PRESS STATEMENT: Christmas, A Season of Hope, Peace and Joy – CAN President

I rejoice with all Christians in Nigeria and of course all over the world at this season of Christmas, the season when God became man to live among us in order to redeem us from all our sins and eternal death. My prayer is that nothing would steal from your joy of this season in the name of Jesus Christ. (John 1: 14)

Let us remember that the devil is a deceiver and what we are passing through presently in Nigeria might not be what would cause us to rejoice! Of course, what we are currently passing through may not give anybody hope of tomorrow humanly speaking unless those in power are more decisive and God intervenes for us. We are experiencing insecurity everywhere, most especially, the kidnapping, wanton killings and destructions of facilities here and there by the criminals in our midst, the insurgency in the northeast, the northwest and the north central of Nigeria, just to mention a few are terrible things of great concern. They do not give us joy at all humanly speaking. However, we need to remember that part of the purposes of the birth of Jesus Christ is to give hope to the hopeless and deliver us from sin and those who hate us. He came to set the captives free.

The Bible says in 1Peter 1: 3-4 thus:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

Peter’s letter really was to a people who were hopeless, otherwise, he wouldn’t have attached hope in Christ to his message.

My message to all Nigerians is to remain hopeful in Christ Jesus and rejoice in hope no matter what the situation we are passing through may be. Our Father God can turn all situations around in Christ Jesus because as God, he can do all things. He is our Way-maker and he would make way for us in the name of Jesus.

I urge you to receive Jesus as the Lord over your life today, share the message of the saving power of Jesus with others who do not know him and show love in a practical way to someone around you. Let us through the love of Christ embrace one another irrespective of religious, ethnic and political differences. Let us be reconciled to God and to one another. Let all the killings, the kidnapping of our fellow brothers and sisters and all other acts of wickedness stop because God is going to judge these acts on the day of judgement.

At this season of Christmas, I plead with those at the corridor of power to use it to bring relief and joy to the citizens of this country. It is the good you have done now that people would remember tomorrow. Please, let us lessen the pains of Nigerians by paying more attention to their well-being in the prompt payment of workers salaries and pensions to the pensioners. Let all things be done to reduce the high cost of things in the market and let enabling environment be created for employment of our youths who are roaming the streets having no job.

You can also read the following related post:

I plead with all Nigerians not to let off their guards on Covid-19 protocols. The world has entered the fourth phase of the pandemic and it is spreading faster than other phases. Please, wherever you go, especially in public places such as markets and churches, wear your masks and keep all the safety protocols. 

I pray that none of us would die untimely in the mighty name of Jesus.

Once again, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy and very prosperous New Year 2022 in Jesus’ name.


Rev. Dr. Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle

President, Christian Association of Nigeria &

Co-Chairman, Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC)

23 December, 2021.

Follow us on social media:


25TH DECEMBER EXISTED AS “CHRISTMAS”  BEFORE THE PAGAN FEAST: A correction on the misconception of Xmas, Christmas date and Christmas Traditions.

There have been write ups that suggest that the X of Xmas means “no Christ”. THAT IS ABSOLUTELY WRONG, and the source of that speculation is either woefully ignorant or maliciously disingenuous.

The X in Xmas is not the English letter X (pronounced ‘ex’), rather it is the Greek ‘Χ’. They look alike but pronounced differently. Greek X is ‘ch’ is pronounced as “k”.

In the early days of Christianity, the symbol X was used as an abbreviation for “Χριστός” (kristos) meaning Christ. And that is the style people still use today. Thus we don’t pronounce “Xtians” and “Xtopher” as “extian” or “extopher” respectively, but CHRISTians and CHRISTopher. In the same way, Xmas is pronounced “CHRISTMAS” not “exmas”.

Secondly, 25th was NEVER A DAY OF PAGAN SACRIFICE that Christians took over. Fact,  25th December was made a pagan festive day by Emperor Aurelian, who in 274 AD instituted the holiday of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. But He did so partly as an attempt to give a pagan significance to a date ALREADY IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS IN ROME. In fact, by 204 AD, Hippolytus of Rome already indicated 25th December as Christmas. This could also be implied from the 221 AD writing of Sextus Julius Africanus. Moreover, there was no pagan religious celebration attached to the date  as one would expect, it was simply the date of the dedication of a temple to the sun god at Campus Martius in 274 AD.

So,  25th December as Christmas day existed at least, 50 years BEFORE the pagan feast. I repeat, 25th DECEMBER as CHRISTMAS DAY EXISTED BEFORE THE PAGAN FEAST.


