Sept 29, 2014 – Nigeria’s $9.3 Money Laundering Case In South Africa: CAN, Oritsejafor’s Integrity At Stake By Omokehinde
After The Money Laundering Scandal, The Integrity and Reputation of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is at Stake
One of my favorite verses in the Bible says, ” we are the light and salt of the world” Light brings clear vision, orderliness, progress, illumination, blessings, justice, and direction to our paths. On the other hand, salt adds taste or flavor to our food. Spiritually, it represents cleanness or purity without any dirt or blemish. Therefore, true servants of God should not be part of any stain, confusion, political craziness, ungodly controversies, money laundering operations, and corruption of any kind.
To know the will of God, we must study well His words as written in the Bible. Therefore, the word of God is the will of God. The only thing that should move God’s servants is God’s words, His plans, directions or instructions and His principles. We become a sinner whenever we fail to live up to God’s moral and spiritual standard. Materialism, selfishness, unpatriotic attitude, corruption and abuse of power or privileges are the reasons why Nigeria is backward among nations of the world.
Our nation earns billions of naira in oil revenue on daily basis yet, Nigerians are living in abject poverty with no hope of a better tomorrow. This is so shameful, wicked, and disgraceful. This is why the roles of our religious and traditional leaders in any democracy or government are very crucial and sacred. They are supposed to be the voices for the powerless, helpless, and the poor in every society. Religious organization like (CAN) should serve only the interests of the masses by giving spiritual and honest advices to our corrupt politicians at all levels of government. CAN leadership has no moral obligation to be friends with politicians from any political party in a corrupt political setting like Nigeria. CAN as deviated from its core values of serving the people’s interests or needs, it has become a political machine that can be bought by the highest bidder among our corrupt politicians. May God have mercy on black race in the manner and ways we mistreat our own people.
There is no secret thing or deed that anyone can hide away from the creator of heaven and the earth. He is all knowing and all seeing because all things are naked before Him. Also, there is no form of cover up that can erase the truth or fact in any situation. Christian leaders are supposed to pray, hear clearly from God Almighty and pass those instructions or directions or warnings to our elected officials for the peace, prosperity, security and progress of the nation and her citizens without pursuing any personal or material gains. Christian Association of Nigeria’s main responsibility is to fight for economic and social justice for the poor Nigerians, promotes peace and stability among Nigerian various groups, and fight for the rights of all Nigerian citizens and other residents. CAN as deviated completely from its moral and spiritual responsibilities for the following reasons:
First, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN ), should be a strong voice of justice for the poor, disable Nigerian citizens, the needy, widows, and the orphans in our nation. It’s supposed to hold our corrupt politicians accountable for all the injustice against over 180 million suffering Nigerians. But instead, CAN is now a part and parcel of Nigerian’s social, political, and economical problems. The current President of (CAN) wines and dines with our criminal politicians at the expense of millions of suffering Nigerians. Two wrongs can never make it right, and the danger of sin is that the scars are always permanent. JEHOVAH love and care so much about the poor but CAN as forsaken the poor and powerless Nigerians. These are few of God’s Word in the Bible regarding the treatment towards the poor and helpless: (I) He (God) preserve not the life of the wicked; but gives right to the poor. “(Job 36:6) (ii) “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.” (Psalms 140:12) (iii) “To turn aside the needy from judgement, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless…” (Isahah 10:2-3). When was the last time you heard Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor or any of our mega star pastors calling for economic justice for over 180 million suffering Nigerians?
We all know that corruption is the order of the day in Nigerian politics, and our politicians are the most corrupt politicians in the entire world. When was the last time that this corrupt administration was called to address, looting of public funds, economic failure, economic injustice, high rate of unemployment among Nigerian youths, election fraud, abuse of power, mismanagement, corruption, and money laundering just to mention a few by (CAN) or any religious group in Nigeria? The word of God says, “The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God brings abundantly.” I do not remember the last time (CAN), other religious or traditional leaders did that for the suffering masses.
