Current president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has bought a private jet, joining a growing number of high-flying Nigerian pastors who own private jets. Mr. Oritsejafor is the chief pastor and founder of the Word of Life Bible Church in Warri, Delta State.
Mr. Oritsejafor was presented with the "gift" of the jet via a projector at a lavish party that marked the 40th anniversary of his work as a pastor in Warri. President Goodluck Jonathan was in attendance at the event where Mr. Oritsejafor received the jet. One source described the pastor as “ferociously close to President Jonathan.”
Mr. Oritsejafor’s jet is a Canadian-made Bombardier jet with US registration number N431CB. The jet was manufactured in 1994 and previously belonged to two different owners in the US, our records revealed. The private jet was last used in New Jersey by C R BARD IN of Murray Hill, New Jersey.
SaharaReporters learnt that the jet was flown out of the US from Morristown, New Jersey in September 2012 ostensibly to be retrofitted and serviced before delivery last week to Mr. Oritsejafor.
Records accessed by us on the Internet indicated that the jet’s owners in New Jersey listed it for sale in July 2012. The data also showed that the jet had once been upgraded to give it more engine power. The jet’s interior is furnished with gold accents in the toilet and bathroom area.
Asked to comment on Mr. Oritsejafor’s acquisition of a jet, a New York-based Nigerian pastor decried the rush by several Nigerian pastors to acquire extremely expensive objects. “It’s unfortunate that Christ’s message of love and compassion for the poor is often turned on its head as some of our well-known Nigerian pastors compete for private jets and other riches of this world,” said the pastor.
The pastor also deplored the undue emphasis on prosperity preaching, adding that the pastors are “too frequently prospered while their congregants continue to suffer in poverty.”
As CAN president, Pastor Oritsejafor is at the forefront of Christian responses to the spate of religious violence in certain Northern Nigerian cities. The violence has led to the destruction of churches and the death of scores of worshipers.