Oritsejafor recently acquired a Canadian-made Bombardier jet with US registration number N431CB, manufactured in 1994.
It was presented to the cleric at an elaborate party that
commemorated his 40th year in the vineyard of God. The jet is worth
$3.5m, making him to join the likes of Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the
Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Bishop David Oyedepo of the
Living Faith Church, famously known as Winners’ Chapel who own private
While some Christians maintain that the Apostles of the Most High
have committed no crime in their acquisitions, others are saying that it
is quite unreasonable for a cleric whose members are living from hands
to mouth in the church to acquire such an expensive jet, describing it
as ‘signs of the end time’.
In his reaction, Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) and founder
of Later Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunder Bakare recently lambasted
Oritsejafor and other men of God with private jets, saying that they
should give account of their wealth or be ‘jailed and burnt in hell’.
Hear him, “I am not inciting the public against the church and the
mosque, but the congregation must demand explanation from their leaders.
They must demand to know where they are getting the money. If it is not
from the church offering, then it is from Abuja. All general overseers
must go to prison. If the revolution does not begin in the church, it
cannot spread; if it does not begin in the mosque, it will not spread,
because they control the population.”
However, chairman of the Northern Christian Elders Forum, Evangelist
Matthew Owojaiye, said Bakare’s comments should be ignored. The cleric
said Bakare is a confused and frustrated preacher.
Also throwing his weight behind the ‘Nigerian Jet Owners Pastors
Association’, the General Overseer of Jos-based Evangelical Bible
Outreach Ministries International, Apostle Isa El-Buba said that there’s
nothing wrong for pastors to own private jets, stressing that Bakare’s
condemnation of these labourers in the Lord’s house was blasphemous.
According to El-Buba, “There is nothing wrong for a preacher to own a
jet. If people in the secular world can acquire jets for chief
executive officers of big private enterprises, there is nothing wrong in
giving gifts to a man of God of Pastor Oritsejafor’s standing. This is a
man of God that travels across the whole world. He deserves what he has
In the same vein, the General Secretary of the Christian Association
of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Musa Asake, thrashed Bakare, saying: “What is
wrong with giving a gift to Pastor Oritsejafor? Did Pastor Oritsejafor
embezzle church money? Did he collect somebody’s money? Some people came
together and bought it for him so as to ease his work. This is to help
him to continue with the work of the gospel. Oritsejafor is a man of
God. He is doing everything for the work of God… It is a welcome idea. I
support people who help ministers of the gospel in their work. He did
not go out to lobby for it. It was a surprise for him. I was at that
occasion. I saw things myself,” he argued.
Also, a renowned Christian leader and President of the Delta State
Baptist Conference, Reverend Gideon Oyibo, backed Pastor Oritsejafor,
saying there was nothing wrong with such gesture. According to him, “The
environment influences the way people talk. If you come from a family
background of poverty and a member of the family is rich, people will
conclude that he is a ritualist. They will conclude that he has stolen
money, because in that family, the members do not expect anybody to be
rich… In Nigeria, we have a traditional environment in which a pastor is
expected to operate by our own evaluation. Whenever a pastor is living
above our own evaluation, then we can say anything about that person…
The question we should ask is that: did Pastor Oritsejafor ask for the
jet? Did he beg for it? Or was it that certain people gathered together
under the leading of God and decided to buy it and present it to him as a
Flaying Oritsejafor and other men of God who own private jets, the
Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Kukah recently said
acquisition of private jets by preachers weakens the moral voice of the
church in the fight against corruption in the nation.
According to the bishop, “The stories of corrupt men and women being
given recognition by their churches or mosques as gallant sons and
daughters and the embarrassing stories of pastors displaying conspicuous
wealth as we hear from the purchases of private jets and so on clearly
diminish our moral voice.”
“CAN has become more visible in relation to national prayer sessions, pilgrimages, alliances with state power and so on.
“Unless we distance ourselves, we cannot speak the truth to power. We
cannot hear the wails of the poor and the weak. We should not be seen
as playing the praying wing of the party in power.” He added.
Meanwhile, the Concerned Northern Nigerian Christians (CNNC) on
Tuesday rose in support of Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah who described the
acquisition of private jets by Christian leaders as an embarrassment to
CNNC in a statement through its spokesperson, Peter Yahuda said
lampooning Bishop Kukah over his stance on the acquisition of private
jets by Christian clerics is not fair.
It said: “As concerned Christians of Northern Nigerian extraction, we
find it expedient to respond to the unbecoming words credited to one
Elder Sunday Oibe, who claims to be speaking on behalf of Christian
Association of Nigeria (CAN) as its Director of Research, Planning and
“Oibe denigrated Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah over recent views he
expressed regarding acquisition of private jets by some Nigerian
Christians leaders, which he described as an embarrassment to
Christianity considering the perilous times we are in.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Sunday Oibe acted wrongly and grossly
confirms our fears as to the relegation of our honest, unifying and most
coveted association (CAN) and her true ideals as carefully laid down by
her founding fathers,” he said.
When the founder and General Superintendent of Deeper Life Bible
Church, Pastor Kumuye was asked on his stance when Pastor E.A Adeboye
acquired a private jet a few years back, the respected holiness preacher
and teacher said: “It depends on individuals, if a church says their
need is a private jet, why not? For our ministry, private jet is not yet
our priority . When the need arises, we may go for it, but not now.” He
DailyPost spoke with some Nigerians who aired their views on the matter.
Yusuf Adio (student)
For me, I’m not a Christian and I think it is not right at all. Does
that mean the church doesn’t have other pressing needs. Are there no
widows or orphans in the church? These men of God don’t do other jobs
elsewhere, they live on church’s tithes and offering, so how do they
make their money?
Dem go thief? It is not right. I think the government should call them to order.
Pastor Emmanuel Echeija –Assistant Pastor, Jesus the Way of Salvation Christian Church International, Lagos:
I’m not surprised because bible says in the end many false Prophets
shall arise. The end-time is absolutely here and we should be prepared
for the Lord’s coming. It is uncalled for and absolutely wrong for a man
of God to acquire a jet. Is that what the white men who brought
Christianity to us did or still doing? This is fraudulent at the highest
order. Just like Pastor Bakare said, they should be jailed.
Suleman Babatunde: You are asking if it is wrong for
a man of God to acquire a private jet? I think you are a Christian. Do
you even have a bicycle? I think you pay tithe and offering regularly?
Leave the rest for your conscience to judge you.
Joy Chijoke (Tailor):
I’m a member of Living Faith and I see nothing wrong with it. Do you
know how many times they travel? So you want pastors like Daddy Oyedepo,
Daddy G.O (referring to Adeboye) to go to the airport and board a
plane? To hell with critics, if it takes selling my clothes, I will do
cause these men of God have touched my life in several ways.
Saide Olaitan (Vulcanizer):
I don’t have any right to condemn any man of God. We shall know who
is who on the last day. I’m not a Christian and I don’t want to say
Jenifer Arowosegbe (Student)
We should stop covering up in this country. How many members does
Oritsejafor have in his church? We all know that President Jonathan
bought him the jet. They should stop confusing us in this country.
Rachel Adikwu (Banker): If e dey pain you go buy your own and leave men of God to enjoy their lives before God go strike you with thunder.
Esther Adams: Judge not so that you wont be judged