Opinion: Playing Politics With Oritsejafor

By Rt. Rev. Dr. David Bakare

The persistent attacks on the person of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), by opposition politicians suggest a calculated campaign to discredit him.

The latest to join in the gratuitous attacks is the Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Benue State, Senator George Akume. The bone they will not let go of is the cash-for-arms aircraft that landed in South Africa. Despite the fact that the parties involved have stated their roles and, the acceptance by both the Nigerian and South African governments that no blame or guilt can be attached to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the campaign of calumny against the CAN President has been relentless.Since none of these politicians intend to run for his job, one must ask what agenda they are pursuing and why. Politicians seldom act without calculation and premeditation, so we must look beneath and beyond the deluge of criticisms to understand what forces are at play.

When one hears politicians speak of their propriety in matters religious, it is best to run for cover. George Akume has sought to present himself (by implication in contrast to Pastor Ayo) as righteous in his guardianship and promotion of “the tenets of the teachings of Jesus the Christ”.

The rancour accompanying the cries suggests that the opposition want their pound of flesh. On the face of it, their intentions are clear to see, to discredit Pastor Ayo; their motives deserve closer scrutiny. Since they cannot have Pastor Ayo’s flesh, whose flesh are they clamouring after?

George Akume has chosen to disregard the legal and legitimate and instead resort to an exploration of what he describes as a “case of criminality involved in the questionable misadventure”. His language is deliberately mischievous, bordering on the slanderous. He plays fast and loose with the idea of “vicarious liability” and clearly only has a passing familiarity with the concept.

Pastor Oritsejafor is not and has never in any way, shape or form been involved in the “murky waters of international arms trafficking”. For George Akume to insinuate without substantiation is the kind of language that should not emanate from a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, let alone the Senate Minority Leader.

Indeed, given Akume’s exalted position in our upper legislative house, rather than indulging in idle speculation, he has a duty to bring to the attention of the nation’s law officers any information he has on the flouting of the laws of the land. If he has no such evidence, he should learn to keep a civil tongue in his mouth. People who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones.

If, as we suspect, the object of the thinly veiled attacks by the political opposition is not Pastor Oritsejafor, then his reference to vicariousness takes on added meaning. If the political opposition wish to lay into the President, they should not go by way of the President of CAN. CAN has been vociferous and volubly engaged in the security affairs of the country of recent because those affairs have directly and continue to directly impact CAN’s primary constituency, the body of Christians in Nigeria.

The Body of Christ should not shirk from that duty and responsibility merely because those that are not in office would rather we not support efforts to restore a semblance of justice and normality to the North of the country.
Long live Nigeria!
God bless Nigeria!


Culled from The Vanguard



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