The Cash, The Jet And Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, By Fani-Kayode

Much ado has been made about recent events in South Africa concerning the Nigerian-owned jet that was found loaded with millions of dollars and that was in the process of procuring arms and a fighter helicopter for the Nigerian military and security agencies.
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As a former Minister of Aviation, I wish to assure the general public that the flying of large sums of cash by security and intelligence agencies for the purchase of arms in a time of war and conflict is something that is quite normal and that it happens quite often. As a matter of fact, it happened under successive Nigerian governments, both military and civilian.

Obviously in the case of the jet that flew to South Africa with 9.3 million USD, there must have been a breakdown of communication between the South African authorities and ours and a few lapses in procedure here and there which is what has led to the seizure of the money and all the ensuing suspicion and confusion. However, the idea that there was anything untoward or sinister about the whole transaction has no basis in logic, sense or rationality. Perhaps the only failing was the fact that the cash was not declared to South African Customs as is required by law.

The fact that our intelligence agencies have said that they were the ones that sent the money and that they have told us what it was for is good enough for me. It appears to me that this was a lawful and legitimate exercise and that there is nothing for anyone to worry about. I am aware of the fact that the British, the French, the American, the Chinese, the Israeli, the Saudi Arabian and the Russian intelligence and security agencies, amongst many others, have indulged in such covert ”cash for arms” transactions on numerous occasions in different parts of the world.

They either sell such arms at short notice and off the cuff or they procure them for themselves or for unknown third parties. Even the South Africans themselves have done so on numerous occasions in the past.These are legitimate transactions that are covert and secret in nature but they are certainly not illegal.

Such is the murky and dark world of intelligence and security worldwide. There is plenty that we do not know about their day-to-day operations and they have their own unique way of doing things. We should not assume the worst or constantly denigrate them simply because we are not familiar or comfortable with their modus operandi. Suffice it to say that anyone that is in the process of getting arms to help our boys at the war front to fight Boko Haram and protect our citizens and our country ought to be regarded as heroes and not villains.

The attempt by certain elements in the opposition and the Nigerian media to stigmatise all those involved in this transaction and make the whole thing appear like something that is out of the ordinary or sordid and criminal in nature really does nauseate me. Those who know no better ought to appreciate the fact that this is how the real world operates and they should learn to live with it.

The Nigerian intelligence services operate in no different a way to their colleagues in the international community and they do so with as much patriotism, professionalism and commitment as their counterparts from other parts of the world. And yes, we do have our very own ”James Bonds” in our intelligence services even though, more often than not, they are not recognised, celebrated or appreciated. I counsel that we should cut these men and women that work in the shadows and in secrecy some slack and that we should not be too quick to label them as sleazy rogues who are attempting to indulge in all manner of criminal activities.

Gun running
Since we are on this topic, I would like to take this opportunity to say one or two things about the way in which Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has been villified, maligned and treated with the utmost disdain and contempt in this and other matters by elements within the leading opposition party in our country.

The truth is that, contrary to what some of the leading lights in the opposition would have us believe, he is not an arms smuggler, a money launderer, a murderer or a Boko Haram sponsor. Going to a foreign land and telling the parliament of that country that the President of CAN in Nigeria is the head of Boko Haram, as one or two of them have just done, is not only a pernicious and vicious lie but it is also utterly shameful and disgraceful. Worst of all, it is an affront to the Christian community in Nigeria and a reckless provocation.

On the South African matter, it is clear that Pastor Oritsejafor was not the owner of the 9.3 million USD and neither was he aware that the cash was being flown on the plane. Though he has confirmed that he was the owner of the plane, he has also pointed out the fact that he had leased it out to a company on a long term basis who were themselves subleasing it out to other companies for regular trips.

He has also said that he had no idea about who they were subleasing it to, where they were flying it to or who or what they were carrying in it in any of their operations. The two companies that were involved, both the one that leased it from Oritsejafor and the one that subleased it from them for the journey to South Africa, have since confirmed and corroborated what he has said. In my view, that ought to settle the matter. Yet some people, fuelled and egged on by a ravenous and desperate opposition, have refused to let go of the matter and allow sleeping dogs to lie.

