PRESS STATMENT: “No CAN Official Attended Shettima’s Unveiling” – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) dissociates itself from the unveiling of the Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima; as those who were presented as church leaders are unknown clerics who are not part of the association.

We are shocked, disappointed and worried about the desperation of some politicians who once claimed Christians do not matter in governance and politics who went to hire some unknown ‘Bishops, Pastors and Priests’ to impersonate the leadership of CAN in their political meeting.

This is totally unacceptable, reprehensible, unprecedented and ungodly. If they are saying Christians have no electoral values why impersonating them in their meetings?

We are throwing  their principals and sponsors  into the court of conscience. These actions  of theirs have shown who they are to the public and what they are capable of doing to us all.

We are asking political parties not to ignore religious sensibilities and sensibilities of the people especially in today’s Nigeria when Christians are becoming endangered species daily. Our quest is within the constitutional requirements and ignoring it is akin to trampling on the Constitution especially the Federal Character Act.

At the fullness of time, we will direct our members nationwide on how to use their PVCs come 2023.

Signed: Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola (General Secretary, CAN)

PRESS STATEMENT: CAN On The Visit Of The Prosecutor Of The International Criminal Court To Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has released a Press Statement on the recent visit of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim Khan to Nigeria.

In the statement signed by the CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle; The General Secretary, Barr. Joseph Bade Daramola, and the National Director (Legal & Public Affairs), Barr. Mrs. Comfort Otera Chigbue; pressing issues were raised in respect to Christian victims of religious violence in Nigeria, expressed concerns about the proceedings to date, and engagement with the Prosecutor.

Find full text of the PRESS STATEMENT here:

PRESS STATEMENT: Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) On The Visit Of The Prosecutor Of The International Criminal Court to Nigeria

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is profoundly disturbed about the recent visit of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mr Karim Khan QC, to Nigeria last week. We wrote to Mr Khan twice last year, attempting to engage with his office on behalf of Christian victims of religious violence in Nigeria and expressing concerns about the proceedings to date. To this day, we have not had any response. Mr Khan failed to make any contact with us before, during or after his visit to Abuja. To our consternation, we found out about his visit in the media. It appears that this Prosecutor engages in political games and is unwilling to engage with victims of atrocity, let alone Christian ones. He has disrespected victims, and we are obliged to speak out about this.

The Government of Nigeria has not issued a formal statement about the visit but Mr Khan issued a statement about his visit on 22 April 2022  (//www.icc-cpi.int/news/icc-prosecutor-mr-karim-aa-khan-qc-concludes-first-official-visit-nigeria) We therefore address ourselves to this, and will make seven brief observations.

  1. At the International Criminal Court, the situation of Nigeria has since 11 December 2020 been in limbo between the closing of the Preliminary Examination stage and the making of a request for leave to open an investigation. There is a great deal of explaining to be done for this state of affairs. Yet, Mr Khan only met with members of the government of Nigeria, and seems not to have discussed this. We note that at least one of the individuals that he met has been identified to the Prosecutor’s office as a potential candidate for prosecution. Mr Khan is clearly playing a political game, and is prioritizing relations with the government of Nigeria. CAN is dismayed that the word ‘victim’ only appeared twice in his statement, and both times they were in bland stock-phrases. This is no accident, it reveals that this Prosecutor is not interested in standing up for victims of atrocity, but is trying to unburden himself of the Nigeria situation. We note the peculiarity of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court declaring, in the Nigerian context, that ‘As I have repeatedly stated, the meaningful realization of the vision set out in the Statute can only be achieved by deepening cooperation and by finding common ground wherever possible, even in difficult circumstances’.
  • Mr Khan’s predecessor took ten years (November 2010 – December 2020) to decide that she should seek leave from the Pre Trial-Chamber to open an investigation into Nigeria. The excuse she gave for this long delay was that this was due to ‘the priority given by my Office in supporting the Nigerian authorities in investigating and prosecuting these crimes domestically’. In the final months of her tenure, the-then Prosecutor finally gave up and determined that the Nigerian authorities had been ‘inactive’ in relation to their Complementarity responsibilities and she was forced to seek leave to open an investigation: ‘because of the absence of relevant proceedings or, where proceedings are asserted to have been conducted, the information available did not demonstrate any tangible, concrete, and progressive steps by the authorities to address allegations against members of the NSF’. This was on 11 December 2020. On 20 April 2022, nearly a year after his appointment, we have the spectacle of Mr Khan showing up in Nigeria trying to revive his predecessor’s failed attempts to get Nigeria to meet its Complementarity obligations. Two Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court have now been colluding with the government of Nigeria to use the principle of Complementarity to evade their own responsibilities in the face of international crimes, and to deny justice to the victims of religious and other violence in Nigeria.
  • Mr Khan’s statement tells us nothing about what he and his Office have done on Nigeria since December 2020, possibly because they have done absolutely nothing. Where is the application to the Pre Trial Chamber to open an investigation? How is it that Mr Khan has been willing to leap-frog the situations of the Philippines and Venezuela over Nigeria, applying for leave to the Court’s judges to open investigations? These situations came under the Prosecutor’s radar years after Nigeria went into Preliminary Examination. How it is that Ukraine has jumped the queue too? Why is the matter of ‘capacity constraints’ and ‘operational capacity due to overextended resources’ (referred to in the Prosecutor’s statement of 11 December 2020) only applicable to Nigeria, and not the Philippines, Venezuela and Ukraine? What is going on here?

