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Taiwo Odukoya Defends Nigerian Pastors that own Private Jets

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Taiwo Odukoya

Senior pastor of the Fountain of Life Church, Taiwo Odukoya, is speaking out in defense of Nigerian pastors who own private jets.

Odukoya spoke about the subject on Tuesday in Lagos, when he spoke with journalists at the launch of the Fountain Initiative for Social Development (FISD), NAN reports.

He raised the issue in relation to the tragic Sosoliso plane crash that occurred in December 2005, which claimed the life of his wife,  Bimbo Odukoya. He also spoke in defence of CAN president, Ayo Oritsejafor, whom many have criticized for owning a private jet, which was involved in the controversial $9.3 million arms deal.

“My wife  is dead. She was going to preach when she crashed and died. Would we rather allow that our people die all over Africa? What is annoying is that those who are criticizing Oritsejafor are Christians.

We question their Christianity. You don’t want him to have a jet. You want another plane crash to kill him?

My father in the Lord, Bishop Mike Okonkwo will travel by road from Lagos to Benin Republic and he would be delayed only to enter one rickety plane at the end of the day.

We don’t want another person to die. If you want to buy Concord or space jet, buy it.

Nigeria is considered to be a country with the highest number of private jets, if not, we are known with a good number in the world.

How do you handle that? For some, getting a private jet is for business.

They give it to companies that will handle all aspects of maintenance including the hangar and then they run it as business. That was exactly what Oritsejafor did.

Apart from that, why would such a person have a jet. You want me to tell you? Why would Baba Enoch Adeboye or Pastor David Oyedepo need a jet?” Odukoya said.

He also criticized authorities investigating the Sosoliso plane crash, stating that 9 years after the incident, no one knows the outcome of the investigations.

45 Comments

  1. Someone

    October 15, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t understand the point he is trying to make. :s

  2. Aziz

    October 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    This is absolute bull crap. Put all the private jets owned by Nigerian pastors together, and you have a start up airline

  3. chy

    October 15, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    bella the story is not complete, abeg complete it. u are not making sense.

  4. Agbeke

    October 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    I respect Pastor Taiwo Odukoya a lot but he should have stayed out of Oritsejafor’s messy issue. The issue with Oritsejafor goes beyond safety and touches on corruption and money laundering etc.Whilst I feel his pain re the Sosoliso crash the answer to the safety of air passengers who travel locally surely cannot be ownership of PJs. rather he should be calling on imposition of stiffer sanctions by regulatory authorities and Government to ensure the safety of local aircrafts…I don’t think encouraging Pastors to own private jets should be the answer. na members of the congregation suppose die inside commercial aircrafts??!! I respect you a lot sir but with all due respect I think this comment is unnecessary and I think your PR team should be fired as it doesn’t do much for your image!

    • T.

      October 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Well said Agbeke! I fully agree with you!

      However, I don’t think this is the full story. His responses don;t seem coordinated so I believe BN just picked out bits from his interview to create a ‘headline’ that sells!

    • kk

      October 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      My dear, you just nailed it. Na only followers dem make public airlines for. You can imagine what a pastor is vomiting. Jesus never showed superiority to His followers.

  5. old faithfull

    October 15, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    This pastor is defending the indefensible. Owning and operating a private jet is a luxury. Wherein lies the urgency in preaching the gospel? Ostentation and piety can never be bedfellows.

  6. *gbemi*

    October 15, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    @Agbeke….well said!

  7. Fols

    October 15, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    It depends on the situation. I know Baba Adeboye has a PJ because Redeemed Church is registered and active in at least 120 countries worldwide. As the General Overseer, he tries to visit as many as he can in succession every year. This is much easier and effective if you have a PJ. So I believe his is a necessity and not just for show. For most other pastors, I can’t really see why they need one. Just sayin’.