In addition to (CAN) ignoring the needs of the suffering Nigerians, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and other mighty pastors in Nigeria except Pastor Tunde Bakare all kept mute when the President was doing economic injustice by sudden increase in the prices of petrol and kerosene by about 75 % just few weeks after President Jonathan was reelected in 2011. I understand the fact that when a man owns and flies private jets, there is possibility that he has no idea of what the poor or ordinary people are going through daily as a result of that ridiculous increase in prices of fuel. Many of our religious leaders most especially our pastors and the chief Imams are so afraid to tell President Jonathan’s administration the hard truth because of fear of losing their comfort zones. May God have mercy on all of us in this corrupt nation? Amen. As a result of that reckless and heartless hike in prices of petrol and kerosene by President Jonathan, the prices of food products has sky rocketed; high costs of transportation, ridiculous cost of accommodation, unimaginable level of unemployment among our youths, and more Nigerian citizens have been driven back to serious hardship and abject poverty despite billions of dollars monthly Nigerian oil revenue. (CAN) is careless and refuses to address many economic injustice brought by this corrupt administration against the voiceless, powerless, and the poor amongst us. Nigerian’s false democracy of the past sixteen years is far worse than any military regime in Nigerian history. It is a false democracy because Nigerians do not benefit from this “Demonstration of Craziness”, only friends and family members of our heartless and wicked politicians are getting fat at the expense of millions of suffering Nigerians.
Moreover, (CAN) as completely deviate from its core values, which is to fight for the needs of Nigerians regardless of their faith, culture, tribe or language. Why? When was the last time you heard (CAN) President, other great men of God and the Islamic leaders preaching against looting of our national treasury by our politicians, lack of accountability at all levels of government, jumbo pay of over $2 million dollars annual pay of our greedy legislators from both ” Houses of Looters ” in Abuja? They are making about five times of President Obama’s annual salary while over 180million great Nigerians live less than a dollar per day. This is the peak of all wickedness in our false democracy and great injustice against Nigerians. This ridiculous jumbo pay they are giving to themselves at the expense of suffering Nigerian citizens is worse than armed robbery; it is a great crime against our powerless and helpless citizens, yet all of our influential pastors are careless about the well-being of the people and many injustices done to Nigerians by our corrupt politicians at all levels of government. No one had been held responsible for the gruesome murder of about 32 innocent Nigerians in that fake job recruitment exercise at Abuja National stadium few months ago by Nigerian Immigration Services which is one of the Federal government agencies.
Those innocent people were murdered in their own nation simply for trying to work for Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS). What a great injustice to the families of those that were killed in that ugly incident. Most of our very rich and comfortable Pastors are quick to rebuke and condemn poor people for not paying their tithe and offerings. But they mingle together with the looters of the people’s money, election fraudsters, and corrupt politicians. There is no one who does not know that the setbacks in Nigeria are the evil handwork of our selfish and corrupt politicians. I guess the biblical rules that our influential Pastors preach to their friends in Nigerian politics are different from those they preach from the pulpit to the poor and ordinary Nigerians. I strongly believe that if they preach the true gospel of Christ to our corrupt politicians, there will be no love or any form of friendship or personal affairs between them. I hope they tell them at every opportunity that looting, money laundering, election fraud, political assassination and intimidation, and corruption will take them to hell fire. The Bible says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for night, and light for darkness; that put bitter for Sweet, and sweet for bitter ” (Isaiah 5:20).
The recent money laundering scandal involving a private jet that belong to the current President of Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN )-pastor Ayo Oritsejafor is an evidence that (CAN) had overstepped its moral boundary. It clearly shows that (CAN)’s leadership has deviated from its main responsibility of fighting for the rights and needs of ordinary Nigerian citizens. Many Nigerians have come to realize that our problems are deeper and bigger than bad management and leadership failures since some leaders of our various religious institutions are part and parcel of our nation’s setbacks. Corruption, mismanagement, shattered educational system, outdated infrastructures, and lack of economic opportunities for millions of our able youths in the north are the reasons why Boko Haram terrorist group are flourishing in their recruitment of those jobless Northern youths for their evil agenda.
These corrupt politicians and their friends in both religious groups (Christianity and Islam) have destroyed many lives and that of many generations to come through money laundering, corruption, and mismanagement. Likewise, lack of economic agenda of both the State and the Federal government in the South have a negative impact on the southern jobless youths, many of them have turned into armed robberies, kidnappers, ritualists, hired assassins and prostitutes in their quest to survive the hardship imposed on them by Nigerian looters in our various positions of authority. High unemployment rate among our youths poses dangers, increase in crime rates, violence and other forms of lawlessness. One will think or expect our religious leaders especially (CAN) to call the attention of those in power to youth empowerment and sound education in order to secure better future for our young ones and many generations to come, but instead, some of them visit Aso Rock villa more than they visit their various religious sanctuaries for personal gain. Our political leaders and their friends in various religious groups in Nigeria should know that only the gifts from God add no sorrow. Any gift they take or receive from any politician is from looted money that should have been used for many developmental projects that would have elevate poverty in the lives of millions of suffering Nigerians. In Islam that type of gift is called “Haram” and it is a forbidden or abominable gift or fruit in the eyes of God Almighty.
