The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Daniel C. Okoh has called on all Nigerians to believe and constantly pray for the nation, as God is intentional about the all-round blessing and upliftment of Nigeria. This was part of his sermon delivered at the Inter-denominational Church Service to mark Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary, held yesterday at the National ecumenical Centre, Abuja.
Archbishop Okoh in his sermon titled: “The Righteous Shall Rule the Land”, urged Nigerians to understand that “all politicians are not the same”, thereby encouraging them to ensure they vote for quality leadership in the forthcoming elections.
He also emphasized that despite all the security, economic and social challenges being experienced by the country, there was so much to appreciate God for especially for the uninterrupted democracy since 1999.
The CAN President called on all eligible voters to jealously guard their permanent voters’ cards and to those who were yet to receive theirs, he advised that they do so in order to be fit to exercise their civic responsibility at the polls in the 2023 general elections. He further called on the government to give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) all the necessary support needed to conduct credible elections come 2023.
Also in attendance were the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folashade Yemi-Esan, Service Chiefs, Representatives from all arms of government and the diplomatic community.
In his address, Prof Osinbajo said a prayer for the peace and progress of the nation taking his reference from the book of the Bible, Deuteronomy 33:25, “as your days, so shall your strength be”, expressing hope that Nigeria will surmount all the challenges bedeviling her to become a prosperous nation.
The Most Rev. Daniel Chukwudumebi Okoh was born on November 12, 1963 in Kano to Christian parents. He is a native of Ndoni in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. He is married to Ngozi and they are blessed with four children.
Archbishop Daniel Okoh is a product of the famous Dennis Memorial Grammar School, Onitsha. In 1988, he graduated from the University of Port Harcourt with a Second Class Upper Division in Political Science and Education. Thereafter, he attended Christ Holy Church Seminary, Onitsha and was awarded a diploma in Theology. He has undertaken many courses and participated in seminars that are relevant to his ministry work both in Nigeria and abroad.
As the General Superintendent of Christ Holy Church International – an African Independent Church – he leads his denomination in ecumenical relations with other denominations in the body of Christ and engages with people of other religions in dialogue for peaceful co-existence and sustainable development.
For more than 20 years, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh, has been actively involved in ecumenical relations and inter-faith dialogue in and outside Nigeria through the following positions:
International Chairman of the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC)
National President of OAIC – Nigeria Region (2005 – 2014)
National Vice-President of Christian Association of Nigeria (2007 – 2013)
Former member, Board of Directors of Inter-Faith HIV/AIDS Coalition of Nigeria
Member, Governing Council of Good News Theological College and Seminary Accra, Ghana
Member, Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC)
Member of the Board of African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace
He is also a board member of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (Nigeria). Between 2000 and 2003 he was the only African representative in the Steering Committee of the International Forum on Multi-cultural Ministry, which was initiated and sponsored by the Mission and Evangelism Team of the World Council of Churches.
In the area of Politics and Governance, Archbishop Daniel Okoh was one of the six delegates that represented Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the National Political Reform Conference of 2005 organized by the Federal Government of Nigeria. From 2009 to 2011, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh served on the board of National Orientation Agency (NOA) as an Institutional representative of Christian Association of Nigeria.
Over the years, Daniel Okoh, a de-tribalized Nigerian, has built friendship across religious and ethnic lines around the globe. He welcomes and participates in conversations and programmes that would bring about peaceful co-existence among the peoples of the world and sustainable development.
He is a charismatic leader and bridge-builder within the Christian faith, social sphere and in all human endeavours.
Now the 8th President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Most Rev. Daniel Okoh is set to practically illustrate and impact the Christian community and the nation at large with his vast experience he has accumulated all through the years as a husband, father, clergyman, mediator, mentor, peace-builder, church-leader, inter-faith advocate and all-round,
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has forgiven Sterling Bank and its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman over the provocative Easter greeting advertised by the Bank where it compared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to ‘Agege Bread.’
CAN in a statement signed by the General Secretary, Barrister Joseph Daramola, acknowledged that they have written an acceptable and genuine apology letter dated 20 April, 2022 to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) personally signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar Suleiman.
