Saturday, November 1, 2014

"People Are Foolish" CAN President, Oristejafor's Wife Reacts To The $9.3M Money-For-Arm Saga

helen oritsejafor 
Helen Oritsejafor, wife of the founder of the Word of Life Bible Church and president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejafor has denied that her husband’s private jet was bought for him by Jonathan. She also described the recent $9.3m money-for-arm saga involving her husband as a sinister joke. See excerpts of her interview with punch below:

How did you receive the news of his jet’s involvement in the $9.3m money-for-arms saga?

I was really surprised. I didn’t even know anything about it. I didn’t even know our plane was out of the country because we leased it out to a company in Abuja so that we will be able to utilise whatever comes out of the deal for the maintenance of the plane because it is quite expensive. So, we didn’t know. Even though we read and heard some comments some people made concerning it, unknown to us that our plane was actually involved. We were really surprised just like every people. In all honesty, by the time we got to know that it was Papa’s plane, we knew that the enemies were trying to play some prank. It is natural because he is a symbol of Christianity in Nige­ria. If anyone wants to move against Christian­ity in Nigeria, it would be easier for the one to go after the symbol. The only thing is I wasn’t expecting people to get really dirty as they did.

So you were really shocked?

The whole episode appeared as if some­body was out for some sinister joke. It’s quite obvious. Take for instance, why was it that it was Papa’s plane that would be hired? How would it be that it would be his plane of all planes in Nigeria that they needed for that mission? It’s still very baffling. Number two, it became obvious that it was orchestrated and the whole essence of it is to see how they can give him a name God has not given to him, and all because he has been a very outspoken man. I know him too well, he is a very down-to-earth person, and he doesn’t know how to hide his feelings. He is a very quiet and re­served person. But then when there is a need for him to speak about anything, he would rather confront things the way they are rather than hide behind his fingers. That is not him. I know quite a number of people have been very uncomfortable with that especially with the Boko Haram situation.

Let’s be frank, who would not be affected? You are leading a body and gradually, there seems to be an elimination of this same group of people. You would be a wicked leader not to react. So, he made every effort. He noticed that our government wasn’t really forthcoming with a lot of things; we seem to try to politicise a lot of things in Nigeria which is quite trou­bling. He went out of his way to address the US Congress. It was quite obvious that terror­ism was being financed not just from within but from outside as well, whether to destabilise or in a way, indirectly force on Nigeria a par­ticular religion which is quite shameful. And he was not comfortable with that. If you would know, this was injustice. So, he is now paying the price for being an outspoken man, defend­ing his people, defending Christianity in Nige­ria, and do not want Nigerians having to hide their heads later on in life because whichever way we look at it, history will tell.

Some people said President Jona­than bought it for him.

I wish he did. I have the list of the names of people who masterminded this thing on our record. Hundreds and thousands of peo­ple, church folks who said this man served us with every vigour in him, we could see in him a great man and he’s not getting younger anymore. He is ever on the road constantly doing everything he can for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us try as much as pos­sible to elongate his life by blessing him with this gift. He didn’t buy it or put down money to say this is what he wants. He didn’t even know anything about it. I was aware of it. What I would have loved for them to tell me is to show me the receipt of the plane that was bought by President Jonathan and the person who said he bought the plane. I have heard all sorts of lies that maybe somebody did it on behalf of somebody. There’s no human being that can stand up to say I bought this plane. It’s a complete lie from the pit of hell. Because of his person, realising the fact that what should he do with this plane knowing the amount of money that it’s going to cost to maintain it; if he was using church money to maintain it, they would have cried out to say he is using church money. You can see how foolish peo­ple can be. If President Jonathan bought him a plane, can’t the same President Jonathan maintain the plane? Why must it be hired out so as to sustain the maintenance of the same plane if indeed it was the president that bought this plane? They politicise a lot of things. It’s really annoying.

Is Pastor Ayo really that close to President Jonathan as his accusers allege?

I would love it if people can help me de­fine that word ‘close’. Yes there’s a relation­ship that has to do with being in his position as the President of CAN and President Jonathan as the President of Nigeria. Automatically, whether he likes it or not, there will be some level of interaction and that is what Nigerians are calling closeness. Maybe they should tell us how President Jonathan gave him one naira to buy a plane.

I don’t really think that Pastor Ayo is closer to the president than the Sultan of Sokoto, the co-chair of NIREC. This is not to say that Papa hates Jonathan, no he does not. He is a Chris­tian and so as a Christian father to the nation, he tries his best to provide a guard. He speaks out whenever necessary. He goes in to offer his own advice or suggestion as the case maybe whenever he is asked to. When he wants to see the president, he makes request just like every­one else. And mostly, it is to discuss the issue of the nation. Many times, he goes with his CAN executive council members to sit down with the president and confront him on certain issues all to see how the nation can be well pi­loted. What I have noticed is that whichever way you see it, if I say this man is not close to the president, they will say it’s because of what happened, if I say he’s close, they will say that is what we are talking about. I don’t even care what people might say concerning that because you can never please human be­ings. What I am saying is that please before you start giving this man a bad name, find out the true position of things. Do not go out there forgetting that he is a husband to a woman and he is a father as well. Besides, he is a man who has sacrificed himself. I think Nigerians even have him more than I do.

He is a very passionate person. When he believes in something, he’s driven by it. He goes all out to see how he can really push across whatever he is trying to bring in. That’s who he is. When he got the leadership, when he was elected to lead Christians in Nigeria, he made up his mind that he was going to do everything and anything possible to propagate what he has been given. And he sees it as an assignment. Many times, people see leader­ship just to bear a name and enjoy it. I think if this man had wanted to enjoy the leader­ship as it were, maybe by now his relationship with the Sultan of Sokoto would be waxing stronger. And maybe he would have been enjoying more from the government as well. But he has decided to sacrifice all that just like Moses. Moses sacrificed and said he was not going to allow the booty in Pharaoh’s house to override his judgment and so he shut himself out completely from the judgment at the pal­ace and made himself a sacrifice for the liberty and freedom of the Israelites. That is what we are seeing now with our father as well. He has truly given himself out to the nation and, then of course, to the people who we call his con­stituents.


  1. cool story............smh