    • Karma

      October 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      So private jets are allowed for Pastor Adeboye but not for other pastors…smh…how intelligent

    • Someone

      October 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Umm…no. It still doesn’t justify owning a private jet. It is a luxury and will never be a ‘necessity’ as you said. Flying commercial is always an option. Or is he too important for that? What are you really saying?

    • Fols

      October 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm

      I’m saying that for some, it’s a tool that aids their ministry (i.e. if the church is spread across the globe and you are actually visiting them all), while for others, it is just for show, and a waste of money (e.g. if your church is local and you only have to minister abroad once in a while).

    • just saying

      October 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      What about the catholic church? The catholic church is wealthy and is active all over the world, but the Vatican and the Pope do not own a private jet. Instead, the church emphasizes support for people all over the world. They promote evangelism by setting up missionary schools with monies realized from donations in the church so that the less privileged in the society can have access to education . Even if the government has failed its citizens, the church I believe can step in and alleviate the poverty in the land by providing support and basic amenities to the people, not showing off and buying private jets with the excuse that they have ministries in over 120 countries.

  8. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    October 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I respect Pastor Taiwo Odukoya – a whole lot actually. I always look forward to reading his articles. Sir, with all due respect, you should have stayed away from this issue, like do proper ‘unlooking’ on this issue. Oritsejafor’s issue wasn’t strictly on the PJ; it was an issue of corruption/money laundering etc. Why mess your hands with such a story? Sir, look at you and look at Oritsejafor, do you look alike?

    It’s so unfortunate that your amazing wife + tens of others died in a plane crash and the government is yet to do something about it. Sir, private jets aren’t immune from air crashes, you of all people should know this.

    Meanwhile, when your colleagues defend owning PJs saying they travel to the nook and cranny of the earth to preach the gospel – how about Pastor Oritsejafor who’s also profiting from it by leasing it out? I do hope that money is taxed though.

    To cut a foolish story short Sir, please stay away from issues like this. You’re a very intelligent man, this statement didn’t portray you in such light.

  9. corolla

    October 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I will keep this short, and call it what it is–Igbe eran (Bull crap)!

  10. Yetunde the Fabgirl

    October 15, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I can`t believe this chap insinuated that poor people are supposed to die in plane crashes while Pastors should own private jets.By the way who told him private jets don`t crash.Only in Nigeria.

    • Bleed Blue

      October 15, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      And just like that, you’ve spoken my mind Yetunde.

      All those inferences to dying due to use of commercial planes leave a sour taste. Pastor you’re well respected. Please try to stay that way.

    • Franky

      November 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

      Ask Pasto Myles Monroe.

  11. Que

    October 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    He said he questions the Christianity of the Christians who disapprove of P.Orisejafor….that stamement makes me question his own objectivity on this debate! His arguement of safety in our airline industry doesnt even justify Oritsejafor’s criminal affiliations….. Safety is one thing, corruption is another, fight them separately…. Judas was a ‘man of God’ that betrayed that trust, so why cant Oritsejafor be a Judas? ?…… if Oritsejafor’s character is in question, then it falls on him to provide tangible evidence that exonorates him, instead of using different pastors to question someone’s christianity.

    My friend was just narrating how a similar message was preached at Hse on the Rock on Sun, asking people not to believe the media about Oritsejafor, but I’m wondering why make it a church debate and go ahead to help your congregation believe one thing over another?? The church members didnt indict him, so he needs to face those who did and clear himself….. whats all this forming sermon around this man’s issue….. did he consult Christians b4 leasing out the jet? So why is it now a ‘christian issue??…

    Not to take away from the seriousness of our deficient safety records, but plane crashes kill more than just preachers, one life isnt more important than the other… and PJ’s dont solve the safety problem…ask Aziza and them Kaduna and Taraba state former Govs…

    Ditch the sentiments as far as Oritsejafor is concerned….. If u have evidence to prove otherwise,, provide it….if not mind your business.

  12. kemi

    October 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    seriously! i dont mean to disrespect a man of God but this is nonsense……..