The statement reads:
“As a result of this development, CAN has resolved to forgive Sterling Bank and its Chief Executive. We always remember that ‘to err is human and to forgive is divine.’
In taking this step, we are following the footsteps of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ who asked God to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross unjustly and has taught us to forgive always.”
We hereby call on all Christians in the country to join us in forgiving the Sterling Bank and its management. Those who are considering stopping patronizing the bank as a result of the blunder should stop the process but instead continue doing business with the bank.”
“We appeal to corporate institutions especially the banks to be more sensitive, considerate and professional in handling their public messages. Whatever that can cause religious crises in the country should be avoided at all costs, both by the government and the business sector.
“We appreciate our youths who heeded our directive and refused to be dragged into the streets to protest against the bank as being touted in some quarters.
Finally, we acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the well meaning Nigerians who intervened in the matter. May the blessings of Peacemakers be their portion in Jesus’ name,”
The President, Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) – His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle requests all Church Leaders, through your various Churches to organize a Solemn Assembly to pray for Nigeria on the 13th, 14th and 15th of May, 2022. We are to passionately call upon the Lord to:
Show Nigeria mercy and divinely intervene in all affairs of our nation, especially economic, political and security matters so that the nation my not violently collapse.
That God would speak to our leaders to take the right steps in addressing the dangerous situations into which we have put ourselves.
That our political leaders will not set the nation on fire or tear it apart by their insensitive political actions which failed to take our complexities into consideration as we approach 2023 elections.
That God would continue to be with the electoral umpire, INEC, to stand firm without iota of partiality in making sure that elections are free and fair.
That God should judge anyone out-rightly, who, out of selfishness is planning to create chaos in the forthcoming elections no matter how highly placed in the nation.
That the electorates would come out and vote the right people into power, those who will make promises and fulfill them.
That daily blood shedding of innocent people and other violent acts in Nigeria should be put to an end by our government and for divine intervention.
That the Lord should show us mercy as a nation concerning the blood of innocent people already shed in this nation, that is calling upon God for vengeance.
That God would cause the terrorists, the gunmen, the bandits, the kidnappers and other violent people in our midst to abandon their evil ways and give this nation respite.
That God would give the military upper hand in subduing the terrorists and other violent people causing mayhem in our nation and that He would divinely fight for Nigeria against these evil people and their financiers.
That our generation would experience a new Nigeria where there are equity, justice and people irrespective of ethnic group, religion or political affiliation.
The Prayer is expected to hold simultaneously on all denominations, as we jointly seek the face of God concerning Nigeria.
The attention of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been drawn to an ungodly, wicked, insensitive and deliberately provocative advertisement of the Sterling Bank comparing the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ to ‘Agege Bread’ amidst the Easter celebration.
In case the management of the Sterling Bank is not aware, the resurrection of Jesus witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship. Only He who created life can resurrect it after death, only He can reverse the mystery that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.
In the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, God put our punishment on Christ so that we could be justified before Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). The resurrection of Jesus confirms that God accepted Christ’s sacrifice for sin on the cross and gives us access to a right relationship with Him.
The Empty tomb shows the supremacy of Jesus. Go to the grave of any other religious founder and his carcasses are still there being worship, but where Jesus was buried, it is boldly written; “He is no longer here, He has Risen”! That is what we are celebrating at Easter and for Sterling Bank to compare it with a loaf of bread is blasphemous and insensitive to the religion embraced by billions of people globally. The advertisement was provocative but we will refused to be provoked simply not only because it is not in our characters but it came from an uninformed mind of neither of the two leading religions in the country.
In the words of Pastor Adrian Rogers, “The resurrection is not merely important to the historic Christian faith; without it, there would be no Christianity. It is the singular doctrine that elevates Christianity above all other world religions.”
The purported apology did not come from a penitent heart. How can someone in his right mind described the risen Christ as a loaf of bread. That is insulting, ridiculous and a mockery of Jesus Christ. We advised Christians to be wary of the banks and other financial institutions they are patronizing.