For years now, our Christian community has borne the brunt of the religious violence in this country. We have, in a communication that was ignored by the Prosecutor, pointed out flaws in the approach taken by his predecessor in relation to Nigeria. These flaws are the result of profound misunderstanding of the role of religion in the violence that has engulfed this country. In the time that the two Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court have been leisurely considering the Nigeria situation (November 2010 to the present), a conservative assessment of the number of Christians who have lost their lives because of their religious identity would be more than 25,000. [The number of Christians killed for their faith recorded by World Watch Research in 2013 was 612, in 2014 it was 2484, in 2015 it jumped to 4028, in 2016 it dropped to 695, in 2017 it rose to 2000, in 2018 it rose again to 3731, in 2019 it was 1350, in 2020 it jumped again to 3910 and then again in 2021 to 4650.] There is no way to count the numbers of Nigerian Christians who have been wounded, abused and traumatized, let alone the massive property destruction and forced displacement of Christians from their homelands. Of course Muslims and other communities have been affected too, and they also must not be ignored in the Prosecutor’s apparent attempt to wash his hands of Nigeria. But CAN is an umbrella organization representing all the Christian denominations in this country; we are only mandated to address the disproportionately victimized and persecuted Christians of this country. Mr Khan’s statement indicates that like his predecessor, he will not take with any seriousness the matter of the persecution of Nigerian Christians. We will continue to challenge vigorously.

  • Mr Khan’s statement indicates a willingness to consider the Sahel-wide problem of Islamist terrorism. We have seen that the Islamist violence in Nigeria is indeed linked to what is going on in other countries, and there is a snowball effect going on. Our beloved country really is on the precipice. However, Mr Khan cannot suggest that the wider Sahel situation be referred to the Court by the Security Council when in Nigeria he and his Office ignore the religious mayhem being unleashed by armed Fulani herdsmen and Islamist bandits, and minimize the nature and scale of the religious persecution of Christians committed by Boko Haram. And of course, it is ironic that Mr Khan and his Office appear to have resources for a Security Council referral of the Sahel situation, but not for Nigeria.
  • The statement makes vague references to a formal agreement that the government of Nigeria and the Office of the Prosecutor are discussing. What is this about? Why are they not being open and transparent?
  • With all due respect to Mr Khan, his statement and conduct since coming to office present him as a Prosecutor seeking to shirk his responsibilities for investigating and prosecuting international crimes in Nigeria. He comes across as trying to avoid providing a modicum of satisfaction to the thousands upon thousands of victims in our country’s long running tragedy of murder and mayhem, exacerbated by governmental indifference, negligence and possibly even complicity.

In spite of our deep disappointment, CAN is committed to the search for justice and redress for the persecuted and brutalized Christians of Nigeria. We continue to be willing to engage with Mr Khan and his Office.

PRESS RELEASE: CAN CONDEMNS THE GRUESOME MURDER OF TALENTED GOSPEL MUSICIAN, MRS. OSINACHI NWACHUKWU IN ITS STRONGEST TERM

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has released a statement, strongly condemning the gruesome murder of talented Gospel singer, Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu, also lending a voice to totally condemn every form of domestic violence.

PRESS RELEASE: SAY NO TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – CAN CONDEMNS THE GRUESOME MURDER OF TALENTED GOSPEL MUSICIAN, MRS. OSINACHI NWACHUKWU IN ITS STRONGEST TERM

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is indeed worried about the growing rate of toxic masculinities among men and boys most especially the most recent death of the talented Gospel Musician, Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu who was allegedly sent to her early grave, on the 8th April, 2022 as a result of injury sustained from domestic violence. We are extremely sad that such bundle of talent and inspirational singer, who led spellbound worships had to complete her earthly pilgrimage on account of such assault from her supposed husband.  This is indeed a trying moment in the body of Christ and we commiserate with her immediate family, her children and the body of Gospel Musicians in Nigeria.