  13. Karma

    October 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Why exactly can’t pastors own private jets? Is it more laudable for your corrupt politicians to own these items than for pastors? Live and let live. If they can afford it, let them and @oldfaithfull yes, there is urgency in preaching the gospel. With wars, bombing and crashes everywhere, people are dying left, right and center, the sooner their souls can be saved, the better.

    • Setyip

      October 15, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      Preach the gospel or luxuriate in the confines of their jet? They should take the gospel to war ridden zones, then I can say for real they are propagating the gospel. They own private jets yet Nigerias poverty rate is at it’s peak, no better infrastructure or better healthcare. Can’t they use the money to make life better for the less privileged? Church is just another form of business investment.

    • m

      October 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Your argument does not make sense. People are dying in wars so pastors should use private jet to go and minister to them? You are very funny. I am very sure there are preachers in those areas that are affected that can do the job.

      It is not a secret that politicians are thieves. However, pastors in Nigeria like to act holier than thou and they are always first to condemn others. If they can afford it with their own hard-earned money, by all means let them buy it. What they should not do is use the offering of the ‘not so well off’ church members to finance these extravagant lifestyles.

    • kess

      October 27, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      If I were you I would shut my mouth were issues concerning ministers of the Gospel are concerned. Read your bible, even with everything king david did, He was still called by God as A man after His heart. Be very careful.

    • Iris

      October 16, 2014 at 2:27 am

      “If they can afford it” abi? And how did they get the money to buy it? Since when did profit-making become the foundation of spreading Christianity. I didn’t know much about this man except that his wife was a pastor loved by many and that she died in a crash. After he started writing for BN I had a lot of respect for him (something I cannot say about many leaders in the pentecostal church). This statement just proved he’s like all the others.

    • Mr. jyde

      October 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      And how many of them have travelled in their private jets to places where people die right left and centre?

  14. NaijaPikin

    October 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    And any respect I had for this man just went out the door…….
    – How many places did Jesus go to minister? Many
    – Was he always in the most comfortable means of transport? no
    – Did he still embark on more journeys? yes

  15. AB

    October 15, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    men! things are falling apart in this country. If a Pastor can reason that buying your own private jet would prevent you from having a plane crash. Its just the same saying of buying your own car to prevent car accident. Your wife died because it has bn ordained by God that’s how she wl die, even if she owned her own private jet. where you pastors wl lead some people to only God can say.

  16. asgrl

    October 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Religion, crack for the plebs…..

  17. m

    October 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    As another commented rightly said one life is not more important than the other. The lives of preachers are not more valuable than you and I. It is not ok for common people to die and preachers to claim that they don’t want to die because the Nigerian transportation system is horrible. abeg stop that.

    Private jets are luxuries…especially in a country where lots of people are living in poverty. All you Nigerian pastors, Jesus did not only say we should spread the gospel – he also said we should help those in need! I don’t want to sound self-righteous but it will do you good to focus on making your community a better place and stop getting carried away by worldly things

  18. Ade

    October 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Sometimes i wonder why some peoples stupidity lasts so long. Why is there always an issue with Christian leaders and having a private jet. You are here, working 9hrs daily to make ends meet and prolly finding a better life for your self and praying to God to bless your hustle, yet you find it cool to call out the rich. Are you this foolish?”The poor you will always have among you’.. Thank God for social media that has created an outlet for the poor and cowards to air their opinion. Please face your business!!!!

  19. Sika

    October 15, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Very dumb comment and inhumane justification. Im even wondering why people are giving him ‘due’ respect. No respect here Mr Odukoya after this your useless comment. Please all these pastors need to chill. A pastor has no business buying a private jet period! When we criticize them they are quick to recite ‘touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm’ but if you are really a Prophet of God..or Christ like..why then do you roll with private jets and bling blng? Did Jesus do all that? See, y’ll need to wear palm slippers and walk around preaching the gospel like Jesus did. If you cant do that, then STFU and take it! You all run the churches like business and you all know it. So get out of here with this BS! nonsense!!!

