By Tata Mbunwe
Renowned Nigerian gospel preacher, Apostle Johnson Suleman has opened a free food restaurant which he says is meant to feed the poor.
He inaugurated and prayed over the facility in Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria, on Saturday, March 19, when the restaurant first opened its doors.
The gesture, he had said in February, is part of several other charitable acts marking his 51st birthday. He was born on 24 March.
In a video posted on his Celebration TV Facebook page in February, Apostle Suleman had said: “It’s for the poor. If you can feed yourself, don’t come in there. Just eat, go. That’s the right way to use money. Stop throwing money around, feed the poor. This is my life: no matter what I go through I won’t stop helping people. That’s my life.”
He had also said the restaurant, in the meantime, will operate for 12 hours every day but it will soon “metamorphose” to function on a 24-hour basis.
On the cost of the gesture, he said “we are spending six million Naira weekly, 24 million every month. Put all the budget in place, start it to be feeding at least a thousand people every week. Just walk in there, whether you are a Muslim you are a Christian, hunger, listen to me, has no religious inclination.”
Johnson Suleman is a televangelist and the founder of Omega Fire Ministries, a popular Christian denomination in Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He is known for his vibrant preaching and also for his charitable deeds. Suleman is said to have built a hospital where people are treated on a 50 percent discount.
The recent move by the preacher is expected to save thousands of Nigerians who may be unable to afford three square meals a day. Data from the World Poverty Clock reveals that about 70 million Nigerians are living in extreme poverty. This figure represents 33 percent of the country’s over 200 million people.