CAN National Day of Prayer

The Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) is set to hold a One day prayer meeting in Abuja, tagged: ‘CAN NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER’. The event is Nigeria’s largest ecumenical prayer gathering, organized for all Christians in Nigeria, towards seeking God’s intervention in the affairs of the nation, our lives as a people, and our families.

The Program is scheduled to hold on Friday, 4th November 2022 by 10am, at the National Christian Centre, Abuja; featuring strategic prayers, undiluted worship sessions and great insights from the word of God. All Christians are encouraged to actively participate in this solemn assembly with a heart of unity, interceding for our nation Nigeria.

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.

Provocative Easter Advert: ‘We have forgiven you’ – CAN Tells Sterling Bank, CEO

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,”

As contained in the statement.

Daily Prayer Guide For Nigeria: April 19, 2022

Daily Prayer Guide For NigeriaApril 19, 2022

Thanksgiving
Give thanks to God for His unspeakable faithfulness & care to Nigerians despite our unfaithfulness.

Prayers :

THE NATION:
Ask God to please raise a “David Company” who will take over from this government that brought untold hardship to Nigerians – Exodus 18:21

STATE
Pray that the Power that brought Jesus from the grave should bring Kogi State out of her ‘grave’ experiences in this season – Ephesians 3:20.

UNREACHED:
Pray for the salvation of Voro People of Adamawa State: Guyuk and Song LGAs, Waltande, area hamlets.

THE CHURCH/REVIVAL:
Ask The LORD to meet the needs of Missionaries serving in various parts of Nigeria and beyond at their point of needs.

YOURSELF:
Pray that The Lord would use you to show somebody God’s Kindness in this season as it was done to Mephibosheth – 2 Samuel 9:1

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

Pastor, Seven Worshippers Abducted By Terrorists During Church Service In Niger State

About eight worshippers have been abducted by terrorists during a church service at Salama Baptist Church in a village called Gidigori in the Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.
A source from the community told Daily Trust the incident occurred at about 10 am on Sunday, 27th February 2022, adding that the pastor of the Church was among the abductees.

It was gathered that the church is close to Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State.


Similarly, in December 2020, a 37-year-old pastor with the Evangelical Church Winning All in Chikuba town in the Shiroro Local Government Area of the state, Reverend Jeremiah Ibrahim, was killed by bandits.

The victim was killed when the assailants invaded his church.

Also in November 2021, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph Hayab, confirmed the killing of two persons and the abduction of 66 worshippers. He also said three other victims were seriously injured by the bandits.

culled from Saharareporters.com

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.

COMMUNIQUE: RESOLUTIONS AT CAN’S 4TH QUARTERLY NEC MEETING

COMMUNIQUE OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) AT THE END OF THE 4TH QUARTERLY MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 11TH NOVEMBER, 2021 AT THE NATIONAL ECUMENICAL CENTRE, ABUJA.

The 4th quarterly meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) was held at the National Christian Centre Abuja on Thursday, 11th November, 2021 under the chairmanship of the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle. In attendance were the other members of CAN national Executive, heads of the five Blocs of CAN, delegates from the Blocs, chairperson of the Women Wing (WOWICAN) and Youth Wing (YOWICAN) of CAN and other prominent Christian leaders in Nigeria.  During the NEC meeting, the Council deliberated on many issues affecting the Body of Christ in Nigeria and the well-being of Nigerians in general. Notable among these issues are:

1. The National Executive Council appreciates the recent efforts of the Security agencies for the prompt action taken to rescue the Staff Members of the Federal University of Abuja who were recently kidnapped. However, it admonishes the Federal Government and Security Agencies to be more proactive to stop with immediate effect, the spate of kidnapping in the country especially in Kaduna State where kidnapping is now almost a daily occurrence. CAN challenges the Security Agencies to respond quickly to distress calls and protect the lives and properties of Nigerians. It further calls on the Federal Government to do all it can to release the abducted innocent people in captivity unconditionally without further loss of lives.

2. On the need  for prompt action by security Agencies, CAN also wishes to advise the Federal, States and Local Government Areas to immediately initiate  an all inclusive security dialogue with all stakeholders. This  will help towards finding a lasting solution to the security challenges.

3. CAN enjoins the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to be consistent about the information it puts on its website. It particularly noticed that the telephone numbers on its website are not functioning. It should do all it takes to help educate and constantly update Nigerians about the challenges of COVID-19 and the availability or otherwise of COVID vaccines.  

4. CAN advises the Federal Government to put in place a better administration of the QR Barcode reader payment required for returning to Nigeria from overseas. A situation where Nigerians are subjected to intimidations abroad because of the negligence of duty of the officials is very embarrassing. Also, the ugly practice by some Government officials extorting money from citizens coming back home without remitting same to government coffers must be checked.

5. CAN acknowledges the resilience of Nigerians in view of the prevailing economic hardships and insecurities in the country and advises the Federal Government to not worsen the situation with increasing electricity tariffs, prices of cooking gas, and merely allocating funds for maintenance of roads without corresponding visible impacts.

6. CAN wants the general public to know that it now has a new (amended) constitution which was adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by the CAN President on 25th February 2021. It therefore, calls on the Christian faithful to get themselves acquainted with the provisions of the new constitution. It also admonishes believers to take ownership of the Association so as to appreciate the workings and operations of CAN.

7. As the nation prepares for the electioneering campaigns towards the 2023 General Elections, CAN urges all Christians and citizens that are of age to without delay take advantage of INEC’s re-validation of voters’ cards exercise and register to get  their voters’ cards. Politicians should conduct themselves in a manner that will bring peace and unity. Youths should not allow any selfish office seeker to use them to cause violence before, during and after the politicking exercise.

8.  CAN prays for the Government and people of Nigeria.

9. As we approach Christmas and the New year, CAN commits Nigeria to the hands of God and wishes all of us a wonderful celebration in advance. 

Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola  (General Secretary CAN.)

NATIONAL PRAYER SERVICE: SAPPHIRE (45TH) CAN DAY CELEBRATION

The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His eminence, Rev. (Dr.) Samson Supo Ayokunle specially invites all Christians in Nigeria and beyond, to the SAPPHIRE (45TH) CAN DAY CELEBRATION slated to hold on Wednesday, 25th August, 2021 by 5pm, at the National Ecumenical Centre Abuja. Marked with a NATIONAL PRAYER SERVICE.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is the largest ecumenical body ever established in Nigeria and indeed Africa by the then Federal Military Government under General Olusegun Obasanjo, on the 27th August, 1976. Th association was established to promote understanding, peace and unity amongst various strata and people of the society in Nigeria, through the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Over the last forty-five years, the association has been deeply entrenched in its cardinal objectives, and has remained a watch person on the spiritual and moral welfare of our nation, Nigeria. CAN is also known as a constant force against all manner or socio-political ills in Nigeria

To this end, the leadership of the association has deemed it great to organize a NATIONAL PRAYER SERVICE in commemoration of the 45th anniversary. A time of thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness thus far, prayers for the peace and unity for our dear country, Nigeria, and general intercession for Christians in Nigeria and all over the world.

Holding as follows: Wednesday, 25th August 2021 – National Prayer by 5pm on zoom, and streamed live on the association’s official social media handles @ChristianAssociationOfNigeria. While Friday, 27th August, 2021 by 5pm will also feature prayers at the state level, across the nation.

Christians are urged to participate fully on all activities as slated, as we prayer for God’s blessings upon our lives, families and nation.