2023 Election: CAN appeals for calm, demands responsible action from INEC, others.

The National leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has noted with deep concern  the recent developments in the country following the February 25, Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Elections are vital for our country’s stability and democratic consolidation, and so the process must be conducted and concluded safely, fairly and credibly.

For this reason, we urge political parties, candidates, supporters and the public to desist from any action that could create needless tensions or stoke any form of violence that could put the country on a precipice.

CAN specifically asks all presidential candidates to abide by the spirit and letter of the Peace Accord they signed before the elections. We remind them that this is the only country we have, and we must do everything to keep it safe, united and peaceful.

In the same breath, we encourage all political actors, elder statesmen, eminent personalities in our society as well as religious and traditional leaders to make proactive interventions to calm any tensions and nip signs of violence in the bud.

We equally ask the Independent National Electoral Commission to do all within its scope of authority to ensure that the will of the people as expressed through the ballots during last Saturday’s presidential and federal legislative elections count.

Ideally, when people vote, the votes should be counted and allowed to reflect in the result the electoral umpire will announce. Anything short of that, remains an aberration in any democratic context and contest.

Despite the many assurances given by INEC about its level of preparedness for the polls, it was observed in many quarters that last Saturday’s elections fell below the reasonable expectations of the people.

Late arrival of election materials in parts of the country, malfunction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines, failure of the planned electronic transmission of results to the virtual results viewing portal amid other structural challenges in the electoral process have not only cast a shadow of doubt on INEC’s sincerity to deliver a transparent and fair general election this year, but also threaten the credibility of the entire system.

It is, therefore, important that explanation be given to Nigerians as to why the preventable lapses were not addressed in a timely manner.

INEC must rise to the occasion in the face of this precarious situation and do everything possible to win back the slipping confidence of the people in the electoral system, especially as the country prepares for the governorship and state legislative polls in 11 days time.

Most importantly, all Nigerians must note that the whole of the international community is watching the behaviour of Federal Government and its agencies, especially the police, the army and the other law-enforcement agents, to see how far they respect the country’s constitution, the rule of law and the obligation to act well in playing their roles in respect of elections.

CAN commends the electorates for the huge number of voter turnout, which is even more than the population of several countries. However, the implication is that, once anything goes wrong in our country, it will have a ripple effect across West Africa and beyond.

As it is said, when Nigeria sneezes, the rest of the African continent catches cold. This implies that all stakeholders must ensure that these elections are free and fair so that no room is created for people to agitate unnecessarily or for violence to erupt.

Against this backdrop, CAN calls for calm and restraint on all sides.

God bless Nigeria!

Archbishop Dr. Daniel C. Okoh (President, Christian Association of Nigeria)


Re: Petition on the misappropriation of N2 Billion given by the presidential candidate of Labour party, Mr Peter Obi to Churches under the umbrella of CAN.

The attention of the National leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been drawn to a purported letter currently in circulation on social media, alleging that a certain sum of N2bn was given by the presidential candidate of Labour party, Mr Peter Obi to Churches under the umbrella of CAN.

I use this medium to categorically state that the so-called letter of petition reportedly signed by one Pastor Frank Onwumere and addressed to my office is illogical and can best be described as a failed attempt to drag the apex Christian body into the politics of 2023. However, we will investigate the source of the letter in the interest of the public.

To set the records straight, I am not aware of any N2bn given to Churches in Nigeria to mobilize votes for any 2023 presidential candidate and never received the said petition dated December 22, 2022.

Nigerians should note that CAN, as a faith-based entity, maintains its non-partisan stance and will not endorse or mobilize support for any candidate in the upcoming elections as against the social media post being circulated by some elements bent on soiling its name and image.

CAN, therefore, urges members of the public to disregard the purported letter of petition as its content are not only untrue, but malicious.

We warn those peddling the falsehood to desist from such acts because they are capable of defaming innocent people and revered religious institutions as well as breaching public peace.

Archbishop Daniel C. Okoh
President, Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN)

Press Statement: CAN Sues For Peaceful 2023 Elections

On behalf of the National leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), it is my honour and immense pleasure to join the call on citizens to resist any attempt to cause disharmony and disaffection ahead of the upcoming general elections.

We must see the elections as a time of peaceful transition of leadership and not war. Consequently, there’s need for all and sundry to put away religious and ethnic bigotry and allow the will of God to prevail.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, must ensure that this election is seamless, credible, and violence-free. The Commission has no excuse to fail. Four years is enough time for it to have perfected the process and eliminated the glitches that featured in past polls.

CAN President, His Eminence – Archbishop Dr. Daniel C. Okoh; The Vice President, Rev. Dr. Panya Baba; The Gensral Secretary, Barr. Daramola Bade; The Assistant General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Mrs. Uzoaku Williams… During CAN’s 1st Quarter NEC Meeting.

CAN calls on the authorities to beef up security, especially in communities vulnerable to attacks and ensure that no citizen is disenfranchised owing to precarious security situation in parts of the country.

We charge the security agencies to be unbiased and remain neutral while discharging their duties, especially during the forthcoming general elections.

CAN urges all the political parties and candidates seeking elective positions during the forthcoming general elections to accept the results of the polls in good faith in the interest of Nigerians and the unity of the country.

We note the current sufferings of the people which is gradually becoming unbearable due to the gross shortage of Naira notes in the system and plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to intensity efforts to mitigate the hardship.

The national leadership of CAN urges all the faithful in the country not to relent in praying for our dear country Nigeria because prayer is the most potent instrument of warfare at our disposal. Let us remind ourselves that the economic, political and security situations in the country do not give joy to anyone, but keep our hopes alive at this time.

We wish Nigerians peaceful 2023 general elections in advance!

His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel C. Okoh
President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)