Must Nigerians Defend Illegal Arms Dealers? II

The rumour that ex-militant leader Alhadji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and politician Felix Idiga, both enriched by Niger Delta government resources, were the Nigerians caught with $9.3 million by the South African Government (SAG) in a jet owned by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor is a fact.

The indefensible defences for Alhadji Dokubo-Asari from the public are predictable. Firstly, it would be said he has experience in illegal arms dealing from his knowledge of arming Niger Delta militants and has contacts in the business, therefore, was the best man for the deal. Secondly, it will be suggested that it was better that a Southern Muslim, though without military training, is the best person to know the exact arms the Nigerian Army needs to wipe out Boko Haram (Northern Muslims). Is this how Nigeria will divide? Thirdly, it will be stressed that he ‘freely volunteered’ to buy the arms on behalf of ‘nameless’. Many other indefensible defences will be put forward.

Hitherto, there was the indefensible defence of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. The ‘Man of God’ was fanatically defended as “innocent” by large segments of the Nigeria’s Christendom (which he has also divided) when his jet was seized for carrying $9.3 million intended for an illegal arms deal. The main defence was that Pastor Oritsejafor “did not know what the plane was used for”. Such is a stark ethical failure of Pastor Oritsejafor; he could just as well rent his limousines to 419 fraudsters or rent out reception halls in his churches for sex orgies, no questions asked. Owning a jet has strict institutional requirements.

Then there was the embarrassing direct implication of the Government of Nigeria (GON) in the affair. Again indefensible defences were presented on behalf of the GON mainly by their staunch supporters citing the rivalry for African supremacy between Nigeria and South Africa, the ‘benevolent necessity’ for illegal arms deals, the ‘uncorrupted’ nature of the deal, the fact that Western Intelligence agencies with the support of Western governments do it and other fallacies as reasons for the seizure of the jet and the blamelessness of illegal arms dealing. No one talked about the destination or intended use of the arms. What happened to the stringent  institutions of arms trading / money laundering and sovereign authority?

Currently, the two leading political parties, PDP (People Democratic Party) and APC (All Progressives  Congress), are now brawling dirty over another $5.7 million seized by the SAG again intended for an arms deal. Nigeria is haemorrhaging hard cash as usual! However, the GON is now ‘talking tough’ with the SAG for the return of the seized money. Really! I would most sincerely like the GON to demand the innumerable billions of dollars stolen by Nigerian kleptocrats and  seized and feasted upon in mostly Western nations with tough talk. It is now obvious top-level members of the GON ‘know concern’; their defenders remain adamant.

All in all, Christians and Muslims exponents work very well together in arms deals and other shady business; it is all about money not God.

Grimot Nane

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