  20. Abeni

    October 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Nigerians are hypocrites. Like if you have money for a private jet, you want buy….Let Aero show u once or Arik….then u go sabi…Pastor, Imam or Businessman. If u can afford a private jet, buy it….as long as the money is yours…..Pls give me a break o jare….People say stuffs are really bad in Niger till their uncle or Aunty has a private jet..then it becomes okay….Life is too short to be waiting for aero or Arik for 5 hrs… The day I buy mine, pilot go on soun o jare…..they can be waiting for aero and arik…mschewwwww

  21. Adelaide

    October 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    This is always a funny topic, A secular musician acquires or travels in a private jet, and people say “God bless your hustle” and the one (Pastors) working for God shouldn’t be blessed? Bishop Oyedepo preaches prosperity, how can He not be prosperous?. and yes church is business; God’s business.

  22. Tols

    October 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I am so disappointed with this man. while I sympathise with Pastor Taiwo on the death of his late wife, his statement speaks a lot of our leaders, selfish and individualistic in nature. We keep using individualism to solve communal problems. You see an estate that has bad roads instead of fixing the road, everyone buys a jeep, you see public schools deteriorating, rather than do something about it, we establish private schools, commercial planes are not being maintained, what next buy private jet. my question to Pastor Taiwo is, is individual solutions the solution to Nigeria’s problems. Furthermore Pastor you have forgotten that except The Lord watches a house, the housekeepers watch in vain or else you will realize that a person can die whilst sipping champagne in his private jet. In fact you can be sleeping and a plane will crash into ur bed, you can sleep and not wake up. something will kill a man and no one knows the hour nor the day.

  23. Jamce

    October 16, 2014 at 6:40 am

    We should not be surprised that other “aspiring mega Pastors” are justifying the purchase of private jets and ostentatious lives of the big pastors. What do you expect? Are they not birds of the same plumage? They must cook up all forms of justification (even nonsensical) because, they covet that lifestyle and are aspiring to grow to that level. It is no longer about making heaven, but having heaven on earth. BY THEIR FRUITS WE SHALL KNOW THEM. They all preach the DOCTRINE OF BALAAM because their hearts are captured by the spirit of Mammon See 2Pet.2:15; Jude 1:11; Rev.2:14

  24. Andre Dada

    October 16, 2014 at 6:44 am

    And, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. This is exactly how you are viewed by your so=called pastors.

    Yet, and this is the amazing thing about this, you will still flock to these places to be fleeced on a regular basis. Sheep have nothing on you. Farmers keep them and after being shorn of their wool, it takes a while before the process can be repeated, but here you are, on a weekly basis, returning to be shorn again and again…

    I must invest in this ‘sheeple’ rearing business. One year tops, I believe I should be able to buy my own jet outright and earn the right to have people call me ‘Baba’ this, ‘Papa’ that, ‘GO’ here, ‘Overseer’ there

  25. +Rare Gem+

    October 16, 2014 at 8:34 am

    There is so much evil in our land, even the religious people have become worshippers of greed and selfishness~

  26. T girl

    October 16, 2014 at 11:33 am

    @ Agbeke, your comment, though well intended, is misguided and rather brash. First and foremost, you do not fire a PR team because some journalists published a part of an interview in isolation to garner public sensation. Secondly, if I can ask hypothetical question?-if a person advises colleagues who own the means to buy cars for their ease and say safety, does it in any way connote that he is damning okada riders to hell? Your interpretation of this statement leaves a lot to be desired. I know that you are entitled to your opinion as we all are, but it is your sense of judgment and self righteousness that I personally find repulsive. You claim to respect a man and withdraw same because he has an opinion different from yours? Think about it please.

