Before We All Crucify Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; By Muhammed Yakubu
Pastor Ayo as he’s fondly called by his friends and followers can be referred to as a father, sage, writer and religious cleric and one of those whom have earned his respect and reverence in preaching the word of God for the past 40 years and have climbed through the ranks to become what he is today. Though his ministry is the Pentecostal fellowship of Nigeria, he’s the incumbent president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). A prolific writer of many Christian and inspirational books namely: the faith that works, walking in unity and a man amongst men just to mention a few.
The above person has come under fire lately as an alleged co-sponsor of Boko haram, a dreaded sect that has been terrorizing the Nigeria populace for a while now especially the northern parts of Nigeria. Well aside from the norm by the generality of Nigerians, I am not of those whom have out rightly ridicule or defame his character and the bandwagon of Nigerians whom have spared no word in condemning him for having links with Gun-running vis a vis, his alleged sponsorship of this group.
Although the timely and circumstantial evidence is enough to hang anyone involved to the wall, the uproar culminated seemingly because his aircraft which was leased out and sub-leased afterwards by another contracting firm was found in South Africa with a large sum of money to the tune 9.3 million dollars supposedly to purchase weapons in collaboration with Nigerian government to upgrade her military’s armory.
I am also an ardent follower of his other colleagues in the crusade, the likes of David Oyedepo, Chris Oyakhilome, and E.A Adeboye. These them have spurred my imaginations and have bolstered the concept and image of Christianity that has formed in me overtime, from their weekly write ups, to their bible study, to their weekend preaching and even camp crusades. I didn’t forget their miracles, I am not just a fan of magic. I must confess that they have abridged the many religious gaps and bigotry I would have been exposed to especially as a Muslim.
As the issue was generating heat in the polity, I begged to understand if in this secular world of ours, its so sacrilegious to partake in renting out ones aircraft if one is not privy to what its been rented for, either for business tours & trips or certain heinous undertaking? Well either could be reason for the lease, but then so far as we know it’s a link which that has spurred more allegations and counter allegations. But then constitutionally is it wrong for one to be involved in act which the government has sanctioned and accented to? I don’t think so, an example can be taken from the usual government contracts where everyone is allowed to apply and bid for a contract in our ministries an parastatals. It boggled me more on how swiftly he came out to assent that the said plane was his unlike the usual denial-norm we are used to and explained how the said plane was leased and sub-leased. Hence, I think he deserves a better listening and window of explanation and or investigation/debrief as the case may be.
That been said, I was disappointed by some part of the message sent out from his camp after the incident, which was suppose to vindicate him of gun-running, which for me simply sent some unprofessional and sentimental messages attached to his response, daunted with petty ideas and even fingering his presumed adversaries instead of imploring some legal and constitutional precedence to excuse and clear his name. I honestly didn’t expect a religious leader of his cadre and office to concede that some partisan politicians were trying to smear his image and drag his name into mud, to the extent of mentioning names and even political parties. I mean when did it get this dirty between the president of a hallowed institution such as CAN and the said politicians?
Let it be noted here that I’m not a fan of El-rufai or his cohorts who drive activism with so much rigor and assertiveness that one is forced to think if he’s really a patriot or just enjoys making headlines from his persistent castigation of the Nigerian government and entity which has otherwise made him whom he has become today. Let’s be frank, can the person of Elrufai be separated from his authorized biography which the Nigerian gov’t gave a platform to serve and perform to earn the respect and admiration he enjoys from a vast majority of Nigerians? Of course No!
I want to believe Pastor Ayo still remembers the admonition he preaches on national television on how everyone and groups is obliged to reach out for peace whilst advising against usurping other peoples right and freedom by playing ethnic, religious cards and heinous partisan politics in the name of seeking power or staying in power. Uncle Ayo! We understand that every human is fallible but Let’s practice what we preach.
Conclusively and Generally, I will like to advise our religious leaders if I am worthy of doing so, to have a rethink and restitute on their acts to fashion out best ways to work with government instead of delving into govt activities unwarrantedly to protect the sanctity of our religious institutions from grave infiltrations and malicious accusations that may taint their personality and the creed that we all share. The reason is so we don’t jeopardize and deprive ourselves of the sanctuary and spiritual fulfillments that we gain by abiding by the doctrines and scriptures which they obviously preach.
Written by Muhammed Yakubu, He tweets @Mista_yax
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