The National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, recently, came under severe verbal attacks from certain quarters because, like Prophet Isaiah in the Bible, he dared to point at those he perceived to be troubling the nation. In this interview with SAM EYOBOKA, apart from setting an agenda for the incoming governments across the country, Oritsejafor refused to join issues with the CPC presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari and his co-travellers, insisting that ”you cannot build a nation on anything less than the truth.’‘ Excerpts
Your call for the sanction of the CPC presidential candidate, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, over the post-election violence was roundly condemned by the former Head of State. What is your reaction?
I think I should not sit here and respond to foolishness. I think I have outgrown such things. People who are spokespersons should understand that if they have no regards for their religious leaders, there will be no regards for themselves.
First of all, let me say that those who are elected-from the president down to the governors, and even to the local government level I want to join Nigerians to say that it cannot be business as usual. I think for the first time in Nigeria’s recent history, people votes counted. It wasn’t like this before. A lot of people can now say that ‘my vote was part of what brought you to power.’
If that is the case, then it cannot be business as usual; which means those in elective positions will be held accountable for what they do and what they fail to do. If that is the case, then they must, as well hold those they appoint to different positions like EFCC, ICPC, and all such political appointees, accountable. They should tell Nigeria what they intend to do in the short and long term for the benefit of Nigerians in general. They must have set goals so that we will be able to know what to hold them accountable for; and that probably will help them to achieve more.
Agenda for government
The incoming government at all levels must go there to deliver. They made promises during their electioneering and now, is the time to fulfill those promises and do exactly what they told the electorate what they would do. People are expecting. The level of expectation is very high; just as people were expectant during the elections. People were expectant and I can tell you that as the new governments are being inaugurated across the country, people are expectant. They want to see performance and I am hoping and believing that there will be performance.
If there is none, Nigerian people should find ways to compel those they elected to remove non-performers, so that this nation can move forward. It is known fact that all is not well yet with the security situation in the country, especially as that sector poses a great threat to the unity and development of Nigeria.
We reaffirm our support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration that allcriminals and their sponsors would have no hiding place in the country anymore. One of the major security challenges has to do with the high rate of graduate unemployment in the country. The government should create more jobs as a way of eradicating criminal tendencies in the country’s teeming youths.
There is also the urgent need for the Federal Government to take a decisive step to address the power sector challenge which has since, after the elections, gone comatose. The government made some promises on that sector and we are awaiting the implementation.