Those in our land trying to divide our ranks and denigrate us by alleging that Oritsejafor is involved in gun-running, money-laundering, Boko Haram or any other filthy and unsavory criminal activity are the lowest of the low. They are wicked and cruel and I have no doubt that such people are in desperate need of prayer.

They need deep intercession and deliverance from the demons that have taken control of them and that are using them. The truth is that it is a grave insult to the Christian community for anyone to suggest that the leader of the umbrella organisation of the over 80 million-strong Christian faithful in Nigeria is a sponsor of a vicious and barbaric Islamist sect that has killed and abducted more Christians and burnt more churches than any other terrorist organisation in the history of the African continent.

Stirring the hornet’s nest

The same people may as well tell us that the leaders of the Christian community in Syria and Iraq are the ones behind ISIS. They can also tell us that the Christian leaders in their respective countries are the ones behind Al Shabab, the Taliban, the Al Nusra Front, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, Daesh, and all the other terrorist organisations that have recently afflicted the world with their vile inhumanity, their sheer evil and their venal barbarism.

It is only in Nigeria that the leadership of the Christian community would be accused, by a supposedly serious-minded opposition, of wanting to wipe out the Christian faith, wanting to kill all the Christians and moderate Muslims in the country and wanting to establish an Islamic fundamentalist state where 6th century Sharia law applies, where little girls are subjected to serial rape and where women are enslaved.

Calling the President of CAN a money-launderer and arms-smuggler and accusing him of murder and sponsoring terror will not help to create religious harmony in our country. As a matter of fact, it will completely destroy it. Those that are doing so and the political party that is stirring up the hornet’s nest and encouraging them ought to think very carefully about the implications of what they are doing.

Religious agenda

We know that they have a religious agenda but they should not take this too far or push us to the wall. Our meekness and humility should not be taken for weakness or stupidity. It is in their own interest and in the interest of the unity of our nation for them to leave the President of CAN alone before matters get out of hand and before all hell breaks loose.

He deserves to be accorded the same level of respect from the Muslim community in our country as the Sultan of Sokoto, the leader of the Muslims in Nigeria, is accorded by Christians. What is good for the goose is surely good for the gander. A word is enough for the wise.

14 Comments

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  • Its unfortunate and quite pathetic that young and educated men like FFK are towing d same path of ethnic bigotry and religious cheuvinism as towed by our past leaders all in order 2 gain public sympathy. FFK, I would be happy if u can confirm that much as there are criminally minded and blood thirsty individuals tagging themselves jihadists, there arent so many millions of such characters in christiandom who actually parade themselves as men of God but perpetrate evil which only can compare with that of lucifer alone. What would have been your reaction if that jet was Buhari’s or Sultan of Sokoto’s.
    Having lost political relevance,the only instrument u deem fit to use is religion. You are still young,and u have a bright political future ahead of u if you can change your ways.stop campaign of calumny.

  • I pity U, and see all the blunders that U are saying. But I want to ask U,it is only CAN president jet that will have in this country? So didn’t the president have his own jet or even d military to carry such money?. So what hell are U talking about. Okay judge it yourself, if it is d sultan of sokoto jet that was use for the procurement of all those arms, what will u say. So what is bad is not bad. Let’s talk persvectively and not sentiment if we want progress in this our dear Country.

  • Am not surprise at this politically arranged pardoned looter who having lost relevance can use religion to incite Christians against Muslims.The CAN president is on his own having compromised himself with politics.No wonder the catholic Bishop saw ahead and withdrew their membership of the national body of CAN.Fani you can not weep up sentiments among the christian community to excuse away this clear criminal act.Maybe you are use to flying away cash but I tell you something not all Christians are not that gullible. Your lies are pathetic.

  • Fani-Kayode, don’t ever think you are talking to fools like urself. This is the same govt you castigated few months ago!
    Something is definitely wrong with your head which is yet to be clear to Nigerians but I knw is all about ur BELLY!!!

  • FFK is the new minister of information just leave him alone.His day of doom will definitely come if he doesn’t stop all this unreasonable propaganda.LIKE OMISORE LIKE FEMI FANI-KAYODE.

  • Is only CAN has the eyes outside that can purchase weapons for the federal government? what of the JNI president, a retired soldier. hasn’t he get the ability, capability and focus to be in that deal? this is only telling the whole nigerians that can president is the originator of boko haram.