  • Domestic Violence which oftentimes is a Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) refers to a range of violations that happen within the domestic space. It is a broad term that encompasses intimate partner violence (IPV), a form of abuse that is perpetrated by a current or ex‐partner(s).  Experience has shown that wherever we call home is oftentimes the space where physical, psychological and sexual abuse occurs. This is because home can be a place where dynamics of power can be distorted and subverted by those who abuse, often without scrutiny from anyone “outside” the couple, or the family unit.
  • As much as the Bible doesn’t support divorce and broken homes (Mathew 5: 31-32), we may need to emphasize that home may not always be a safe place to live for adults and children living in situations of domestic and familial violence. As religious actors and networks of faith-based organizations, we are called to work together for gender equality and justice, amidst global economic changes, rising nationalism, harsh economic realities and conflicts. We are living in perilous times; a period of changing global, regional, and national environment (Mathew 24: 36-44, 2nd Timothy 3: 1-5, 2nd Peter 3: 3-4).
  • The Christian Association of Nigeria is one of the very few organizations that has boldly and consistently declared a zero tolerance to Gender-Based-Violence through the platform of Male Champions for Gender Justice set up by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) to accelerate actions against all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) disproportionately affecting women and children. The CAN National President, His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle, was one of the appointed Promoters of the initiative in consideration of his irrevocable stand against domestic violence. Two other members of CAN were equally appointed as part of the 10-Member Steering Committee for Africa. Based on this declaration, CAN had to set up a Help Desk where issues of domestic violence can be reported from our National to Zonal and Local Government Secretariats. CAN does not and will never support domestic Violence.
  • Consequently, CAN established an Intervention/Advocacy Group known as MALE CHAMPIONS FOR GENDER JUSTICE whose membership is open to all those who profess the name of Christ. The group was formed in order to accelerate actions against all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) disproportionately affecting women and Children during and beyond COVID-19 pandemic (Genesis 2:24). It is expected that members carry advocacy campaign against sexual and domestic violence to schools, religious houses, social media, civil organizations e.t.c to preach against this inhuman treatment, and nip it in the bud because it is far easier to mold a child than to bend a man. CAN is committed to raising Godly men, husbands and leaders who will be good ambassadors of Christ in all facets of human endeavours (Ephesians 5:25-33). Board membership of the group are drawn from diverse fields of human professions such as Law, Health, Gender Based NGOs, Security, Guidance & Counselling, Academics and CAN Secretariat. We will continue to work within and between our faith communities to shape a world that is sustainable and where the human rights of all are respected. Our commitment to human rights is not an arbitrary cultural or ideological preference; it is rooted in deep religious and spiritual convictions. There can be no justice where God-given human rights are violated or where duty bearers fail to discharge their responsibilities.
  • Once again, we humbly appeal to church leaderships, Government/Non-Government Agencies, Civil Society Organizations, Traditional Institutions as well as immediate families of victims of Domestic Abuses to join hands with us in getting rid of this menace that is gradually eating deep into our societal fabric. We equally request the larger society to jettison all forms of religious/cultural stigmatizations and provide wise counsels to save our women from the scourge of domestic violence. We cannot continue to lose our young and vibrant women to abusive partners in the name of marriage. We enjoin all women passing through the slightest of this sub-human treatment to please speak up and report issues of domestic violence to relevant authorities before it gets out of control. A stitch in time saves nine.
  • May the soul of Mrs. Osinachi Nwachukwu rest in bosom of her creator and the Almighty God grant her beloved family, most especially the aged mother, the fortitude the bear her irreparable loss.  We will ensure that there is no perversion of justice on this matter.

Signed On behalf of the CAN National President, His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle – Chief Promoter, Male Gender Champion for Nigeria.

Apostle ‘Biodun Sanyaolu – Assistant General Secretary, CAN & Male Gender Champion (AACC Nairobi)    

Archbishop John Praise Daniel – Male Gender Champion (AACC Nairobi)

Press Statement: CAN Condemns Provocative, Insensitive Advertisement of Sterling Bank

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.

Thank You.

Signed: Joseph Bade Daramola Esq. (General Secretary, CAN)

Easter Message: “Nigeria Will Rise Again” – CAN President

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

CAN NEC MEETING: PICTURE STORY

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.


