13 Oct 2014

Controversial $9.3m Arms Deal: Presidency clears Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

As controversy continues to trail the $9.3 million arms deal, the federal government yesterday exonerated the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, of blame in the involvement of his aircraft in the deal in South Africa.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, told journalists in Abuja that Oritsejafor, who is also the founder of Word of Life Bible Church, was innocent and had no business with the said deal.
“Most Nigerians do not also respect the sensibilities of other people. Oritsejafor is the president of CAN and head of all Christians in Nigeria who is representing at least, 50 per cent of people in this country. When it comes to a man like that, people should be cautious and circumspect,” Okupe advised.
The presidential aide urged Nigerians to stop playing politics with every issue of national concern, saying it is not in tandem with patriotism.

According to him, the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) had done well by coming out promptly to tell the truth on the matter.

He said it would not be okay for government to be making public its plans on how to tackle the ongoing security challenges in the country.
Okupe said: “The linking of Pastor Oritsejafor is the most unfortunate thing; to put the very respectable, responsible, honest and sincere President of CAN in this matter is the extreme of mischief. It just shows you what some Nigerians do, they go to any extent to politicise everything and everyday. What bothers me here is the manner in which people want to bring down Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on this matter. It is pure absurdity.

“Oritsejafor has no business in this matter. It is true that he owns the aircraft but there are over 200 private Nigerians who have jets. Apart from those who use it frequently, some give it out to get some money and defray some of the costs. If you put your jet down, you pay money and parking charges everyday.”

“He gave the private jet to a company to manage. The company is handling it and these people gave out the plane that is available. What has this to do with Oritsejafor? If I have many cars at the airport and decide to give one to car hire services. And he decides to carry somebody having Indian hemp, and you will link it up with the man who gave it out? Excuse me, this is ridiculous.”

Credit: Paul Obi/ThisDay

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