The date of Jesus birth is not recorded in the Bible, and indeed, nobody knows the exact date. But we do know that He was born on a particular day. The root of 25th December can be traced to Jewish tradition and Easter.

 It was a traditional Jewish belief that great men were born and died on the same day, so lived a whole number of years, without fractions: Jesus was therefore considered to have been CONCEIVED on March 25 (Annunciation), as he died on March 25, which was calculated to have coincided with 14 Nisan (Passover – Easter period) . This was the view of Hippolytus of Rome and Sextus Julius Africanus mentioned earlier. So since Jesus was conceived on 25th March , 9 months after, His birthday is celebrated on 25th December.

SYMBOLICALLY, December 25 was the date of the winter solstice (shortest period of daylight) in the Roman calendar. Saint Augustine explains that Jesus was born on the day which is the “shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us up chose the shortest day, yet the one from where light begins to increase.”

Linking Jesus to the Sun was supported by various Biblical passages. Jesus was considered to be the “Sun of righteousness” prophesied by Malachi 4: 2- “Unto you shall the sun of righteousness arise, and healing is in his wings.”

SO WHAT IF IT WAS A PAGAN FEAST? Ask anybody on the street what 25th December means and they’ll tell you it’s Christmas day. Ask those who claim it was a pagan feast the name of the pagan god, I’m sure many won’t know it. Ask them how it was celebrated? I doubt if any can give you an answer. Even if it was a pagan feast, it is now known as the celebration of Christ’s birth, which is the most important.

But think about it, any day that walould have been attributed to Christmas will also be claimed to be a pagan feast day because everyday of the week is named after a pagan god.

Let’s share the right information and cancel out disingenuous misinformation about Christmas, Christ and Christianity.

Fr Julian Egwuatu

Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu Appointed As Vatican’s Permanent Observer At The UN

Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu

Pope Francis has appointed Nigerian prelate and the Apostolic Nuncio to the Antilles, Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, as the new Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Office and Specialized Institutions in Geneva.

Archbishop Nwachukwu was also appointed the Permanent Observer to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Representative of the Holy See to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The 61-year-old Nwachukwu replaces Bishop Ivan Jurkovic, previously appointed nuncio in Canada.

The appointment was contained in a press release from the Office of the Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference of the Antilles dated Friday, December 17, 2021, where Archbishop Nwachukwu is currently serving as Nuncio.

Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu. Photo Credit: Antilles Episcopal Conference – AEC

“The Holy Father has appointed Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu, titular of Acquaviva and until now apostolic nuncio in Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname, and apostolic delegate in the Antilles; and Holy See Plenipotentiary Representative at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), as Holy See Permanent Observer to the United Nations and Specialised Institutions in Geneva and at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Holy See Representative at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM),” the communique read.

The statement from the Episcopal Conference of the Antilles continued, “He sincerely appreciates your support during his mission in this region and requests that you accompany him with your prayers and friendship as he prepares to assume the new responsibilities.”

Archbishop Nwachukwu has previously been assigned as Apostolic Nuncio to Saint Lucia, Grenada, and the Bahamas on 27 February 2018; and Apostolic Nuncio to Suriname on 9 March 2018; and Apostolic Nuncio to Belize on 8 September 2018.

Culled from


The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has allayed fears of some Christians over the suit filed against the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment on the controversial Companies Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, dismissed the suit over the failure of the Association (the plaintiff) to comply with the law in the name used in filing the originating summons.

The Court held that the proper name of the Plaintiff is THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, as stated on the Plaintiff’s Certificate of Incorporation as against THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA; and the Court is unable to allow the replacement of the name on the originating process.

At the sitting, the Court delivered the ruling on the Plaintiff’s Application for Amendment of Originating Summons. In the ruling, Honourable Justice Inyang Ekwo stated that suing in the wrong name contrary to statutory provision is statutory non-compliance and is not a mere misnomer to be corrected by the Court, as the court cannot re-write statutory provisions. The suit was accordingly struck out.

The Court held that the proper name of the Plaintiff is THE REGISTERED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA, as stated on the Plaintiff’s Certificate of Incorporation as against THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA; and the Court is unable to allow the replacement of the name on the originating process.

