President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsejafor has celebrated in Warri the 40th anniversary of his being called for high service in the church.
He was converted and ordained a pastor in 1972 by the late Benson Idahosa, the first pentecostal archbishop in Nigeria.
He later founded his own ministry, Word of Life Bible Church based in Warri.
President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state were at the ceremony today.
The highlight of the celebration was the announcement to the congregation that Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has joined the league of rich Nigerian pastors who own private jets. Other pastors in the league are Pastor Enoch Adeboye of RCCG, Pastor David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
The new jet marked N431CB is a bombardier Challenger 601 heavy jet and is estimated to cost a minimum of N600million
The jet was reportedly bought for the pastor by the church.
Speaking during the celebration, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, a special guest of honor at the occasion, described
Pastor Oritsajafor as a national Christian, visionary leader and a great man of faith.
Oritsejafor’s jet has stirred controversy on social media, with commentators describing it as one more proof that the followers of Jesus, who did not own a donkey, have derailed.
“Listen Folks if you wanna become rich and can’t get on the political ladder try Pastor Now, New Get rich quick via the people’s gullibility.”, wrote
Segun Adekunle Alli.
Kayode Ogundamisi, Nigeria’s activist based in the UK, penned: “The damage most Nigerian Pentecostal churches are doing to Nigeria now is becoming unbearable. It is now more like Pentecostal economic Jihad against the gullible mass. Ayo Oritsejafor’s Jet is just a minute example of how insensitive the pastoral section of the Nigerian ruling class can get. Colonial missionaries blessed us with schools such as CMS Grammar school, CKC in the East and loads of free health services for the poor masses but today Christ is now a reason for the suppression of the poor mass and when they want to fight the oppression of pastors friends in power, they are told to suffer well here and enjoy in heaven. Rather than join the mass to get government to fix death traps called roads, the pastors join political office holders in the jet race, they would fly over us and avoid the bad roads, they sure will also get a section of the Bible to justify the wickedness”.
Chiedu Uche Okoye said he expected Oritsejafor to turn down the gift of jet by his congregation and use the money for the good of members and the community.
Uche Ezechukwu, a public affairs analyst, wrote: “The claim is that it was donated by the members of his flock, most of who cannot afford two square meals a day and had flocked to him for miracles. It doesn’t now matter that Christ did not own even a donkey. Until the government gathers the courage to tax these ‘men and women of God’ who wallow in profligacy but put nothing back to the society, they will lead us to trouble, not heaven.”
Prince Agber Hon Adum a.k.a Prince Kent, based in Washington DC said: “The devil is really having a field day with we the so called believers , even those whom we thought should have known better. Many faces of Satanic temptations: from garden of Eden, to Christ on the cross, to the modern times. No o hiding place for humans, except by his grace and mercies.
Chindima Onwurah Chris appealed to critics to leave “the men of God alone”.
Here are some photographs at the ceremony:
Above: PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN (L) WITH THE PRESIDENT, CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION ON NIGERIA (CAN) PASTOR AYO ORITSEJAFOR AT THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF PASTOR ORITSEJAFOR IN WARRI ON SATURDAY
Below: FROM LEFT: GOV EMMANUEL UDUAGHAN OF DELTA STATE; FOUNDER, THE WISDOM CENTRE, USA, DR MIKE MURDOCK; PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN; PRESIDENT CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, PASTOR AYO ORITSEJAFOR; HIS WIFE HELEN AND CHILDREN CUTTING THE CAKE AT THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF PASTOR ORITSEJAFOR