We learnt that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has reportedly intervened in the matter with a view to impose some sanctions against Sterling Bank. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is waiting for the decision of the organization.
However, in the interim, we call for the immediate removal of the Chief Executive of Sterling Bank; Mr. Abubakar Suleiman with his Management whose actions have clearly shown their hostility and hatred for the Christian faith.
We call on all Christians not to take the law into their hands in seeking redress, but to let the relevant authorities handle the matter.
Signed: Joseph Bade Daramola Esq. (General Secretary, CAN)
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle brings to all Nigerians an Easter Message of Hope and faith in the Midst of Gloom.
NIGERIA WILL RISE AGAIN I bring congratulatory message to all Christians all over Nigeria and by extension to all Nigerians in the name of Jesus. The arrest of Jesus by evil men and the so-called religious leaders, his crucifixion and of course his burial were the greatest shocks in the life of his disciples. Though he told them several times that it was going to happen, considering his miraculous power, they thought nobody would be able to arrest, not to talk of crucifying him. They understood not the Scripture that Christ must suffer first before entering into his glory and be Lord over all. (Acts 24: 25-27)
Jesus remained three days in the grave as if He was not going to resurrect. However, on the third day, there was a great happening. There was an earthquake, the foundation of the earth was shaken and Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, the Lord of lords rose triumphantly from the dead. His resurrection brought smiles to the faces of his disciples and shame to his enemies.
Fellow Christians and fellow Nigerians, the situation in the country today, to say the truth, without an iota of politics looks very gloomy. There seems to be nothing to celebrate because of unimaginable insecurity. Despite the efforts of the government to arrest the situation, the scope of insecurity keeps expanding to our consternation. Coupled with insecurity are other challenges such as mass unemployment, industrial disharmony, especially that of Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), just to mention but a few. The prices of goods and services have risen in a way unprecedented in our country before and entrepreneurs are relocating to other countries that have better ease of doing business. Is there anything that calls for celebration in all these things we are facing? Yes, there is. Nothing is worse than death! If Jesus died and was buried, putting his disciples in the greatest state of disappointment and sorrow but afterwards rose from the dead, then, Nigeria is going to be great again.
This nation will rise from all the challenges we are facing and we Nigerians are going to rejoice and be proud of our nation again in the name of Jesus Christ. There is hope for a tree that is cut down but it’s root remains in the ground, at the scent of water, it will sprout again! (Job 14: 7-8)
My prayer to God is to fast-tract the resurrection of Nigeria from all her pains and challenges so that those of us who have tasted in the suffering in our nation might equally eat of the good of this nation in the name of Jesus Christ. I commend our security agencies for all they are doing at nipping the ugly situation of insecurity in the bud, especially for the supreme price some of them had paid. We seize this opportunity of Easter to pray for comfort for their families and urge the government to take good care of the people they left behind.
I plead with the Federal Government to work harder to bring reprieve to Nigerians from all these challenges very soon.
Once again, I wish you happy Easter. May Hallelujah be your song forever in Jesus’ name.
Rev. Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle President, Christian Association of Nigeria & Co-Chairman, Nigeria Inter Religious Council
PICTURE SLIDE >>> Showing Participants at the just concluded 2nd Quarter National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), held in Abuja on the 5th of April, 2022.
A Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday slated June 20, 2022 for hearing in a suit filed by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) against the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, handling the matter fixed the date after counsel to the plaintiff, Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) informed the court that all the court processes, including the Originating Summons have been filed and served on the defendants. The senior lawyer prayed the court for a date for adoption of the processes filed.
Counsel to the first defendant (CAC), Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) also informed the court that he had filed a notice of Preliminary Objection to the plaintiff’s Originating Summons and a written address.
After hearing the submissions of counsel in the matter, except the second defendant, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, which was not represented in court, Justice Ekwo adjourned the matter till June 20 for hearing of both the Preliminary Objection and the substantive matter.
The Judge also ordered that hearing notice be served on the second defendant to make representation in court on the matter.
