YOUTHSÂ numbering in their hundreds in Jos, the Plateau State Capital thwarted an attempt by the State Security Service (SSS) to arrest the General Overseer of the Evangelical Outreach Ministries international, Prophet Isa El-Buba on Monday night.
The security outfit is also self-styled as the Department of State Services (DSS).
HEADLINE recalls that the cleric had criticised President Muhammadu Buhari- handling of the herdsmen violence and called on his congregation to be ready to vote against the president in 2019.
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, according to Northern City News.
The incident happened on Kassim Ibrahim Street in Jos city centre.
El-Buba, in an interview with journalists, confirmed the aborted arrest.
He said he was preparing for a midnight service when the DSS stormed his fellowship headquarters.
He also he refused to honour the invitation because, “the invitaton was not authorised in writing”
-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 demanded for a letter of invitation and was not given, so I became suspicious of their mission in the night to my office,” he said.
The cleric also said as far as he was concerned, he had done nothing wrong to warrant his arrest. He insisted that he would continue to preach good governance at all levels of government no matter the threats from security agencies.
-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- rights to freedom of expression were being trampled upon by the DSS.