. Why should I be scared when I am saying the truth? Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin brings reproach. I said in my broadcast that the unrighteousness in Nigeria will not do any one of us any good and I stand by it.
“This is because our generation and generations yet unborn will suffer if we refuse to do the right thing. Nigeria is a great nation, but we must uphold righteousness to be able to stand among great nations. So, I have just said that the right thing should be done in our nation, and I do not have anything against anyone.”
The development has drawn wide condemnation from human rights activists and other observers who believe that the cleric’s rights to freedom of expression were being trampled upon by the DSS.