The new Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 states clearly under section 825(a) that registration of all ASSOCIATIONS must contain the words “INCORPORATED TRUSTEES of….”. This should have sustained our action before the court because the use of REGISTERED TRUSTEES is now being discarded. Our amendment ought to have been allowed. However, we will not like to join issues with the Court by going on appeal because it would further delay the case. Accordingly, we decided to choose the other option of refiling the case.

Our lawyers are currently preparing to institute a fresh suit using the proper name of the Plaintiff (CAN) as it is on the Certificate of Incorporation. This is the truth of the matter now. What happened in the court was just a temporary set back and by the grace of God, we have overcome it. Our prayers are for the unborn generations and nothing will discourage us from pursuing this case to the logical conclusion.

We want the court to determine “whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, is inconsistent with Sections 4(8), 6(6)(b) and 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which guarantees the plaintiff’s right to freedom of association and the right to seek redress in court.

“Whether the provision of Section 854 of the CAMA is inconsistent with Section 39 of the CFRN which guarantees the right to freedom of expression,” among others.

Part of the reliefs we are seeking include “a declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 40 of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 4(8) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA are inconsistent with Section 36(1) of the CFRN and thus unconstitutional, null and void.

“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA has a direct effect on the judicial power of the court under Section 6(6) (b) of the CFRN, and Is therefore void.

“An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) & (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.

“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void.

“An Order striking down Section 17 (2) (a) & (d) of the CAMA for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”

We call on well meaning Nigerians – Christians and non-Christians to continue praying for us, as we return to court, in our bid to ensure freedom of religion and worship to every Nigerian irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations.

Thank You.


Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola

CAN’s General Secretary

5 December, 2021.

No Christian Should Be Killed in Zamfara – CAN Warns

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the security agencies in the country to leave no stone unturned in their protection of all churches in Zamfara State in order to prevent the terrorists from carrying out their threats against Christians.

The State Police Command has reportedly confirmed that a threat letter was sent to the Christians in the state asking them to stop worship and to close down churches or risk their violent attacks. We also learnt that it was the Police that even informed the state chapter of the Association about the threat.

We know that all kidnappings and other criminalities being perpetrated in the North western part of the country are the handiwork of terrorists who either migrated from the North-East or those who were released under the purported rehabilitation programme of the Federal government.
Now that a Federal High Court has labelled those criminals terrorists, we call on the Police, the military authorities and other security agencies to rise up to the challenge of the terrorists who have turned kidnapping into the biggest business venture in the geopolitical zone.

The way and manner by which our security agencies have been handling those criminals is totally unacceptable, reprehensible and unprecedented. Criminals are criminals irrespective of their religious, political and ethnic affiliations and they should be treated as just. We also call on the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Inspector General of Police to Investigate those who are speaking for the terrorists with a view to unmasking their sponsors and beneficiaries of their criminalities.

The leadership of the national Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in our recent visit to Sokoto and Kebbi states was alarmed, surprised and shocked by the record of those criminals who are killing and kidnapping with impunity in the area as if there was a pact between them and the security agencies. Now that both the leaderships of Christianity and Islam in the country are working together on how to stop their criminalities in the North-West, they are now trying to introduce divisive ways by declaring war against Christians and churches in the zone especially in Zamfara State where they are gradually turning into their strongholds.
We have no problem with Islam or with our Muslim  brothers and sisters but with the handful fanatics and their financiers who have declared war against Christianity. We appeal to all peace loving Muslims to speak against those who are painting Islam what is not.

We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sanction any Commissioner of Police or Zonal Police Commanders and the Director of State Security Services wherever kidnappers operate in the country henceforth. This will go a long way in reducing the menace as we are approaching the Yuletide season. We have never had it this bad. We also call on the Federal government to refund all the ransom paid for the release of those who were abducted in the last five years. We reiterate our quest for the State Police in order to reduce the security burden on the Federal government controlled Police. The Police has been overwhelmed with the menace of insecurity in the country.
President Buhari should also direct the Police to arraign all suspected kidnappers, bandits and terrorists in their custody with a view to stopping those who are perpetrating the atrocities. Failure to do this will force the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to ask our members to embrace the principle of self-defence wherever the security agencies appeared compromised.

Up till today, the perpetrators of the genocide in the Southern Kaduna are still walking freely despite the killings of hundreds of our members. We cannot be reduced to refugees in the country that belongs to us again.

Finally, we call on all Christians and peace loving Muslims to pray against their threats and for our security agencies to be able to stop all criminalities in the country. Enough is enough.

Barr Joseph Bade Daramola,
CAN’s General Secretary.
1 December, 2021.