It is so shameful that this present administration is the dumbest, most incompetent ever, and the most corrupt in Nigeria history. In their attempt to cover up the money laundering scandal involving CAN president private jet, President Jonathan’s administration claimed that the money is meant to purchase weapon in South Africa. This administration has so many explanations to make to Nigerians and the International community regarding the stolen $9.3 million seized by South African diligent and dedicated Custom and Aviation officials at the Johannesburg International Airport two weeks ago. The questions we must ask this corrupt and money laundering administration are as follows: First, why is the money not declared at the point of entry to South African custom officials if truly it was a legitimate money for transaction as they claimed? Next, what amount and types of weapons and ammunition can be purchased with $9.3 million in any arms market anywhere in the globe?
Also, Since South African government is unaware of the stolen money, who are those selling Nigerian government weapons in that country without the knowledge and approval of a legitimate South African government? Are they using the stolen money to buy weapons from the black market in South African, thereby, promoting and supporting illegal arms dealing in that nation? No matter how hard they try to cover up their looting, the truth will always reveal itself with the passage of time. The $9.3 million seized by South African government in Johannesburg is a token of the billions of dollars money laundering operations of this corrupt administration and other Nigerian politicians. We should not forget that about $20 billion was stolen from the NNPC account last year by this President in the last year for his reelection campaign. Governor Sanusi of CBN was bullied out of office last year for blowing whistle on that stolen or missing money. After the scandal last week, Pastor Oritsejafor confined the ownership of the private jet, but denied any involvement in the money laundering operations of this administration. In his defense, the Pastor argued that the aircraft was leased to and operated by a private company. But damage has already being done to (CAN) and to the Pastor because of the involvement of his personal jet. Whether or not the Pastor is innocent, damage has already being done to the once respected and reputable religious organization in Nigeria. For those that are looting the people’s money and laundering those money in foreign account while millions of our people are suffering at home, hear what the Bible teaches about oppressing poor Nigerians. “Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; ……..” (Job 20 :19-21). It is still a misery how Nigerian politicians succeeded in silencing many of Nigerian influential religious leaders from preaching against their evil and criminal behaviors. What does their light have in common with the darkness and evil of our politicians? Nigerian politicians will do anything evil to remain in power or get elected to office just to oppress, steal and add to the suffering of our people. The Bible says, “where there is no vision, the people perish”. Lack of accountability, corruption, embezzlement, election fraud, mismanagement, and abuse of power are the reasons why millions of Nigerians are still living in abject poverty.
It would be unfair for anyone to think or say that all great or influential Pastors in Nigeria are corrupt. There are many great Pastors in Nigeria today that love God, take good care of the poor in our society through various charities. I also want to say that some great and true men of God are still feeding their people with undiluted words and those in this category can never be buy over to that evil, heartless and corrupt camp of the tormentors of Nigerian people called politicians. Many of our great Pastors are praying daily for peace and stability of our beloveth nation. These groups of the saints are the reasons why Nigeria is still standing and staying united. I also want to say that there is nothing wrong with any Pastor owning or flying private jets. I know for sure that God delight in the prosperity of all His true servants. The Bible says, “If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures” (Job 36:11). Pastors have the rights just like other human being to enjoy the good things of this world as long as it is not from the money stolen from the people’s purse.
Finally, it is very crucial for Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to regain back its reputation, integrity, and honor after the money laundering scandal involving the private jet of its President. If not, Nigerians (both Christians and Muslims) will continue to see CAN has a political machine that had been corrupted by looted money from our politicians. We have to remind ourselves constantly that the gospel of our Lord Jesus is not about bread and butter but about salvation, peace, justice, holiness and truth. In my opinion, I think the current President of CAN should step aside for a new one. Religious organization like (CAN) should focus on the needs and concerns of the powerless, voiceless and ordinary people. The leadership of CAN should commit themselves to economic and social justice for the widows, youths, orphans, disable, and all Nigerians regardless of their tribes, religious or culture. They should avoid the temptation of getting corrupted by our wicked and corrupt politicians. After all, naked we all come to this world, and naked we shall depart one day. To those in various positions of authorities in Nigeria today, you should always remember that we shall all give account of all our deeds to God Almighty. Shalom!
About The Author: Omokehinde Writes From Lagos