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A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and Deputy National Secretary of the opposition All Progressives Congress, Nasir el-Rufai, says he is not perturbed by the seven-day ultimatum given to him by the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
El-Rufai had, in an interview with a national newspaper described the CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, as the “propaganda chief” of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party; adding that he “knows who gave him (Oritsejafor) his private jet.”
But the CAN leadership on Sunday asked el-Rufai to, within seven days, mention the name of the person who bought a private jet for Oritsejafor, threatening that failure to do so will force the association to “open up” on the former minister’s “dirty life.”
However, some of el-Rufai’s Twitter followers have tweeted at him, saying they were worried about the ultimatum.
One of his followers with the name Demola, who tweeted at el-Rufai on Monday asked, “CAN gives @elrufai seven days or what will happen?”
Responding to this, el-Rufai tweeted, “Nothing. And I am waiting for the days to pass. Hehehe.”
Meanwhile, el-Rufai’s statement has pitched some of his social media fans against him. The former minister had posted the full text of the interview on his Facebook page.
Some of his followers on the social network described his diatribe against Oritsejafor as rude and uncalled for. According to many of them, insulting the CAN President, who is also the head of the Christian community in Nigeria, amounts to taking a swipe at the generality of Christians in the country. To this end, some of them dropped angry comments on his Facebook page.
“Look Nasir, withdraw those statements you are making against a man of God! But, if you still insist, then, the anointing upon his life will respond to you drastically. Remember that a man who makes trouble for others is also making trouble for himself. Thank you,” one Okechukwu Chukwuemeka wrote.
Osita Ndidi-Opurum described el-Rufai’s allegations as “rubbish” and one that is capable of causing disaffection between the faithful of the two main religions.
“All this lengthy speech amounts to talking rubbish and insulting Christians and their leader in Nigeria. When can you (el-Rufai) ever be a man? You don’t even have respect for those in authority. I wonder where and how you will feel in 2015 if your preferred presidential candidate does not win the election. May be you will run out of Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have slammed the CAN leadership and asked it to leave its battle for God to fight. One Emmanuel Chidiogo in a Twitter post asked, “Is CAN trying to fight for God? All the rain of abuses on @elrufai is uncalled for and immature.”
Some Nigerians, while reacting to the ultimatum on various social networking sites, said the ultimatum appeared more like blackmailing el-Rufai. Those who belong to this group wondered why CAN waited for a time when “unguarded statements” were made against its president before threatening to expose the “dirty life” of el-Rufai.
“So, CAN is using it now as blackmail when they should have, indeed, exposed him as genuine Christians without giving him conditions. It shows how biased all of them are,” one Auchman stated on punchng.com.
As if that was not enough, some Nigerians said Oritsejafor made himself susceptible to such attack due to the alleged ostentatious life he lives.
A Facebook user, Augustine Oregie-Okpomeh wrote, “In the first place, what are pastors doing with private jets worth billions of naira in a country where a large percentage of your members can ill afford three-square meals daily? Christ never preached expensive lifestyles and neglect of the poor while He was alive. You (Oritsejafor) called the insults to yourself!”
Arguing in line with Oregie-Okpomeh, a reader on punchng.com, Frank stated, “Inasmuch as I don’t support El-Rufai’s statement concerning Christians, the question is: Is Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor a saint? Where does he have the money to purchase a private jet?
“The so called Pastor Oritsejafor is a disgrace to Christendom in Nigeria. Anyway, he should allow God to fight for Himself; who is he to fight for God? Our Lord Jesus Christ oversees the affairs of Christians and Muslims alike; so, allow God to fight for Himself.”