Tag Archives: Ayo Oritsejafor

adeboye

“I can personally vouch for him” – Pastor Adeboye defends Oritsejafor over $9.3 million arms deal

by Kolapo Olapoju

In the wake of revelations that his private jet was used to transport $9.3 million to South Africa, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was widely criticised for his role in the failed arms deal.

Nigerians across board had questioned the use of Oritsejafor’s private jet by the Federal Government, and while some of his fellow pastors had condemned him, the general overseer of Redeemed Christain Church of God, Pastor E.A Adeboye has sprung to his defence.

Writing on his Facebook page, Pastor Adeboye says he can personally vouch for the much maligned Oritsejafor, adding that he believes the jet was used without him having knowledge of what it was being used for.

He wrote, “Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor is a man of GOD I trust and I can personal vouch for him. I believe on the issue of his aircraft being chartered and the purpose it was used for he had no prior knowledge. I’m sure God will continue to build His church and the gates of hell will not prevail in JESUS name.”

Post by PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE.

PASSPORT

Opinion: Okogie got It right on Jonathan and Oritsejafor

by Ikechukwu Orji

Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie is a man of moral masculinity. He has been known to speak his mind on any issue.  I really think the government should be elastic enough to accommodate the views of such a renowned man of God. The recent attack on his person over his candid comment on the Goodluck Jonathan administration and that of the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejafor, is condemnable.   As a former President of CAN, Okogie is eminently qualified to air his views on the activities in CAN. Again, commenting on the leadership style of the Jonathan administration is his right. We have had a long run of ill-luck in leadership. It will only take a wicked man of God not to speak truth to power. In an era when there is an unholy alliance between our clergy men and our political leaders, Okogie is simply a breath of fresh air.  The noble Cardinal is a man whose character is marked by a happy mixture of amiability and courage. Reading through his interview,   one will realize that the feeling had been pent up for a long time, gathering strength and fury for an occasion when a final explosion could be had with effect. His interview was so refreshing and candid.

According to my favourite historian, Leopold Von Ranke, neither blindness nor ignorance corrupts people and government. ‘They soon realize where the part they have taken is leading them. But there is an impulse within them favoured by their nature and reinforced by their habits which they do not resist. It continues to propel them as long as they have a remnant of strength. He who overcomes himself is divine. Many see their ruins before their eyes and they go on into it.    President Jonathan’s administration is innately incompetent.  To tell it like it is, Jonathan has killed the beauty of power. Here is a president who has enormous power yet do not know what to do with it. Corruption has become a lifestyle and our dear president is doing absolutely nothing to curtail it. This is the kind of thing that gets Okogie’s goat.   As a man of God, it will be ungodly not to speak out when the government has no programme for the poor. A good government should care for the poorest of the poor because that is the will of God. The holy book said “God shall deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy and shall save the souls of the needy.” Our God is not going to come down and do it by himself but He is looking for men and women to do the work for Him. Cardinal Okogie has got to do his work. There no better way to do it than to speak the truth to power. The Holy Book also admonished us to “Speak every man the truth to his neighbour: execute the judgement of truth and peace in your gates. And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts.” Our men of God have failed us. They are only interested in romancing with those that have political power to the detriment of the poor masses. Since majority of them cannot come out to defend the poor how can they claim to be working for God? People like Cardinal Okogie are the true representative of God Almighty. Nigeria is sick and we know it. Let us join hands together to make the country flourish.

Okogie is not a prayer merchant who is into peddling the word of God for profit. He reminds me of the prophets of old who were involved in the statecraft of Israel. Cardinal Okogie recalled what transpired between him and the President over the latter’s request for prayer. This encounter goes to the heart of the matter. It is an eloquent testament of Okogie’s  character. “Bishop, can you pray for me?” and I said, Sorry, Your Excellency, what do you want me to pray for? He was shocked and said to me ‘you are the first pastor that has asked me this kind of question. All the other pastors, when I ask them to prayer they tell me to bow my head and they pray. How can you ask me what do I want from God”?  So I said, sorry oo, Your Excellency, don’t be annoyed, but this is the right way to pray. I want to be able to concentrate on what you are asking for; to let God open His hand and give this man this particular thing that he is asking for. I can say any kind of prayer for you, but to me, that is not enough. So he said ‘That is okay. Don’t you know I will be going in for election?’ and I said to him, you have won, that is no problem, but you will not rule. Those around you will rule.” This sums it up. This is the stuff men of God are made of: bold and blunt.  President Jonathan is obviously not the messiah we are waiting for in Nigeria.  He has no mind of his own and he is not firm in taking decisions.

The case of Oritsejafor is more mind-boggling.  I have also believed that a true man of God should have no hankering for material things.  The gospel of our Lord and Saviour, Christ Jesus, is not about the acquisition of material things. It is about the kingdom of God. God will provide the needful for you once your focus is on the kingdom. Okogie who took the oath of chastity, poverty and obedience is in a better position to understand the true essence of Christianity. We have a culture of skipping the hard messages of our Master and embracing the softer ones to suite our purposes. In Luke chapter 12 verse 32 to 34, Christ Jesus stated clearly what he expects from us: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for you your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom. Sell all your belongings and give the money to the poor. Provide for yourself purses that don’t wear out, and save your riches in heaven, where they will never decrease, because no thief can get to them, and no moth can destroy them. For your heart will always be where your riches are.”

