Sunday, October 12, 2014 8:51 pm
Dr. Doyin Okupe, President Goodluck Jonathan’s senior media assistant, wielded the battle axe on behalf of the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor over the involvement of his aircraft in the controversial $9.3million smuggled cash for arms deal in South Africa.
Okupe exonerated the well-connected pastor, saying he had no business with the matter. But it was not clear if he expressed a personal view or whether he spoke the president’s mind. Okupe gave his verdict when he spoke with Religious Affairs Correspondents in Abuja today.
“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.
He also advised 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 has done well for coming out promptly to tell the truth on the matter.
The Presidential Aide also said it would not be proper 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 Ayo 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 Nigerians do, they go to any extent to politicize everything and everyday. What bothers me here is the manner with 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 handing 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.”
He also responded to criticisms that the issue went out of hand because the government did not come out publicly on the issue before embarking on the adventure.
Okupe said, “The Nigerian government cannot share all information about the issues because it is a security matter. It is an issue which we cannot just bring to pubic domain. For goodness sake, we need to have some quiet innocent support. I am surprised that Nigerians want to discuss security issues openly and publicly when a war is still going on.
“These are very serious national security affairs and running a government is not the same thing as running a Shoprite, where everything is on the table and on display. There is nothing shady about the South African deal and the Office of the NSA has done very well because at the appropriate time, they came in that, ‘yes, this money belongs to us and this was what it was meant for’; that explanation itself was okay. There is no hanky panky on this matter.”
Reported Originally by 247ureports.com