SLIDE >>>

CAN National Executive Members
NEC Meeting in progress
His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle (CAN President), flanked by Archbishop John Praise (Vice President, CPFN/PFN) Right, and Barr. Joseph Daramola (CAN General Secretary)
Barr. Joseph Daramola, CAN General Secretary
The CAN President and members of the Transition Committee.
Bishop STV Adegbite (National Director, National Issues)
Ap. Biodun Sanyaolu (CAN Assistant General Secretary) and His Eminence, Elder Dr. Napo Emuchay (National President, OAIC)

CAMA: Court Slates June 20 For Hearing In CAN’s Suit Against CAC

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.

Church News: RCCG Sets The Pace Politically For Christians

The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) has created a Directorate of Politics and Governance. In a memo addressed to all regions, provinces, zones and other levels of the church, the mission said the directorate was created for the political education of its members.

The directorate is also created to charge members of the church to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards ahead of the 2023 general elections.

As inscribed in the memo dated February 28, 2022, and titled, ‘Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance’, with the reference number: RCCG/AGO/ADM/AA/MEMO/20/01/2022; as signed by the Assistant General Overseer in charge of Administration and Personnel, Pastor John Odesola.

The memo partly reads, “We write to formally notify you that the mission authority has created the Office of Directorate of Politics and Governance in the RCCG. Further to this, Pastor Timothy Olaniyan (PICP Lagos Province 12) has been appointed to lead the Office”.

“…You are kindly requested to appoint with immediate effect a Provincial Officer for your province and also ensure that the same is done at all levels of the church – zone, Area and parish. The essence of this directorate is to help coordinate the engagement of our people who are willing to be involved in politics as well as mobilize support for them when required.”

According to RCCG Head of Media and Public Relations, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi said the directorate is to sensitize members of the church for active political participation.

He said, “One thing I know is that we have a directorate on politics and governance to galvanize opinion and views to discuss issues as they occur, not only in Nigeria but globally, because as Christians we cannot afford to act ignorantly. It is to serve as a form of sensitization (for those interested in politics) and to mobilize our people to register and play their own roles, collect PVCs. Those who are interested, let them join the political party they choose.”

Commemoration: International Mother Language Day

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) joins the world in commemorating the INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY with a strong support for the initiative, as it helps in ensuring no language goes extinct.

The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh. It was approved at the 1999 UNESCO General Conference and has been observed throughout the world since 2000 to be celebrated every 21st February.

CAN strongly believes believes in the high importance of cultural connectivity and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies, communities and peaceful co-existence.

Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.
With this, CAN is calling on the educational sector in Nigeria to support language education and make it an effort to encourage Nigerian languages that are taught in schools.

Linguistic diversity(link is external) is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear.

Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.

The theme of the 2022 International Mother Language Day is “USING TECHNOLOGY FOR MULTILINGUAL LEARNING: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES”.
This theme is expected to discuss and unveil the potential role of technology in advancing multilingual education, and will also serve as a support system for the development of quality teaching and learning for all.

CAN Mourns Desmond Tutu

The leadership  of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has commiserated with the government and the people of South Africa on the Home Call of a great Oracle of God, Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu.
We thank God for a life well spent by His great Servant who used every given opportunity to speak a potent voice against the defunct apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule in South Africa

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu

The Revered Bishop was a South African Anglican Bishop and theologian, known for his work as an anti-apartheid and human rights activist. He was also the first African Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 and then Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996. He was also known as a theologian who sought to fuse the Black Theology with African Theology.
We recalled with nostalgia when from 1978 to 1985, Tutu was the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. That was when he emerged as one of the most prominent opponents of South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and white minority rule. Although an activist, yet he was an advocate of non-violent protest and foreign economic pressure to bring about universal suffrage. In 1985, he became Bishop of Johannesburg and in 1986 the Archbishop of Cape Town, the most senior position in southern Africa’s Anglican hierarchy. In this position, he emphasized a consensus-building model of leadership and oversaw the introduction of female priests.
 


Tutu played prominent roles that led to the release of the foremost anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 and they both led the negotiations that ended apartheid and introduce multi-racial democracy. After the 1994 general election resulted in a coalition government headed by Mandela, Tutu was appointed the chairman of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses committed by both pro and anti-apartheid groups. This Commission was used to heal all the wounds of apartheid inflicted on both the Whites and the Blacks. Tutu will always be remembered for his strong support of Palestinians in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict especially his strong belief in Israel’s right to exist. His strong criticism against the  perceived anti-people policies under the South African Presidents of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma further made him a respected voice of the voiceless.
 


Our hearts go to his immediate family, the South African Churches and the common man of that country who saw him as their advocate and protector. May God console and comfort them all in Jesus’ Name.
 
Signed
His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).