Nigeria - Weapons Haram: A Pastor, A Jet, Israel And $10M
24 October 2014
By Bala Muhammad
Imagine this scenario: "A private jet belonging to the
Sultan of Sokoto [though he hasn't as yet got one] has
been impounded in South Africa laden with undeclared
cash to the tune of almost $10m. Also arrested were
two Nigerians and a Saudi Arabian citizen. The
arrested trio said they were in South Africa to
purchase arms…The Sultan of Sokoto is the leader of
Nigeria's Muslim community and President of the
country's influential Nigerian Supreme Council on
Islamic Affairs (NSCIA)…"
Just imagine the frenzy, the abuse, the
castigation, the condemnation a section of this
country's media and public commentariat would scramble
to if this were what happened. The story would have
been a real BANG!
However, the story happens to be the
"A private jet belonging to Pastor Ayo
Oritsejafor has been impounded in South Africa laden
with undeclared cash to the tune of almost $10m. Also
arrested were two Nigerians and an Israeli citizen.
The arrested trio said they were in South Africa to
purchase arms…The Pastor is the leader of Nigeria's
Christian community and President of the country's
influential Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)…"
The reaction, as can be imagined, is
most definitely a WHIMPER, compared to the BANG that
would have erupted were the first scenario the case.
Suddenly, all those loud-mouthed Civil Society
Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations and
Human Rights Organisations and other loquacious vipers
have lost their venomous voices!
Where is the Justice? Where is the
Conscience? Where is the Patriotism? All seem to have
flown through the wide Nigerian window, as they were
hot air in the first place! Imagine if it were the
first scenario! And then consider some shameless,
feather-weight Ebolic justifications from the likes of
that pretender, Femi Fani-Kayode:
"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…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…"
Hear! Hear!! Assurance indeed!
"…something that is quite normal" indeed! But just
imagine what this irritating former opposition
politician and now member of the ruling party would
have said were the situation as narrated in the first
scenario. The castigation, the abuse, the maligning...
And then this one from the Chairman of
the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Cross
River State chapter, Bishop Emmah Isong:
"I want to say here that people should
not use the name of an elevated Christian leader,
number one Christian leader to play politics.
Christians will react if they continue to do this
because we will not want a spiritual leader to be
castigated. It is infuriating; it is rather a security
risk to carry this kind of news. We are warning
anybody who is perpetuating this lie to desist from it
because we will show very serious concern that some
people will not like…The $9.3million dollars found in
pastors Oritsejafor's jet is a political lie from the
opponents of Mr. President who are presuming that Papa
Ayo may become the arrow head to mobilise support for
our wonderful President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan..."
Wonderful Papa Ayo! Wonderful President
But despite the Federal Government's
attempt to cover-up this scandal and protect the
accused (as has been the habit of this ruling party in
all its throughout its scandalous history), the South
Africans are proving that their country, unlike "the
Biggest Economy in Africa" is not a Banana Republic.
According to a Punch newspaper report this Friday:
"There are strong indications that
efforts of the Federal Government to ensure amicable
settlement of issues surrounding the $9.3m seized by
South Africa have failed. South Africa's National
Prosecuting Authority [NPA], in an email to our
correspondent in Abuja on Thursday, said that the
matter was still under criminal investigations…South
Africa's NPA's spokesman, Nathi Mncube, in a response
to [Punch] enquiry said: 'The matter is under criminal
investigations by the Directorate of Priority Crimes
of Investigations unit at South African Police
This Column, therefore, subscribes to
the following couple of opinions:
The first is by Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).
This Lagos-based Islamic civil society organisation
led by Professor Ishaq Akintola describes as a grand
conspiracy against Nigerian Muslims the claim by the
Federal Government that it owns the $9.3 million.
MURIC insists that the Government's claim shows it is
being economical with the truth.
"We have every reason to reject Federal
Government's explanation and it is hereby rejected.
Nigerian Muslims are enveloped with apprehension. All
the ingredients of a plot are here for those who care
to look beyond their noses. In a country in which two
religions are most prominent and are hot rivals of
each other, here is the national leader of a religious
group who also happens to be the President's kinsman,
an undisguised Muslim hater, a man with a belligerent
disposition towards his Muslim neighbours, a man who
has been threatening hell and brimstone over the Boko
Haram saga, being covered by Government. Tie this to
the Israeli connection, a country well known for its
anti-Muslim and mass murder propensities."
"It raises more questions than answers.
For instance, was the intended arms purchase really
meant for the Nigerian Armed Forces? What is the
guarantee that it was not meant for Niger Delta
militants, or Christian crusaders masquerading as Boko
Haram? After all, under-the-table assistance for Boko
Haram has been noticed in the past. Where did the
alleged arms and food drops for Boko Haram by
helicopters come from? Only the Israelis are capable
of doing that," MURIC asked.
The second opinion is from a so-called
Islamic City Project Global Foundation (an
Internet-based Forum) which wants Nigerian Muslims to
ensure that the CAN president's saga is not buried, as
it would be foolish for Muslims to allow an incident
of this magnitude to be swept under the carpet as the
Federal Government is trying to do. The Forum believes
posterity will never forgive our Muslim leaders if
this issue is allowed to die like that. The Forum
further asks the following questions:
If, as claimed, that the jet was on
lease, who authorised Pastor Ayo to operate commercial
flights with his private jet since he knows the
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) rule that
owners of private jets [as they are stupendously rich
enough to afford the plane in the first place] can
only carry family and friends;
Who authorised the loading of almost
$10 million on this jet at a Nigerian airport? Where
were the Nigerian Customs authorities who ask and
frisk passengers to declare sums in excess of a few
Where is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
that this hefty amount can be moved without their
knowledge? Or was this transaction cleared by the same
alleged CBN insider who facilitates the funding and
financing of Boko Haram, as claimed by Australian
negotiator Reverend Stephen Davis?
What, exactly, were those weapons
intended for, considering there was an Israeli citizen
on the 'mission' and Reverend Davis has pointed
fingers at (interestingly) some highly-placed
non-Muslim retired military top brass with close
contact with Israel and its military/security
industry?hrough Allah's trials, for us to continue
HasbunalLahu wa ni'imal Wakeel!