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)
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemns in strong terms the gruesome murder of a Christian, 200 Level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel by some extremist fellow students on alleged blasphemy.
The unlawful and dastardly action of the perpetrators must not only be condemned by all right thinking people but the security operatives must fish them out, prosecute them as it is expected of them. It is the failure of the security agencies and the government to rise up to such criminalities in the past that gave birth to terrorists and bandits. And as long as the State fails to bring these beasts and criminals amidst us to book, so also the society will continue to be their killing fields We acknowledge the swift reaction of His Eminence, Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111 who not only condemned the criminal and religious intolerant action but called on the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to justice. It is our expectation that the State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, would ensure that the matter is not swept under the carpet, as it was before.
We also call on all teachers and preachers of religious intolerance, extremism and terrorism to repent before the wrath of God descends on them if the State failed to bring them to book. They are agents of death amidst us.
We recall the provocative and demeaning advertisement of the Sterling Bank where the bank compared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to “Agege bread”, up till now, nobody was attacked and even the CAN leadership has accepted the apology tendered by its Chief Executive, Abubakar Suleiman. Killing for any God in the name of blasphemy is ungodly, satanic, foolish, reprehensible and totally unacceptable. This is not a Stone Age and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic. Nigeria remains a non-religious State where no religion is supreme to the other.
We acknowledge and commend the restraint of the Christian students of the College who refused to embrace self-help and reprisal attacks on those who murdered their colleague. It is our prayers that those vampires in religious garments will not push the country to a religious war This is why both the government and the security agencies must stop treating them with kid gloves. Enough is enough. CAN commiserates with the family of Deborah and other bereaved. May God console and comfort them in Jesus Name.
Thanks to many other Nigerians who condemned this heinous crime. It was quite an unfortunate development in 21st century Nigeria. Signed Joseph Bade Daramola, Esq CAN’s General Secretary 13 May, 2022.
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.
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.
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
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.
Thanksgiving Give thanks to God for keeping Nigeria together despite the contrary activities of our leaders and several other Nigerians.
THE NATION: In the past four to five decades, the country’s air space has recorded alarming numbers of air mishaps with numerous air crashes at an average of 1 every 2 years; take authority against plane crash in Nigeria in this season – Nahum 1:9.
STATE Pray that The Lord should Rid Gombe State of all Blood Thirsty agents of darkness from this month of March 2022 – Proverbs 2:22.
UNREACHED: Pray for the salvation of about 21,000 Magu People of Taraba State: Sardauna LGA, 25% of Zongo Ajiya and hamlets northwest of Mambila Plateau.
THE CHURCH/REVIVAL: Ask The Lord to deliver the priests and all servant of God in Nigeria from lustfulness practices, fornication, adultery, greed and lasciviousness’ – Colossians 3:5.
YOURSELF: Ask God for the grace to endure any temptation that comes your way : for when you are tried, you shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him – James 1:12.
The National leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) condemns in strong terms the arrest of one Mr. Uche Nwosu at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral Umunwokwe village, in the Eziama-Obieri Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State.
We feel highly embarrassed by this ugly development and feel pained that the Nigeria Police had no respect even for the House of God. We cannot remember whether this act of disrespect for God ever happened before in our country.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has nothing to apologize for over what the police did because we were never and would never be party to their horrendous act. The Police that did the disgraceful thing should appropriately apologize without giving any excuse. We expect them to be more circumspect in the performance of their duties.
We are not asking the Police or the security agencies not to do their constitutional duties but the idea of desecrating the House of God in doing so is totally unacceptable, unfortunate and reprehensible.
In view of the foregoing, we urge the Inspector General of Police to call his men to order and continue to respect all houses of worship, whether church or mosque. This type of act should never happen again in our country.
Signed Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to His Eminence, the CAN President.
Press Statement: The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has said that the Association is at a loss on the data or statistics used by the US government in arriving at delisting Nigeria from the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ on the issue of freedom of religion.