This is what our Christian faith is all out. It is about faith in God and His ability to come through for you. The ringing testimony of the Christian faith is that God is able.  Acquiring property everywhere in the name of God is all hogwash. Oritsejafor as the CAN president has diminished the dignity of the position. This is just what Okogie is trying to pass across. The combination of a president who does not understand what it means to fight for the poor and a CAN president who is an acquisitionist is a terrible one.  This kind of unholy alliance will not bring us out of this political and economic quagmire. All thanks to Okogie for speaking out courageously.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

APC in league with South Africa and US to embarrass Nigeria – @realFFK

by Kolapo Olapoju

Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has accused the major opposition party, All Progressives Congress, of being in partnership with the South African and Unites States’ governments to scuttle the efforts of the Nigerian government in fighting the war against Boko Haram.

Fani-Kayode was a guest on Channels TV’ Sunrise programme on Wednesday, 8 October, where he responded to question related to the recent confiscation of $5.7 million(N936,339,000) by South African Authorities.

Fani-Kayode, who made a return to the Peoples Democratic Party alleged in June, said, there was a deliberate attempt by certain countries to make sure Nigeria doesn’t get the arms it requires to prosecute the war against the rampaging Islamic terrorist sect.

He said, “There is a systematic attempt by the United States to undermine Nigeria. They don’t want us to get the arms and South Africa are party to it. It then brings up the question of why how it then brings up the question of why how ally doesn’t want us to fight this war. They did it simply to embarrass Nigeria and to ensure that they put another obstacle in our efforts to prosecute the war against Boko Haram.”

“We are fighting a war and we are not getting the support we need from our allies. The investigation by the South Africans into the ‘arms deal’ is politically motivated. United States and South Africa are in collaboration to jeopardize Nigeria’s effort in getting arms,” he added.

The erstwhile Minister of Culture and Tourism also stated that major members of the APC are in bed with the South African President, Jacob Zuma, to discredit the Federal government, to sway public opinion against them as the 2015 elections draws closer.

“It is clear to me that the South Africans are in collusion with the opposition party (APC). There are key members of the opposition that are close to Zuma. There are two majors members of the APC who are friends with Zuma. They have funded his election in the past. They are doing anything to help their friends in opposition to discredit the government as the elections near,” Fani Kayode said.

Furthermore, the controversial politician said questions should be asked about the exact nature of the United States’s involvement with terrorist organisations.

“The fact that the US refused to label Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation organisation until early this year, raises serious questions. The fact that Zuma is friend with the APC who is trying to discredit the government also raises questions.”

He would also defend the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor, who has come under intense criticism, following the revelation that his private jet was used to transport the initial $9.3 million(N1,527,711,000) seized by South Africa.

“CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor has gotten a lot of bad press of late, which is unfair. To say Oritsejafor is the head of Boko Haram is like saying the Pope is the head of ISIS,” he concluded.

Jonathan-8

Independence Service – GEJ and Oritsejafor urge Nigerians to unite against #BokoHaram

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said the lack of unity amongst Nigerians, makes it difficult to overcome the current insurgency which has claimed several innocent lives and destroyed properties worth billions in the country.

The President stated this while speaking at the interdenominational church service to mark the 54th independence anniversary of the country which held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, with the theme the celebration is “Be Still”.

The President referring to politicians and highly placed individuals noted that it was usual to struggle for political space but such actions should be done with caution bearing in mind that the country would need to remain strong and as a united nation for the good of all citizens.

“When I listen to some comments by some highly place individuals, I feel sorry for this country. There are some of us who while struggling to get what we desire, we have even forgotten that we can not get that if we destroy our country.” Jonathan stressed.

He added that “So, if we come together, while pursuing whatever achievement we want, I believe that we don’t have any other country than Nigeria, I am sure we will overcome Boko Haram.”

“We were able to defeat Ebola because all Nigerians agreed together in waging a war against the disease. That is the strength of unity.”

President Jonathan further stated that “some of the challenges we are having whether kidnapping or the greatest problem we are having which is terror, it is because all of us have not united to fight these challenges.”

He commended the Armed forces who he said have done quite well, but needed more encouragement from Nigerians to do better.

“Lets commend the security services because if some of you know what the pass through, the sabotage and all have you, you will appreciate the little they have done.”

The President reminded the citizens that what makes Nigeria great was not the its oil and abundant natural resources but the strength and resilience of its people.

“Nigeria is a poor country if you look at the resources and the population. What makes us great is the strength and resilience of our people.” The President noted.

President Jonathan and his wife Dame Patience, his Mother Eunice and other top government functionary joined the procession for the commencement of the Church Service at about 2.58 pm.

In his sermon, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejefor prayed for God to use the occasion of the independence day celebration to bring back peace and unity to the country.

The CAN president explained that all the problems Nigeria was facing as a nation were self inflicting, including corruption and terrorism, perpetrated by the Islamic Boko Haram sect.

He said corruption in Nigeria was caused by poverty mentality as a result of people not being satisfied with what they have. According to him, the country’s woes were also caused by those who are desperate to take power.

Pastor Orisejefor who noted that Nigeria is being troubled by Nigerians said “Troublers of Nigeria, get ready for judgement. It doesn’t matter what level you are, the judgement of God will find those who are troubling Nigeria.”

He however disagreed on insinuations that the level of terrorism in the country was as a result of poverty. “Terrorism is not fuelled by terrorism but poverty can create an environment where more people can be recruited.”

