The General Overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has said his statement that COVID-19 should not end because he was prospering was a mistake that slipped out of his mouth.
The clergyman had made the statement as seen in a viral video, adding that he bought his third private jet during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, "In COVID (pandemic), I bought a jet; the third one. I have three. I was praying for COVID-19 not to end because I was resting. While people were complaining, my wife asked, 'Can life be this sweet?' Am I talking to somebody here?
The statement attracted criticisms from Nigerians who expressed their displeasure on social media platforms.
Addressing the backlash that trailed the statement, the clergyman said the video was edited by a fellow pastor who posted it against him while delivering a sermon to a congregation.
"There's a video that is trending about me. A pastor posted it against me. It was a programme I had in Abuja and I was trying to explain something about COVID-19. When they told me that I prayed for COVID-19 not to end, I said, 'me? I didn't say that.'
"When they brought the video, I discovered it slipped out of my mouth. There's no pastor that will pray for Covid not to end. It doesn't make sense.
"I was talking about what happens around Covid, how families were staying together, how families united, how some people even made money during that process. That was what I was trying to buttress and it slipped out of my mouth. I could not have prayed for Covid not to end; no pastor would do that. But he (the pastor) took that mistake, edited some part and blew it," he said.
Apostle Suleman went on to react to the displeasure that followed his claim of having three private jets.
"If you are angry, I mentioned three jets; you go just die. That's the truth," he said.
He said when he built schools, prison, a federal road, provided transformers and placed some church members on salaries; no one talked about it.
"Then you are angry; I mentioned jets; you never vex. If you cannot commend me, then you cannot condemn me.
"That of Covid, I regretted the way it came out… Not that we were happy that people are dying. That is insensitive."
Speaking further on his jets, he said, "God will only be angry with me if I take offering and tithe to buy a plane. But if I have avenues of God blessing me, what's your business? Is your money missing?"