The cash, the jet and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

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.

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 has 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, 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 worse 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 that 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.

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 vilified, 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 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 with a dark and sinister hidden agenda, have refused to let go of the matter and allow sleeping dogs to lie.

Those in our land that are 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 unsavoury 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.

The same people may as well tell us that the leaders of the Christian community in Syria and Iraq are the ones behind ISIL and 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, Hamas, the Janjaweed, the Islamic Brotherhood 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 Janjaweed political party that is stirring up the hornets’ nest and encouraging them ought to think very carefully about the implications of what they are doing. 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 the Christians. What is sauce for the goose is surely sauce for the gander. A word is enough for the wise.

  • omiso uyi

    My fani kayode u just an idiot from the pit of hell. Go give ur lame excuses to ur family.

    • deyi

      This man called FFK thinks Nigerians are fools .Everything in this country is blamed on opposition. Was it an opposition party that made SA govt regarded Nig govt explanation as flimsy one. Ppl knows that Nigerian govt said that to cover up the scam.God will save this country one day from ppl like you. Aside your hatred for ISLAM shows in ur tex because we don’t understand your own version of Sharia that permitted RAPING.

      • engr

        May God continou to bless the good people of Nigeria.i never knew FFK was a fool if not until this very moment after readin his post.i don’t know what he was thinking before he wrote all those rubbish but one ting he must know is Nigerians are not fool anymore we are waiting for them.when the time comes we will know who is d real Nigerian

  • seyi

    sir i just wonder if you think some of us nigeria or daft, i find that people in corridors power have less knowledge than us , sir please stop sounding funning,it was as result of break down in communication and few lapses, with this action 150 million ppl are made to look stupid and childish. if your ppl re serious minded somebody suppose to be fired now or resigning in government circle for incompetence

  • mon nom sur l’map

    All will eventually come to light. The wolves in sheeps clothing or the sheeps in wolves clothing one way or the other are responsible for the whipping this country is receiving. Yes, ideologies differ but to come to a compromise is our greatest problem. We have reached dat level whereby Trust is a very rare commodity. So whatever is meant to be hidden should remain hidden or be ready to defend yourself. Well meaning Nigerians should carry on, forget what d media says, you shall eventually be rewarded. I hope, I pray.

  • Jay

    Would this idiot of a man had said this if he were still in the opposition he is crucifying here now? Won’t he have been the usual one shouting on top of the roof concerning this? He just need to shut up!

  • hamza

    Femi, you are a fool o. So you think Nigerians are fools. Who ask you for explanation? Why are explaining? Did anybody call your name? You think you are important? Mtcheww! For your information, we all know you for who you are. A BIGOT.

    Abi you want Abati’s job? You are the classical example of what the yorubas call OKPONU.

    So shut up.

    • SHYMAN

      Yoruba don’t call them OKPONU but OPONU

  • Tope

    Fani kayode you’re a big fool a liar a thief and a drug addict. Idiot!!! How can you come out with such a write up. You think Nigerians are stupid and will believe you? I don’t blame you. You’re struggling to survive.

  • Simbiat

    OMG! Unbelievable!
    How low can you descend?

  • Aderemi

    If we have this guy as our leader in this country, Nigeria would never exist again. I am not surprised, have even stopped reading his articles because it will never add any value to my knowledge. He’s a candidate of death sentence and hell fire.

  • The Voice

    What a ridiculous excuse made in the light of such an international embarrassment caused by such evil beasts.
    How much coke did you sniff? or did you shoot excess of meth as usual?

  • zenny2012

    Thank you for this FFK. I very sincere an apt analysis. Only fools that are threatened by your intelligence or those with sinister objectives as stated in the article will find fault with this summation

    • beesoyeh

      Really? Tor!!!

  • Omoga01

    The explaination by FFK is to say the least laughable. To borrow from El Rufai, how can a govt that arrested the son of Lamido over $50,000 now come out to explain the current embarrassment as ‘procedural error? The countries mentioned in FFK write would have resorted to deniability if indeed it was a covert operation. How do you purchase a helicopter gunship covertly? Haba FFK? That I school in naija doesn’t mean we cannot tell our left from our right. Thank God there’s no moslem lady for you to write how much you have had relations with. How far with your corruption charges? I’m sure your masters must have withdrawn it so you can continue to do their bidding as well as enjoy your loot. Remember - there is God o

  • INNOCENT ODEZULU

    People should allow Fani Kayode to express his feelings. Politicians have taking their politicking to a dangerous level. It is laughable to pistulate that any christian will associate himself or herself with the devilish BH sect.

  • Sani

    Femi you’re nothing but a fat liar… the duty of youth is to challenge corruption, I don’t know Nigerian government doesn’t have a plane from the military for transport and CBN for transaction, well this is really embarrassing the whole world knows about the owner of the private plan, what we are waiting for now is where did the money come from? And we know the GEJ administration will not bring them to justice… but our God that expose them will surely show them their path right from how they will end, and God will give them what they deserve,

    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

    It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question the authority.

    Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

  • garba

    Your nothing but the darkness of the earth… stupid man… na God go punish all this politics people for naija…

  • daniel

    The truth is that arms deals are mostly done in cash to conceal the transactions and parties involved. Unfortunately, our country Nigeria as usual did not package the deal as should be done.
    This does not mean that FFK’s opinion was needed on this anyway. He is only trying to regain public acceptance which he personally damaged by running his mouth endlessly.