Quoting from the book of Acts chapter 5, the CAN president also warned Nigerian women/wives to desist from shielding their bad husbands who are guilty of perpetrating crime against the country.

Pastor Orisejefor who called on the need for deliberate steps to be taken to de-radicalised those who are radicalised because of extremist religious beliefs also said Nigerians should rally behind the military.

The first reading was read from the book of 1 Sam 30: 1-19 by Justice Walter Onoghen while Senate President David Mark took the second reading from the book of Mark 4:35-41.

A Special prayer which was sent in from the Catholic Pontiff, Benedict Pope Francis XVI was read at the service.

Other dignitaries who attended the event include deputy senate President Ike Ekweremadu, deputy speaker Emeka Ihedioha, former head of state General Yakubu Gowon, former head of interim national government Ernest Shonekan, Secretary to the government of the federation Ayim Pius Ayim, Head of Service of the Federation, Ambassadors of Israel, Greece, the service chiefs, and Ash Bishop Nicholas Oko-Primate of the Anglican Communion among others.

Ayobami_Oyalowo

@Ayourb to @Saatah : This is not a rejoinder, it is an education on how not to write.

by Ayobami Oyalowo

Read: @Ayourb: Pastor Oritsejafor should resign and face the music [ HERE]

Read: @Saatah to @Ayourb on #OritsejaforGate : No one is entitled to be ignorant (A Rejoinder) [HERE]

I have chosen to speak up, to educate a wilful, and capriciously ignorant and misguided young man who chose to delve into a realm that he is either unable to grasp, or is too deep for him to comprehend, or maybe he is just too shallow to understand the depth of the discourse he decided to inadvisedly undertake.

My attention was brought to what was supposedly a rejoinder by a certain character, Saatah Nubari. I had never heard of him until I saw the hocus-pocus jumble he titled a rejoinder to my recently well publicized essay.

Well, young man let me start your education here by making it smile to you. A  rejoinder is supposedly an academic exercise and the first rule of writing one is to respect certain logic and by that it means your title to a rejoinder should always echo the original title of the work you were meant to respond to. Aside your deliberate attempt to turn logic on its head and pour invectives on me, whom you do not know, you quickly exposed yourself as a half baked hack in a hurry to satisfy your paymasters and earn the acquiescence of whomsoever is it you were working for. I hope it was worth your while my dear young friend?

From your cock-eyed opening to the vacuous rambling to taint me, you succeeded in showing an objective reader how yokel-like your reasoning and grasp of issues are: Firstly I never passed out “my facts” or “lies” as you seamlessly inter-changed your verbiage gobbledegook against me. Had you been less lumpish and actually took time out to read my submission, you would have seen that I quoted South African City Press as my source, but the hack that you are, you either failed to spot that or deliberately ignored the fact that I depended on their reportage. Perhaps you actually saw that, but it won’t fit into the ill conceived but jumbled rants you have been commissioned to deliver.

That done, I won’t join issues with you but will rather do my best educate you within the limited space available to me and will also be asking you a few questions since you have taken it upon yourself to defend the federal government and the owner of the private jet in question.

You lampooned and took umbrage with me for calling whatever transpired in South Africa as criminal and illegal because in your righteous eyes, it is perfectly normal for a few Nigerians to hop on a private plane with the sum of $9.3 million, and fly to another sovereign nation to make purchases. Wow! We have to applaud you. Your types are perfect examples of what is wrong with the current Nigerian educational system. Are you aware that the son of Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, was arrested and charged to court for the simple crime of being in the illegal possession of the sum of $50,000 and was trying to move the sum out of Nigeria?

You said, “The thing is Ayobami is not a lawyer, but like most Nigerians, he is a specialist in everything, from a specialist in how to procure arms to a specialist in the legalities involved in the arms transaction”. While your parlous education is undoubted, I am still amazed that you are not aware that currency brought into or taken from South Africa is monitored by law, and that anyone bringing into that country more than R25,000 in South African currency or U$10,000 or the equivalent thereof in foreign currency must declared such? I am sure your education won’t let you realise that when you wilfully contravene such laid down laws, you are immediately suspected to be a criminal.

Note please: education here is not attendance of school or possession of certificate, but a distinct ability to take in information, process such and intelligently make an informed analysis based on the information available at your disposal until such a time that superior or much newer information becomes available.

That done, let me proceed to educate our subject, Saatah. Quoting you again, you went on to say “Is Ayobami claiming that he is unaware of the government coming out to defend the transaction and even releasing data on it? I find it hard to believe he didn’t know about this since he has been very good in dishing out “facts” only he seems to have.”

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant”—Harlan Ellison. Therefore your caddish tirade at my person has made this write up an education for you on how not to write a rejoinder.

I hate to rehash issues, but can you read yourself? You said the government has come out to defend the transaction blablabla. If you weren’t so thick you’d realise that it was not only curious for any self respecting government to wait for ten (10) days before making a public statement on such matter of international gravity, it is also immoral and a sign of culpability. Let me educate you a bit here. The crime was committed on 5th September, 2014 and the Nigerian government made their first public statement on the 11th September, 2014. But the impolitic you are, you wrote that I was dishing out facts that I alone possessed. How smart?

“The South African Government only faulted the “non-declaration” of the cash by the delegation from Nigeria”. The is another quote from you, so in your small corner of the world, arms and ammunition sales are a supermarket system where you can bring in your cash and purchase whatever it is that catches your fancy right? Bravo soldier, with your type, the world just got better. You have failed to realise the gravity of the offence your fellow Nigerians have been charged with. Your mind is so nubile, you think smuggling $10 million of undeclared cash is such a minor infraction that can be overlooked in a world where deadly insurgency, violent armed struggles and bloody religious and ethnic sects are mushrooming while creating chaos and untold menace for whoever is their target, thereby changing the world order from what we used to know? My young man, you need to do better than this.

After a lot of ramblings you said and I quote you “There are so many explanations for why the NCACC was not “aware of any application in this case” but Ayobami didn’t think it was necessary to find out if credible explanations existed or not.”.

At the risk of repeating myself, may I ask you the following questions.

  • Why would a government that is at the peak of promoting the cashless policy in our economy be the chief breaker of that policy by moving such a large amount by cash?
  •  If, indeed, it was a legitimate transaction of the Federal Government, why were the officials of our embassy in South Africa not on hand to make the entry easier and smoother?
  •  Why would the Nigerian government seek to smuggle cash into a country without disclosure if it was, indeed, for a legitimate transaction?
     Are you aware that each arm of the Nigerian security has an account with the CBN for the purpose of arms purchase and such transactions are properly documented, so why was it not documented in this instance?
  •  Why should a legitimate business of the Nigerian government (if it was indeed legitimate) be conducted with private jets, when we have 10 jets in the presidential fleet?
  •  Do countries buy arms and ferry the arms using planes instead of shipping them?
  •  Is logging huge cash around the world, rather than simple wire transfer, a much more acceptable way of conducting international trade between countries?

Saatah! You moved on to this and I quote you “Well, Ayobami wasn’t done spewing lies—sorry, “facts”. In the paragraphs that followed, he made sure to tell us that “After much hush hush, it finally emerged that the bombardier jet involved in the illegal money laundering and purchase of black market arms belonged to Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor”.

When you were done abusing my person, you closed with “let me break it down again. You know how landlords rent apartment to tenants for a period of time? Mr Ayobami, that’s what that statement means.

Of course as a profession but rattle-pated hack you won’t want to hear this, but I will break it down to you. Firstly, since I suspect you don’t know how to use Google, I will advise you to go to  http://www.ayo-oritsejafor.org/ and see for yourself. For other readers, let me quickly explain what you are likely to find on that site. It is the website of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. In there, you will find his church activities and business interest such as Eagle Heights International School, Eagle Heights University, Eagle Flight- Microfinance Bank among many others. These facts are incontrovertible but our cock-eyed hack writer said  and I quote “You might want to cling to your “facts”, we don’t want it.” Readers, judge for yourselves.

While the facts on the ground is that the transaction was between Eagle Air and a certain Green Coast Produce Limited as recently as August 2nd,  Saatah forgot himself and echoed his sponsors by saying “we don’t want it”? So how do we judge matters when we deliberately ignore the most basic facts that cannot be controverted?

Talking about landlords and tenants, Saatah, are you aware that certain states in the south east like Anambra have laws in place that demolish any house adjured to have been used by criminals, robbers and kidnappers? If we decided to use your analogy, what should we then do to Pastor Ayo’s jet?

Let me also ask, are you aware of the FAAN regulation on the use of private planes? I very much doubt that you are, for your puerile and acerbic disquisition shows that cerebral exercises appear very alien to you. For your information, it is illegal for anybody to use a private plane for commercial purposes. In fact FAAN have also barred people from conveying people other than family members. So your asinine defence of Pastor Ayo falls flat in the face of any reasonable questioning.

As I begin to round up, let me leave you with these words from a man who can claim some affinity with Pastor Ayo, whom you laboured vainly to defend, Festus Keyamo: “If, contrary to the above posers, the transaction was contracted out to a private company in Nigeria, does it not amount to the offence of Money Laundering under our laws for the Federal Government to have allowed that company to attempt to pay for the equipment by cash to the tune of that amount without passing through a financial institution?

The truth is, any transaction the world over that is done by cash, in a huge volume like this and in this manner can only point to one thing: It is an illegal transaction or a transaction for an illegal purpose that is meant to be untraceable. This was a covert, illegal operation that went horribly wrong. The position of the Federal Government is a cock-and-bull story meant to be shoved down the throat of Nigerians, but some of us are not fools.

The hard fact we must all accept now is that billions of our hard-earned monies are being smuggled out of the country on a regular basis under the guise of security matters and with the active connivance of security agencies. Little wonder, then, that the insurgency, rather than waning, is gathering momentum because certain persons, somewhere, are feeding fat on the situation whilst innocent lives and limbs are being wasted.”

You said earlier that I am not a lawyer, and for once I am in perfect agreement with you, I therefore decided to humour you and the above is from a well known lawyer.

You claimed I dragged the president into the matter because I am partisan. But let me ask you a question. Who heads the Nigerian government? If your answer is President Jonathan, I must commend your intelligence and then proceed to ask you the next question. If President Jonathan is indeed the head of government, do you think he didn’t know about the failed transaction? Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that we are all as thick like you are, if he didn’t know about the deal at the beginning, even though the plane originated from Abuja, at least security implication of the situation demands that he must have been informed immediately the South African authorities arrested the smugglers and informed their Nigerian counterparts? True or false?

If the answer to the above poser is true, then how is my asking the president to act in good faith and ensure a genuine closure an act of sabotage?

For your information, on November 18, 1993 I as a student of the University of Ilorin, along with Dr. Joe Okei now Okei-Odumakin (a doctoral student back then), with Sola Fanowopo, also a student and now a staff of The Sun, led a student protest to denounce the coup that brought in the Abacha regime. I was chased by soldiers in open trucks and an armoured personnel carrier at the Sawmill area of Ilorin.

But that’s not all. On December 10, 2012 I led a protest to the NSPMC to protest against the disappearance of the sum of N2.1 billion and on April 12th, 2014, with Plaster of Paris on my hand, I led others to the DSS office in Magodo, Lagos, to protest the illegal detention of a certain Yusuf Onimisi (Ciaxon), who was held illegally for 12 days by the DSS.

I cited the above examples to debunk your puerile allegation that I was driven by partisanship in my write up. Nothing could be further from the truth. My record of activism predates the APC or even PDP ( or was Abacha in either of those parties?). Whatever I do or write is borne out of altruism and my keen sense of patriotism. It is you, Saatah, who should define who or what you wish to be known for. An ethnic jingoist or a religious bigot?

Since you seem to love quotes, let me humour you my young man borrowing from you: “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant”—Harlan Ellison. Therefore your caddish tirade at my person has made this write up an education for you on how not to write a rejoinder.

In closing you reminded us of Oscar Wilde and the Pope but let me bring you home my young man, the Yoruba say, “ta ba ran’ni ni ise eru, oye ki afi ti omo je”. Loosely translated as “if you were asked to run an errand as a slave, why not try to deliver your message as one who is a freeborn?”

Your diatribe towards me was well received, but as I said earlier, Saatah Nubari, this is not a rejoinder, it is YOUR education, for fools rush in, where angels fear to tread…

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Ayobami Oyalowo tweets from @Ayourb

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

Dada-Olusegun1

@dolusegun : Ayo Oritsejafor, the Presidency and $9.3m in 30 points

by Olusegun Dada

The Nigerian government wanted some cache of weapons in South Africa which of course is needed to fight our worst enemies “Boko Haram”. So our government immediately hatched a fool proof plan to get the weapons from South Africa.

I am not a weapons person so I can’t really say for certain what $9.3 million can get us on the open market, but here is the timeline of operations according to our government’s explanation:

  1. They needed weapons for fighting Boko Haram or whatever it is government does with arms purchased from foreign companies.
  2. Now, our President alone owns about 10 jets on his fleet and is actually asking for one more. We have hundreds of military planes that could have been sent on such a mission.
  3. The government could have charted a cargo plane. Even if it didn’t trust Arik because of the row with Omojuwa over his iPad, there are still reputable cargo airlines out there. After all, $9.3 million is bigger than an iPad.
  4. Our government then decides to charter a private jet from a company who then leased the jet from a company in which Pastor Oristejafor has ‘’residual interest’’.
  5. Bear in mind that Pastor Oristejafor is our President’s (The owner of the Nigerian government’’ close friend and spiritual adviser.
  6. Those kind of coincidences are what makes conspiracy theorists like me make a living.
  7. So the Nigerian government conveniently forgets to tell the government of South Africa about the arrival of our arms money in its territory. Horrible oversight.
  8. So pronto! $9.3 million is loaded into the jet that Pastor Oritsejafor has ‘’residual interest’’ in.
  9. Again we must remember that since Pastor Oristejafor has only ‘’residual interest’’ in the company, he doesn’t need to know what activities the jet is used for.
  10. Pastor Oristejafor got said jet as a birthday gift from his ‘’Church Members’’ who are so blessed by the good pastors lifestyle and anointing.
  11. Plane moved from Abuja on the 6th of September 2014 for South Africa carrying two Nigerian civilians and one Israeli with alleged links to the Mossad.
  12. The flight crew is instructed to wait on the tarmac and bring back both men and weapons to Abuja by the 7th.
  13. Now this method of getting weapons is totally different from the original method employed by countries who sell arms to each other.
  14. The method employed by the Nigerian government to get these arms is one used usually by gang leaders and terrorists.
  15. Since we can’t buy weapons ourselves, we decided to get an Israeli to help us. As the Israelis too beg us to help them get weapons into their country.
  16. The cashless policy we just introduced doesn’t stop us from carrying much liquid cash around.
  17. $9.3 million in cash, jet, two Nigerian civilians and an Israeli are detained on arrival in South Africa.
  18. Sahara Reporters break news and most of the political sitting-on-the-fence-twitter said it was a lie straight from the pit of hell.
  19. The Nigerian government finally wakes up from its slumber and remembered it sent a jet, $9.3 million and three people to South Africa.
  20. Ayo Oritsejafor finally remembers his jet is missing and identifies the one Sahara Reporters are reporting as his.
  21. The Nigerian government finally owns up to its mistake. The money is theirs; the jet is for a company that leased it from another company that Pastor Oritsejafor has interests in. Residual interests…
  22. CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) isn’t the owner of the seized jet but releases a statement anyway blaming the trio of Nasir El-Rufai, Lai Mohammed and Sahara Reporters for the woes of its president.
  23. Press release looks like it was drafted in Wadata Plaza by Olisa Metuh because it comes with the accompanying bitterness that Metuh is known for.
  24. The Nigerian government absolves Pastor Oristejafor of all crimes. After all he is a man of God.
  25. Fuel scarcity hits the capital city and most states. A bomb goes off in a lecture hall in Kano.
  26. No one bothered to ask what is a pastor’s business in business.
  27. A bomb goes off in a lecture hall in Kano.
  28. That is the Nigerian Government’s story and they are sticking to it.
  29. Thanks for being Doughnuts as usual.
  30. Change is needed. Stop electing idiots!

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

el-Rufai

“You are just like Ichabod”, “Look beyond your bling” || @ElRufai just used the Bible to demolish Oritsejafor

by Akan Ido

The war of words between former Federal Capital Territory minister, Nasir el-Rufai and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, still rages with el-Rufai firing the latest salvo.

Leaders of the CAN have warned the All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart to watch his tongue and show some respect to Oritsejafor whose private jet was involved in the case of ‘illegal’ arms deal between Nigeria and South Africa.

Oritsejafor’s aircraft was said to have been used by Nigerian officials to convey the cash sum of $9.3 million into South Africa without official declaration.

The aircraft which was later found to belong to the revered pastor was immediately grounded by South African authorities and later released after diplomatic exchanges between both countries.

In a statement released by Muyiwa Adekeye on behalf of el-rufai, the APC stalwart advised Oritsejafor to stop mixing religion with politics.

He went further to say the CAN president should “look beyond the bling to ask himself if it was any of the individuals he abused yesterday that asked him to make his aircraft available for monkey business, or get himself involved in the politics of division.”

Read el-Rufai’s statement below and tell us what you think about it:

When light unexpectedly shines on murkiness, those exposed by the stinging rays often berate the light rather than regret the muck. That is the plight of Ayo Oritsejafor whose private jet was identified as the vessel impounded by the South African authorities for ferrying $9.3m cash into their country. A statement from Eagle Air admitted Oritsejafor’s interests in the aircraft, but said it leased the plane to Green Coast which in turn acknowledged hiring the plane out for the trip to South Africa.

Unable to shake off his connection to the plane, Oritsejafor has resorted to abuse and vilification. Were he more reflective, he would be pondering how, of all the private jets available in Nigeria, it was his that came to be involved in a covert arms purchase scandal. Would he have managed any objectivity if the plane involved happened to belong to a prominent person of another faith or political persuasion?

Since abuse is not argument and is incapable of displacing fact, Oritsejafor may care to answer if the jet involved in the scandal is the same one that was “donated” to him in 2012? Did he register it as a commercial aircraft or is the plane illegally moonlighting as one? Has he ever reflected on the impropriety of mixing his religious role with politics? Having strayed into politics, and an irresponsible variant at that, can he expect the veneration enjoyed by his predecessors such as Cardinals Olubunmi Okogie and John Onaiyekan? Why is he the first CAN leader to provoke pitiful mirth and amusement when he is not being derided as a tragedy, a sort of Ichabod, desperate to separate glory from a revered body? Amidst his jitters, Oritsejafor must look beyond the bling to ask himself if it was any of the individuals he abused yesterday that asked him to make his aircraft available for monkey business, or get himself involved in the politics of division.

It is pertinent that we invite the Federal Government to reflect on its role in this episode. Our country needs to bolster its military and security forces with the material resources they need to defeat insurgency and restore security to every inch of its territory. This would require arms imports. But should Nigeria violate the arms export regulation of other countries in this endeavour? Should the FG recklessly impair and jeopardise diplomatic relations by conducting covert arms purchases in friendly countries without the consent of their governments? Such conduct invariably leads to suspicions that such covert arms procurement may not be for purposes of national security.

This instance of arms procurement outside official channels amidst an escalating insurgency must concern every patriot. In his House of Commons statement last week, Mallam El Rufai had alluded to the clear implications of the likely link between governmental murkiness and the escalation in the insurgency. The government has long tried to explain away its incompetence in upholding security by blaming insurgency on the major opposition party. But it is becoming increasingly clear to many that this insurgency is benefitting the ruling party and the incumbent president by providing them a pretext to postpone elections and, at the minimum, disenfranchise large swathes of the population that have never supported the PDP or voted for Jonathan.

Mallam Nasir El Rufai urges every Nigerian to vigilance in these troubled times. The tragedy of mindless terror should not be allowed to become an endless catastrophe because of narrow political calculations.

Ayobami_Oyalowo

@Ayourb: Pastor Oritsejafor should resign and face the music

by Ayobami Oyalowo

When the news broke that a private plane from Nigeria was seized in South Africa with brand new dollar notes of about $10m my heart palpitated and I was askance even though I was in the midst of others. My fear steamed for a few facts. I was sure that the federal government of Nigeria will do what it does best; keep mum and then later will either deny or offer some lame explanations while muddling up the waters sufficiently enough by using pawns to obliterate the facts of the matter and politicizing the issues, hereby diverting our attention away to other things.

Sad to say, I have been proved right on every count. Not only have they started their campaign of calumny, they have used a most saddening approach; they are playing the religious card. Why is the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) getting involved in a supposedly private matter of such dangerous proportion? We shall come back to the CAN later on. Suffice to say that Nigeria is in deeper troubles than we are presently prepared to admit to. Sadly, the trouble and danger inherent is potent enough and highly dangerous to our corporate existence, while collectively playing the ostrich will benefit no one eventually.

Here are the facts of the matter. On 5th September 2014, a Bombardier Challenger 600, with a Nigerian flight crew piloted by Captain Tunde Ojongbede, flew into South Africa and landed at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg. Eventually we got to understand that there were two planes and not one that flew in to South Africa.

The other plane involved, used by Swat Inc., a Hawker Siddeley 125, also with an American registration number (N497AG), landed at Lanseria Airport last month. That plane and its passengers remained in the country for two days before returning to Abuja on August 13.

When the passengers luggage were checked, officials of SA Revenue Service (Sars), found undeclared raw cash of $9.3 million on the passengers. On board one the seized aircrafts was also an Abuja-based Israeli man, Eyal Mesika, whom we were told was the only man with the combinations to open the lock on the suit cases containing the cash to be laundered or used to purchase illegal arms by the order of some unnamed persons in the Nigerian Government.

One amazing fact is that the Nigerian government has maintained a curious silence since the scandal broke on September 5th when South African law enforcement agents confiscated $9.3 million from the two private jets. If Sahara Reporters did not blow the lid on the illegality, I doubt if ordinary Nigerians would have known the kind of gang we currently parade as political and religious leaders.

South African airport security spokesman Solomon Makgale confirmed a police investigation was underway but declined to give details. The aircraft was temporarily impounded, but was allowed to return to Abuja about four days after the initial arrest of the plane because the Nigerian government reached out to its South African counterparts, ostensibly to douse the tension and keep the fact away from the public.

Ayo-Orijafor-CAN-President

The arrested passengers apparently told officials they were acting on behalf of the Nigerian intelligence service, and they provided documentation confirming they had come to South Africa to buy weapons. However, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, which has to approve the import and export of any weapons as well as issue permits for such transactions, was not aware of any applications in this case. It is also not clear whether the Israeli passenger was an intelligence operative or an arms dealer.

A spokesman for South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority disclosed that the country’s investigators found the Nigerian arms buyers with invoices from two South African firms called Tier One and ESD. The invoices were for armaments and a helicopter.

According to South Africa’s City Press, “In court papers, the NPA submitted evidence that Tier One is not registered with the National Conventional Arms Control Committee and is thus not authorized to enter into any agreements regarding the sale and/or rental of military equipment.”

The paper further revealed, “The agreement between Tier One and ESD was concluded on September 8, three days after the money was seized at Lanseria.”

We can safely conclude therefore that the arms deal was supposed to be a black market operation and therefore an illegal arm purchase. Such arms could end up anywhere either in the hands of the Niger Delta militants, political thugs and assassins, or even the dreaded Boko Haram militants…your guess is as good as mine.

After much hush hush, it finally emerged that the bombardier jet involved in the illegal money laundering and purchase of black market arms belonged to Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor the founding and Senior Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church, located in Warri, southern Nigeria, and currently the President of CAN.

I am a Christian and as such an affiliate of CAN. Pastor Ayo should be left alone to defend himself and his private business without dragging CAN alongside himself. Why has CAN become the private enterprise of one man?

A statement released by the church on behalf of Pastor Oritsejafor reads in part “On behalf of Pastor Oritsejafor, we can confirm that although he holds an interest in Eagle Air, the aircraft in question is not operated by Pastor Oritsejafor. The aircraft was leased to, and is operated by Green Coast Produce Limited since August 2.”

But, here are a few questions keen watchers have been asking. FAAN just over a year ago readjusted the laws guiding the usage of non-scheduled commercial operators. The law according to the Nigerian aviation authorities seeks to regulate and stop the abuse by private jets owners, who turn their planes over for commercial  purposes illegally.

Therefore one should ask, why was Pastor Ayo private jet leased out for a supposedly commercial purpose since August 2nd 2014 according to him?

Recall also that private jet owners were not only barred from leasing their planes out for commercial purposes, they were also barred from carrying people other than their family members.

The above reasons alone are enough to indict Pastor Ayo and his co-travelers.

Now, let’s come to the issue of CAN. Pastor Ayo is first and foremost the senior Pastor and founder of a church and we all remembered his initial claims that the plane was a gift by some unnamed members of his church. If that is the case, why is the church not in the forefront of defending his latest escapade? Why drag CAN into his private church business?

I am a Christian and as such an affiliate of CAN. Pastor Ayo should be left alone to defend himself and his private business without dragging CAN alongside himself. Why has CAN become the private enterprise of one man?

CAN have existed before the advent of Pastor Oritsejafor and should be left alone to do what it was established to do. The statement supposedly released in the defense of Pastor Oritsejafor by a certain Sunny Oibe on behalf of CAN is not only reprehensible, it is asinine; it is disgraceful and it is totally unbecoming of what an organization representing the body of Christ should ever have thought of, let alone made public. It was not only acerbic and jejune, it was a classic gutter styled gobbledygook that no self respecting Christian body should ever be associated with no matter the level of “provocation”.

Please don’t bring the “Touch not mine anointed” crap here. For your information, severally we have been reprimanded to “touch not mine anointed” but is this the correct application of this scripture? In which context was this phrase used in the Bible? It can be found in Psalm 105:15 and repeated in 1Chronicles 16:22. That passage was written to praise the works of God when He brought out the children of Israel from Egypt and saved them from several dangers, even though they were few in number. It was never about a pastor or a church leader. It was written to praise God in taking care of a called out people. Anointed vessels are men who allow God to do his bidding through them.

Note that those people who do his bidding must be “called out” and what is the “church”? The root word for church is “Ecclesia” which simply means “the called out ones”. Therefore, that passage can also mean “touch not the church”. Do NOT be deceived. It was never written to protect or immune “penterascality” or ‘pastopreneurs’ from honest criticism. It was written as a mark or seal of God’s protection upon His chosen ones and His chosen ones are his body, His church.

