Oritsejafor’s jet: Poverty mentality is the problem of most Nigerians – Christian leaders blast Tunde Bakare
RELIGIOUS leaders and members of the Northern Christian Elders Forum (NORCEF) have criticised Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, over his comments that a revolution would consume religious leaders in the country, just as he condemned the acquisition of jets by renowned Christian leaders in Nigeria.
Reacting to Bakare’s comments, the chairman of the Northern Christian Elders Forum, Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye, said Bakare’s comments should be ignored.
In a similar reaction, Apostle Isa El-Buba, General Overseer of Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministries International, Jos, Plateau State, defended preachers who own jets, concluding that Bakare’s condemnation of these men of God was blasphemous.
“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 been given.”
Similarly, the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Musa Asake, flayed 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.
President of the Delta State Baptist Conference, Reverend Gideon Oyibo, exonerated Pastor Oritsejafor, saying there was nothing wrong with such gesture.
“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 gift?
“These ministers of God travel from one place to the other frequently. What is morally wrong if their movement is eased by getting a jet? What is morally wrong if someone gets a car for the purpose of making transportation easy? What is wrong if a pastor is given a jet as a gift so as to contribute to the expansion of the gospel which the Lord has entrusted to his care?” He asked.
However, Archbishop Magnus Atilade called on Bakare to exercise caution in his utterances, especially at this period of the nation’s history, just as he argued that his reactions were not necessary.
“It is not good to reject any gift. What is expected is that once a person is given a gift, then it should be taken and put to the use that it is meant for. If it is not needed, then it can be converted to other things that can help for the work of the gospel.
“I urge Tunde Bakare to exercise temperance in his statements and utterances. Nothing should be condemned outrightly. The Bible kicks against being judgmental. Billy Graham had a means of a private jet which aided him in travelling round the world. If your ministry is as wide as that and you can afford it, then there is nothing wrong with that,” he said.
Culled from the Tribune