BY CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA – A NORTHERN Christian group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order an investigation of persons charged with national security during President Goodluck Jonathan administration to ascertain the truth behind the $9.3 million botched arms deal in South Africa.
The group in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. James Gani, in Abuja, recommended that any-body found guilty after the probe should be punished in line with the law.The group under the aegis of the Northern Christians Youth Solidarity Movement for Eman-cipation, Justice and Self Determination also condemned what it described as campaign of calumny against the leader of the Christian community and National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor over the deal involving a private aircraft allegedly owned by him, describing it as reprehensible.
“We demand that those saddled with the responsibility of security matters of the nation in the last administration should be called to explain what they know con-cerning the South African drama and botched arms deal, rather than trying to rope an innocent man of God.
“The Buhari administration should investigate those who have control over arms purchase and the people charged with the responsibility of ensuring security during the last administration because their office contrived such a high wired intrigue. So, for anybody to call for the probe of Oritsejafor is the height of mischief. In the first place, he was not a member of Jonathan’s cabinet.
“May we also say unequivocally that all the sacrifices Pastor Oritsejafor has made for Northern Christians and Nigeria even before he became president of CAN, regardless of how they have decided to twist things, can never be forgotten by those who know the truth and peace-loving Nigerians,” the group said.
The statement regretted the orchestrated attempts to bring Oritsejafor into public oppro-brium, “because of his consistent inclination to speaking the truth notwithstanding whose ox is gored.”
Gani said: “Nigerians are no fools and will not allow themselves to be fooled by those who seek to strike the Shepherd just in order to get to the sheep; those embarking on the camp-aign of calumny against Oritse-jafor should retrace their steps.
“In this political dispensation, we must all join hands as citizens to not only fight corruption, but also come up with policies that are capable of rewriting the history of this nation by position-ing it in the comity of nations of the world economically.
“To us, anything outside this will not be acceptable and we believe that other well-meaning Nigerians who are interested in the development of this country and its people will agree with us. It is said that wise counsel, when heeded, saves the wise.”
The statement further said that Oritsejafor proudly takes respon-sibility for defending the rights of the Christian community and those of the less privileged, and can never be cowed by the activi-ties of cheap popularity seekers.
According to Gani, his organ-isation has watched with dismay the campaign of calumny by certain individuals and group of persons against the CAN presid-ent because of his uncompromi-sing stance and quality leader-ship for the Christian community in Nigeria.