  27. modupe

    October 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

    So sad. I saw this man at JH with his wife last month and I actually thought he had a good head of his shouldesr. There is something wrong with the Nigerian pyschic. The shameful things that an average nigerian says is shocking. Nigeria has one of the highest infant mortality in the world! Nigeria is a poor country! 99% of the church going people are poor.,period, poor. They are not poor because * the poor will always be amongst us” they are poor because good men and women continue to do nothing. Everyone is enriching themselves and living for themselves. Religion is the moral compass of our society, Christainity in the true sense is the champion of the poor. How can the same leaders of the moral compass of our society continue to think it is ok for them to live in the midst of all these poverty and do nothing. Is the Redeem church bigger than the Catholic church? Is Adeboye bigger than the Pope? Yet, the Pope has no private jet. Infact half of the top 10 richest COUNTRIES have no private jets! Is GO or CAN’s president jobs more important that the British Economy? yet, the UK has not private jets for the prime Minister! Will private jet prevent a plane crash? A muslim ( dangote) is donating millions for Ebola fight, FB’s owner is donating millions to ebola fight, Nigeria churches with unlimited budget ( refusing to entertain the subject of paying tax) is buying jets and leasing it. Before we know it, these pastors will start building refineries, buying Islands in their names!

    We all deserve the leaders we get. GO, Overseers, pastors, bishops, governor, presidents etc. I feel sorry for the furture of my children’s generation. So sad, so so sad.

    Before anyone tell me about how I should not touch their annointed, Unless God told them who he has annointed, they should remember not to bear false witness and speak ill of Jesus, as they truly can not be 100% sure who is annointed by God, themselves, their spouses or even the devil.

  28. Ade

    October 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I insist, the foolishness of an average Nigerian critic takes it’s shoot from “haterade”, anger and poverty. Leave Religious leaders alone. Help your stinking state! if God is angry at what they are doing, He will take them down and judge them much. But for now, zip your lips and help yourself and hit the goals you set for yourself.

  29. mercii

    October 16, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    BELLA NAIJA please give us the complete story to this interview, the excerpts is not helping matters. some sentences dont add up.

  30. pd young billionaire

    October 17, 2014 at 2:21 am

    If having a jet is a necessity for a ministry,why not?But if it’s not,then i don’t think it’s ideal.
    Matt `19:24 says…””And again i say unto you,it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God””.
    Jesus even advised the rich man in the bible to sell all he had so that he can make heaven.

  31. seyi motuns

    October 23, 2014 at 11:52 am

    One simple truth: Men of GOD are still men at their very best.
    No need to feel over disappointed whenever they fall short of our expectations, because the very best of them are still men at their very best.

  32. olise

    December 7, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    It amaze me how most of dz men of God see d members of d churches as,dt ur wife died in a plane crash is an excuse for pastors n religious leader who shud correct d wrong n extravagant life style leaved by our politicians at expense of a better n gud life for their citizen,instead d pastors acquires unnecessary properties including private jet n luxurious houses abroad all in d name of preaching d gospel after they av trick d church members of their hard earn money all in d name offering,tithe n giving to d lord bt how can u give to d lord who owns everytin, n someone posted saying ‘d bible say there will be poor among u’ did it also say extort d poor among u or did early apostle extort d poor to feed their self fat then where is d persecution in preaching d gospel? Almost all d pastors are religious fraud stars,c ppl let be frank how come only pastors lives improve why d members remain d same year in year out is dt their faith is bad or God forbid dem riches,anyone who want to make money shud nt do so by frauds,ok where in d bible did God command pple to give all their monthly salaries as sacrificial offering,where in d bible did d early apostle acquired private means of transportation for gospel preaching n owns luxurious houses abroad,y are d pastors flying abroad are there no more witches,demon n pagan here in nigeria than abroad or are how corrupt politicians not an handful for dem to address, after dem go preach say we shud nt go for things of d world n them are swimming with & in d things of d world, I sorry ds church members who cannot open their eyes instead supporting dz bad exemplary pastors,

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