PRESS RELEASE: The Gruesome Murder of CAN Chairman is Highly Condemned – CAN

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned in strong terms the gruesome murder of Rev. Fr. John Cheitnum Four days after his abduction and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the masterminds are arrested and prosecuted.

Cheitnum was the Chairman of CAN in Jema’a local government area and the Coordinating Chairman of the body for Southern Kaduna until his demise. He was kidnapped with Rev. Fr. Donatus Cleophas (who later escaped) on July 15, from the Rectory of Christ the King Parish, Yadin Garu in Lere local government area of Kaduna State.

To say the least, this is cruel, inhuman, deliberately provocative, barbarism and condemnable. Unfortunately, we  have a government that has failed to protect the lives and property of citizens and yet it will not ensure that these terrorists pay a heavy price for their evil actions. Ours is a government that lacks political will to put these criminals where they rightly believe. Instead, they are being recycled in the pretext of de-radicalising programme.

We recall with sadness and a sense of despair how terrorists murdered  Lawan Andimi, the chairman of CAN in Michika, Adamawa State. Till today, no one has been brought to justice for his gruesome murder. Instead, many Christians, including the clerics, are being abducted and killed while our security agencies look helpless.

This is unprecedented anywhere in the world. We don’t know when an end will come to these wicked acts and to worsen the situation, the same government that cannot protect us has failed to establish state police to compliment the obviously overstretched Federal Police. This is why many well meaning Nigerians, including some governors, are calling for self-defence to reduce the menace of insecurity challenges.

Late Rev. Fr. John Cheitnum, Chairman of CAN in Jema’a Local Government Area, Kaduna State; and the Coordinating Chairman of the body for Southern Kaduna

CAN commiserates with the immediate family of the slain Cheitnum, the Chancellor of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Okolo, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria and pray for divine consolation and comfort. It is our prayers that never again will Nigeria be governed by a government that will be treating criminals with kid gloves.

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

PRESS STATEMENT: DEBORAH’S KILLERS MUST BE BROUGHT TO BOOK

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.

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: Christmas, A Season of Hope, Peace and Joy – CAN President

I rejoice with all Christians in Nigeria and of course all over the world at this season of Christmas, the season when God became man to live among us in order to redeem us from all our sins and eternal death. My prayer is that nothing would steal from your joy of this season in the name of Jesus Christ. (John 1: 14)

Let us remember that the devil is a deceiver and what we are passing through presently in Nigeria might not be what would cause us to rejoice! Of course, what we are currently passing through may not give anybody hope of tomorrow humanly speaking unless those in power are more decisive and God intervenes for us. We are experiencing insecurity everywhere, most especially, the kidnapping, wanton killings and destructions of facilities here and there by the criminals in our midst, the insurgency in the northeast, the northwest and the north central of Nigeria, just to mention a few are terrible things of great concern. They do not give us joy at all humanly speaking. However, we need to remember that part of the purposes of the birth of Jesus Christ is to give hope to the hopeless and deliver us from sin and those who hate us. He came to set the captives free.

The Bible says in 1Peter 1: 3-4 thus:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”

Peter’s letter really was to a people who were hopeless, otherwise, he wouldn’t have attached hope in Christ to his message.

My message to all Nigerians is to remain hopeful in Christ Jesus and rejoice in hope no matter what the situation we are passing through may be. Our Father God can turn all situations around in Christ Jesus because as God, he can do all things. He is our Way-maker and he would make way for us in the name of Jesus.

I urge you to receive Jesus as the Lord over your life today, share the message of the saving power of Jesus with others who do not know him and show love in a practical way to someone around you. Let us through the love of Christ embrace one another irrespective of religious, ethnic and political differences. Let us be reconciled to God and to one another. Let all the killings, the kidnapping of our fellow brothers and sisters and all other acts of wickedness stop because God is going to judge these acts on the day of judgement.

At this season of Christmas, I plead with those at the corridor of power to use it to bring relief and joy to the citizens of this country. It is the good you have done now that people would remember tomorrow. Please, let us lessen the pains of Nigerians by paying more attention to their well-being in the prompt payment of workers salaries and pensions to the pensioners. Let all things be done to reduce the high cost of things in the market and let enabling environment be created for employment of our youths who are roaming the streets having no job.

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I plead with all Nigerians not to let off their guards on Covid-19 protocols. The world has entered the fourth phase of the pandemic and it is spreading faster than other phases. Please, wherever you go, especially in public places such as markets and churches, wear your masks and keep all the safety protocols. 

I pray that none of us would die untimely in the mighty name of Jesus.

Once again, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a happy and very prosperous New Year 2022 in Jesus’ name.

Signed.

Rev. Dr. Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle

President, Christian Association of Nigeria &

Co-Chairman, Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC)

23 December, 2021.

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ELECTORAL ACT: CAN COMMENDS SENATE FOR MAKING A U-TURN ON THE ELECTRONIC VOTING, TRANSMISSION.

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has lauded the Senate for making a U-turn on its earlier position not to allow the use of electronic voting and transmission in the coming elections in the country.

The Senate has rescinded its decision on some clauses in the Electoral Amendment Bill that was passed in July, especially clause 52 which deals with the methods of voting and collation of results in an election.

The Upper Chamber has amended the clause to let the electoral umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), determine the use of electronic voting and transfer of results.

We recall the uproar and the controversy that the July decision generated and we commend the leadership of the Senate for being sensitive to the yearnings and aspirations of the people. That is the beauty of democracy. The more the government does this, the better for our nation.

CAN calls on the House of Representatives to follow this path of honour, by rescinding its own decision too; and we also advise President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful by signing the amendment Bill to law as soon as he receives it.

We however, call on the two chambers to let political parties decide how their candidates will emerge instead of imposing Direct Primaries on them.

We appeal to INEC, the Federal government, the security agencies, political parties and the Non-Governmental Organizations to work together to ensure credible, free and fair polls in the country. The situation where courts decide those occupying our political offices is totally unacceptable, reprehensible and disheartening. If by now our democracy is still a baby, Nigeria would not be regarded  as a serious country in the comity of nations.

Signed

Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola,

General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria