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…
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.