The Association, in its Originating Summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/84/2022, wants the court to determine, “Whether Section 839, subsections (1), (7) (a) and (10) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 and regulations 28-30 of the Companies Regulations (CRs), 2021 are 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 constitution which guarantees the right to freedom of expression.
“Whether sections 842 (1) and (2) and 843 of the CAMA are inconsistent with sections 37 and 44 of the constitution which guarantees the right to privacy and compulsory acquisition and whether sections 839(1), (7)(a) and (10), section 842(1), (2), sections843, 851 and 854 are inconsistent with section 251(1)(e) and (3) of the CFRN and thus unconditional, null and void, among others.
Part of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff include “A declaration that Section 839(1), (7) (a) and (10) of the CAMA and sections 28-30 of the are inconsistent with Section 40 of the constitution 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 constitution and thus unconstitutional, null and void.
“A declaration that Section 839(1) and (7) (a) of the CAMA and regulations 28-30 of the constitution have a direct effect on the judicial power of the Federal High Court under Section 6(6) (b) of the constitution and is therefore void.
“An order striking down Sections 839(1), (7) (a) and (10), 842(1) and (2), 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA for being unconstitutional.
“A declaration that Section 17(2) (a) and (d) of the CAMA demand an impossible and impracticable action; thus, void and for being impracticable and unknown to Law.”
The plaintiff also want an order of perpetual injunction restraining and barring the defendants, whether acting by themselves or through any of their agents, privies, proxies, affiliates, subsidiaries or any person or entity whatsoever from doing or carrying out any act or making any pronouncement or talking any step to give effect t or implementing and/continuing with any act to implement the provisions of sections 17(2) (a) and (d), 839(1), 842(1) and (2), 842(1) and (2), 842, 843, 851 and 854 of the CAMA against it or it’s agents as mentioned in Article 4 of its constitution, to prevent further contravention of the provisions of sections 4(8), 6(6)(b), 251(1)(e) and 251(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
The plaintiff, in an affidavit averred that if CAC is allowed to suspend its Trustees and appoint interim managers to manage its affairs, it will be usurping its powers under the constitution and the powers of the standing committee and the plenary session which would not be in line with the constitution.
The CAC had, in its Preliminary Objections, opposed the suit filed against it by CAN.
It argued that “The Registered Trustees of the Christian Association of Nigeria;” as a non-juristic person, was unknown to law to institute and maintain the action.
The plaintiff is not an entity registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act and not one otherwise recognized as being vested with statutory rights of incorporation and bereft of the requisite locus standi, legal capacity or competence to sue and maintain this action against the 1st defendant.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked the Central Bank and other financial regulatory agencies to look into the frivolous financial loan facilities being granted to people without collateral by some dubious companies.
CAN said its attention was drawn to the antics of some faceless people who are unknown in the financial sector but giving out loan facilities to vulnerable people as a result of economic predicaments in the country.
A statement by the General Secretary of CAN, Barrister Joseph Daramola said according to its findings, some unscrupulous people developed their apps to extort money from innocent people on the pretext of giving them short loan facilities.
“Their interests are not only higher than the banks’ but they use blackmail and other antics to get their money back in case of default whereas their victims must have overpaid the loan secured but run into trouble as a result of the ungodly interests. They will be harassing and embarrassing the contacts of their victims asking them for their intervention to recover their money.
“These are not only against the financial regulation but totally unacceptable, irresponsible, suicidal and unfair.
“We are calling on the Governor of the Apex Bank, Godwin Emefele, the Ministry of Finance and other related agencies to, as a matter of urgency, intervene before their victims begin to use self-help to free themselves from the public ridicule and embarrassment.
“It easier to condemn those who take such loans because they were not forced to do so but when we critically examined the economic conditions of the country and the attendant consequences, we have realized that it would take only the disciplined and the godly people to say NO to the trap.
“CAN is also calling on the Federal government to bring the economy out of the woods as a way of restoring sanity back to the polity. We don’t need the quarterly report of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics to know that life is becoming unbearable and tough for the citizens, irrespective of their economic status,” the statement added.