The US government did not contact us when they were listing Nigeria among the countries of ‘Particular Concern’ on religious freedom, neither did they seek our opinion before removing Nigeria from the list. If they had done, we would have been able to compare the statistics then and now on the issue of freedom of religion in Nigeria. Whatever may be the data they used, our prayer is that Nigeria would be a country where no religious group is discriminated against or persecuted and that our government would see to it that all religiously biased policies are discontinued with.
Christians had faced and are still facing persecution from ISWAP and the Boko Haram Islamic Group till today as before. These are the people who said their agenda was to wipe away Christianity from Nigeria and to plant Islam as the only religion from the North down to the Atlantic Ocean in the South. That agenda with the killing of Christians has not stopped till today and Nigerians are living witnesses.
The bandits have joined other militant Islamic groups to be ferociously attacking churches, killing worshippers and kidnapping for ransom. The herdsmen are equally doing their havoc. We have lost many people and places of worship to their assault, especially in the Northcentral part of the country and the Northeast. Though, the madness has grown now and those who are not Christians are being attacked, killed and kidnapped, this is because these criminal acts have become lucrative business and it is whoever you can kidnap for money! If the government had responded appropriately when this criminal madness began and subdued these evil groups immediately, we wouldn’t be where we are now!
We have been shouting at the top of our voice in Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), almost in vain, that government policies should be religiously neutral enough so that no religious group would be seen as being favoured or discriminated against. For example, for almost a year ago now, some of our churches are finding it difficult with the Ministry of Interior to get new marriage certificate booklet after they had exhausted the ones they were using. Some had applied for new supply as far back as January this year without any response from Ministry of Interior till now. This means that such churches licensed to conduct wedding were denied the right to do so for no cogent reason from the government!It is not only in Nigeria that churches are allowed to conduct wedding once they were licensed to do so. Why are the churches being denied the right to do so now in Nigeria? If there is nothing to hide by the government and it is not a subtle religious discrimination, why didn’t the ministry in a written form or verbally explain to the churches that needed new marriage certificate booklet why the supply is delayed?
We are seizing this opportunity to appeal to the Ministry of Interior to put its acts together and allow the licensed churches to collect the marriage certificate booklets from the local government registries nearest to them without further delay and cost.
All right thinking people would continue to ask the US government to let the world know what has changed on the issue of religious freedom and persecution the Christians are facing between the time they placed the country in the list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ and now! CAN in particular would like to know! This is because all those factors that put Nigeria on CPC list for the first time in 2020 are still there.
For example, many states in the North are yet to reverse the policy which denies Christians the Certificate of Occupancy to build churches in their own country. Equally, some, if not many states in the North do not allow Christian students to study Christian Religious Studies in the public schools because it is not made available in their curriculum. In a similar vein, Christian students had and are still complaining that they are denied admission to government owned universities in the North to study courses like Law and Medicine, among others. Christian students such as Leah Sharibu and students kidnapped from Bethel Baptist High School were left with the kidnappers without any purposeful rescue mission organised for them.
The relatives and churches of the kidnapped people were forced and are being forced to pay ransom worth millions of Naira to secure their people or children! Up till now , the Federal Government refused to see banditry as terrorism and has therefore refused to label them as terrorists. For whose good is this? Is it because the bandits are close to those in government or because of religious consideration?
Similarly, ISWAP and other Islamic terrorists that surrendered or were captured were not allowed to face the wrath of the law but rather, unlike other criminals are being slated for a programme of de-radicalization or rehabilitation! These are people who had sent many people to early graves! Is this action of government fair to the people they killed and the rest of us whom these people traumatized and put in sadness over our property or relatives they killed? Why were the armed robbers not de-radicalized? What becomes of our criminal justice system if this kind of anomaly is allowed to stay?
Up till today, our government is still funding the membership of Nigeria in all the International Islamic organisations like OIC and its allies without being part of any international Christian organization.
Once again, we urge the US government to help us by allowing us to know what has changed between the time our country was put in the list of ‘countries of particular concern’ and now.
Let me conclude by saying that we are trying to bring some of the issues of religious persecution or discrimination up at our Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) meeting so as to douse religious tension and foster harmonious relationship between religious adherents in Nigeria. Please be praying for us for success along this line.
His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
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.)