  • Shame 2 U Pastor Ayo, u ar claiming dat u ar a man of God but ur pland and agenda is to cheat d real Religioun of Allah. Dnt forget dat Allah is aware of anything both seen nd unseen u guys ar planning.

  • Okupe and Abati should be wary of FFk. The guy is really working hard to snatch their ‘juicy’ job from them. What an arrant nonsense.

  • I hope FFK will have time to go thru these comments. Well don’t blame him remember he has a case of money laundering in the law court. As christians our bible never taught us to support evil.

  • Can’t u pple be reasonable for a min. FFK has nt said anything wrong in this matter. Christianity has globally demonstrated itself as a God’s approved religion. No compulsion and it’s transparency gives good understanding to its believers which is resulting to peace of life. Let other religion access themselves. Jesus is Lord.

  • Interesting! Interesting!! Interesting!!! When people fail to recognise there’s a HE up there watching and seeing d intents and deeds of all, @ His appointed time, HE will show forth to prove d foolishness of men and His supremacy and wisdom. What is hidden from men is clearly open to Him. Our world, our nation! A puzzle!!

  • HERE ARE SOME REVELLATIONS

    1. The exact amount is really $10 million
    2. The money belongs to President Jonathan himself
    3. The plane departed from the Presidential wing of the airport.
    4. The office of the NSA using the airport commandant facilitated the entire process
    4. The Customs are not present at the Presidential wing of the airport.
    5. The aircraft and its passengers could therefore not be cleared by Customs.
    6. The money was meant to buy a helicopter and there is strong suspicion that aircraft was meant to aid the insurgents.
    Posers for Mr President?
    1. To which arm of government or security does the $10 million belong?
    2. Who appropriated the $10 million and for what purpose.
    3. We are aware that each arm of security has an account with the CBN for the purpose of arms purchase and such transactions are properly documented, why was this not the case in this instance?
    4. Our checks have confirmed that there is no arm of the security that has requested for an helicopter so who was the helicopter meant for?
    5. Is this how arms are purchased over the counter?
    6. How come that it took the Federal Government a whole ten days to admit its involvement in this scandal?
    7.Does this saga not give credence to the widely held view that you are benefitting from the the Boko Haram insurgency and that you have deliberately allowed it to escalate to this level
    8. Has this saga not confirmed the suspicion that your 2015 reelection bid had been factored into your handling of the Boko Haram insurgency?
    9. Has this saga not given more credence to Dr Davis revelations that the sponsors of Boko Haram are those closest to the President?
    10. Has this saga not finally confirmed that the President knows more than he is telling the nation about the sudden escalation of the Boko Haram insurgency especially in the run up to the 2015 elections?
    11. Has this saga not confirmed that powerful sources in the GEJ administration are all working in concert to use the Boko Haram insurgency to secure tenure extension for President Jonathan?
    12. Is it not clear now why the Senate President infamously declared two days ago that election is not on the table, we are in a state of war?
    13. Has APC not been proven right now when they declared in the panel discussion in the House of Commons on September 8 that the GEJ administration will cash in on the Boko Haram insurgency to postpone elections?
    14. Mr President please ask your spokespersons to stop ridiculing Nigeria in the committee of nations. How can they say that entering a foreign country with undeclared $10 million dollars is merely procedural error. Mr President South Africa is not Nigeria where stealing is not corruption.
    15. If entering a country with undeclared $10 million is mere procedural error why was Sule Lamido’s son convicted for not declaring a mere $50,000 dollars at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport?
    16. Mr President how can you be promoting a cashless policy at home and be exporting 10 million cash abroad?
    17. Mr President your spokespersons lied when they said CIA, FBI, Mossad etc also travel abroad with undeclared cash violating the laws of foreign countries to buy arms
    18. Mr President only gangsters and terrorists conduct their businesses in this manner.
    19. Nigerians expect you to come clean to them on this issue
    20. National Assembly your silence on this matter is deafening! There will be a National Youth Protest at Eagle Square by 1st October if the federal law enforcement agency did not bring Pastor Orisejefor to justice on the alleged illegal arms deal in S/Africa.Plss forward to all your contacts if you care about Nigerian situation. We stand united,no nonsense shall be tolerated or left for us to inherit. Let’s see if they will stop it from happening.

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