Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Catholics pull out of CAN at ‘national level’ – complain of cozy relationships and aircraft

In a very surprising move, the leadership of the catholic church in Nigeria recently announced they were pulling out of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).  No one doubted that high level politics are involved in CAN operations, but it wasn’t expected to be taken so far.   For most of its existence, the catholics have had controlling influence in CAN affairs, until edged out by current president Ayo Oristajefor at the national election in July 2010.  The pull-out gets even more confusing as the Catholics corrected the earlier announcement, by declaring they are pulling out of CAN only at the ‘national level’, and not from the states where catholics remain mostly in control.(   Looks like a case of wanting to eat your cake and simultaneously keeping it!
Catholic leadership apparently complained about relationship between CAN and the Presidency as being too cosy.  That’s strange, because all over the years, CAN has always been seen as merely the political wing of Christianity in Nigeria.  Which was why Northern Christians drafted in then PFN president Ayo Oritsajefor to come lead the CAN and put a little more bite into its activity. But then and now, since CAN is not a labour union, it could not be faulted as being too close to government.  Especially with Pastor Oritsajefor being kinsman to President Jonathan, it should be clear that CAN has nothing to lose if relationship between the two is cosy.
Supposedly, what broke the back of the camel in the Catholic-CAN relationship is the recent acquisition of a private jet by CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsajefor.  Scores of critical sermons have been delivered, particularly over the airwaves, by preachers who kept reminding us that the Lord Jesus never used more than boat transport (and a donkey on one occasion) throughout his 3 years of ministry in Galilee and Judea.  Pastors who use private jets are therefore vain show-offs!
Like I was puzzled at the MTN promo, offering an aeroplane as the star prize, I still don’t understand how an individual can acquire a private jet just for show-off.  If not for the talks on the pages of newspapers, unlike a flamboyant car or even a helicopter, no one sees the big man enter or alight from the jet.  Nor can he park it at his compound for neighbours to admire and ogle!  A private individual who buys a private jet for vainglory must indeed be crazy, and will soon be restored to reality by the maintenance cost!  More importantly, he needs media attention to actualize that crazy dream of getting people to know about his ‘new status’.  
But if I as an individual have regular worthwhile business in over a dozen locations scattered all over the world, that requires my being on the move every week, round the year; it would be crazy if for fear of what critics would say, I refuse to acquire a private jet which I can easily afford, and insist on struggling to fit my schedules into those of commercial airlines – spending more time in-between connections than actual air travel!  The other alternative would be to charter the plane at far more exorbitant costs, just to please some unthinking critical crowd.
Afterall, a man would not be expected to use donkey for a trip that requires air travel.  Whether the plane used is owned by the individual, a charter company, or an airliner can only be a matter of cost and common-sense, I insist.

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