Pastor Ayo will do well to resign his position as CAN President and face his calling squarely. He has done more to harm the reputation of CAN by his several actions and careless speeches. It is written in 2 Timothy 2:4, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

In 1 Peter 4: 17 it is written, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

To serve God is to serve his people. Let Pastor Ayo search himself, has he been true to the one who called him? Let God be true, let all men be liars.

Pastor Oritsejafor’s ownership of the jet has raised several questions in the past. One of which is that the plane seized by South African officials is actually registered in the US for use only as a private jet, not for commercial purposes. Another issue is does Pastor Oritsejafor owns more than one jet? In 2012, he claimed that members of his congregation presented him with the gift of a jet. However, the registration number of the jet detained by South African authorities differs from the registration details for the jet purchased by Mr. Oritsejafor’s congregants. In response to criticism of his acquisition of a private jet, the pastor had argued that he needed the jet to enable him to travel widely for events related to his ministry. The question then is whether the commercial leasing of a private jet is part of Oritsejafor’s ministry?

Nigerians are watching the unfolding dangerous drama and waiting with a baited breath. How will the Federal Government of PDP led by Goodluck Jonathan handle this case? Will they prove their detractors right that the government of Jonathan have always known, collaborated with and have been covering up sponsors of terror in Nigeria, or will President Jonathan rise to the occasion this time?

Time will tell, but remember history is being written for the future by every present action and deliberate but highly noticeable inactions.

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Ayobami Oyalowo tweets from @Ayourb

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Nigeria's Vice President Jonathan Goodluck attends the plenary session of the Africa-South America Summit in Margarita Island

Our government admits to being aware of planeload of cash

by Kolapo Olapoju

 

After an aircraft conveying $9.3m cash from Abuja, allegedly for arms purchase, was seized by the South African authorities, the Nigerian government has said it was aware of the aeroplane and its mission.

Two Nigerians and an Israeli aboard the plane were detained for transporting the money into South Africa.

Ysterday, it was reported that the jet is owned by the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ayo Oritsejafor,

Mr. Oritsejafor, however, denied knowledge of the arms deal saying the aircraft was managed by another company, Eagle Air Company, which leased the jet to a third party, Green Coast Produce Limited.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has released data and documents on the transaction, through PRNigeria, an agency that disseminates media statements for the military, police and other security agencies in Nigeria.

The statement revealed that Nigeria and South Africa are in talks to resolve the issue.

“Nigeria and South Africa are getting closer to diplomatic resolution of the row over the $9.3m transaction. The two nations have opened up discussions. PRNigeria quoted the official as saying.”

“The Federal Government has submitted relevant data and documents on the transaction to South Africa and insisted that the transaction was legitimate. It also clarified that the funds were not laundered or smuggled for any covert manoeuvres. No launderer will be audacious to fly into a country in a chartered jet with such a huge cash.”

“The technical details on security matters, which necessitated the desk, had been availed South Africa for screening. “Based on initial scrutiny of the documents, the Challenger Jet has been released pending the conclusion of a full-scale investigation by South Africa.”

The statement, however, alleged procedural error’ on the part of the Nigerian delegation at the South African airport, which led to the money being seized.

“There was procedural error at the airport, the team did not declare the $9.3million contrary to the aviation and customs laws in South Africa. So, there was an oversight on the part of the delegation that went to complete the transaction. Nigeria is trying to complete the formality and we are confident that the cash will be released for the purpose it was meant for. Movement of cash for strategic purchase of security equipment by intelligence service is not new; it is a global trend. The FBI, KGB, MOSSAD and others do it.”

Pastor-ayo-oritsejafor

Oritsejafor reacts to alleged ownership of private jet used in smuggling billions into South Africa

by S’ola Filani

A few days ago, news broke that authorities in South Africa had intercepted an Israeli citizen and two Nigerians who attempted to smuggle $9.3 million cash into the country. The money was seized by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) from a private jet arriving at Lanseria airport in Johannesburg on September 5th. It was alleged that the money was meant for arms, and ssubsequently the case was to be investigated by the police.

Sahara Reporters claims to have uncovered a connection between the smuggled money and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria. According to an investigation carried out by the online portal, the pastor’s private plane, which he got as a birthday gift few years back with US registration number, N808HG was among the two jets cited by South African security officials on September 5. The report claims that the jet landed in South Africa with $9.3 million cash loaded in several suitcases.

the private jet

Reacting to the report,  Ayo Oritsejafor in a statement sent to media houses today, dissociated himself from the operation of an aircraft, Bombardier Challenger 600. Oritsejafor’s personal assistant, Bayo Adewoye, said that his boss does not operate the aircraft, adding that inquiries on its current state should be directed to the company it had been leased to.

“The Word of Life Bible Church has been made aware of the recent media interest regarding an aircraft (Bombardier Challenger 600, Registration No N808HG) owned by Eagle Air Company in which our Pastor, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, holds a residual interest.

“On behalf of Pastor Oritsejafor, we can confirm that although he holds an interest in Eagle Air, the aircraft in question is not operated by Pastor Oritsejafor.

The aircraft owned by Eagle Air Company, who have confirmed that since August 2, 2014, the aircraft has been leased to and is operated by Green Coast Produce Limited. This is a standard practice in the industry.

“Any and all enquiries in respect of the day-to-day operations of this aircraft should be properly directed to the management of Green Coast Produce Limited. We will be happy to help the authorities with any enquiries,” Adewoye said.