CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA SAPPHIRE (45TH) ANNIVERSARY AWARD/ DINNER NIGHT

The Christian Association of Nigeria as part of celebration to mark her SAPPHIRE (45TH) ANNIVERSARY, organized an Award/Dinner Night to celebrate and honour deserving individuals who had and are still contributing their God-giving potentials towards the advancement of Christianity in Nigeria and Christ’s Kingdom in General.

Official Anniversary Logo for SAPPHIRE (45TH) CAN DAY CELEBRATION

The event which was held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja, was a successful convergence of high powered dignitaries and leaders from the Christian domain, Political sphere, Business and even the social domain. The event was graced by the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo GCON; The President of CAN, Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle (host), The SGF, Barr. Boss Mustafa; Distinquish Senator Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Church Leaders; and a host of highly respected men and women within the Christian faith.

Held on the 25th of September, 2021, the well attended event saw the presentation of Awards of Excellence categorized in different categories such as: Governance, Fathers of Faith, International Ecclesiastical Achievers, Business/ Professionals, Spoke Persons for the oppressed, Young Christian Achievers Award, and a Special Recognition award.

Find the list of Awardees below:

The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, receiving an Award of Excellence from the CAN President, Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle
Watch Highlighted visuals of the SAPPHIRE (45TH) ANNIVERSARY Awards/Dinner Night of the Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN)

CATEGORY: GOVERNANCE

  1. His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo GCON (Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria)
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, addressing the audience.
  • His Excellency, General Yakubu Gowon GCFR (Former President of Nigeria)
  • His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, Ph.D (Former President of Nigeria)
  • His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR (Former President of Nigeria)
  • His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom (Executive Governor of Benue State.)
  • His Excellency, Dr. Dave Umahi (Executive Governor of Ebonyi State.)
  • His Excellency, Barr. Nyesom Wike (Executive Governor of Rivers State)
Owelle Rochas Okorocha making a remark during the event
  • His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun (Executive Governor of Ogun State)
  • His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong (Executive Governor of Plateau State)
  • His Excellency, Dr. Udom Emmanuel (Executive Governor Akwa Ibom State)
  • His Excellency, Darius Ishaku (Executive Governor of Taraba State)
  • His Excellency, Sen. Douye Diri (Executive Governor of Bayelsa State)
  • His Excellency, Sen. Hope Uzodinma (Executive Governor of Imo State.)
  • Barr. Boss Mustafa (Secretary to the Government of the Federation)
  • His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara (Former Speaker, House of Representatives.)
  • His Excellency, Senator Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege (Deputy Senate President of Nigeria)
Barr Boss Mustafa, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Receiving and award of excellence from the CAN President, Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle
  • His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha (Senator Representing Imo West Senatorial District.)
  • His Excellency, Dr. Peter Odili (Former Governor of Rivers State)
  • His Excellency, Dr. Andy Uba
Rev. Dr. Kayode Williams receiving his award from Barr. Ogemudia Omonuwa

CATEGORY: FATHERS OF FAITH

  1. His Grace, Archbishop Dominic Ignatius Ekandem  (Former CAN President (Post-Humous Award)
  • His Eminence, (Dr.) Sunday Coffie Mbang (Former CAN President)
  • His Grace, Archbishop Olubunmi Okogie (Former CAN President)
  • His Lordship, Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola (Former CAN President)
A cross Section of Dignitaries with the President of CAN (Rev. Dr. Supo Ayokunle and The Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo GCON)
  • His Grace, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan (Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja and Former CAN President)
  • His Eminence, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor (Former CAN President)
  • His Eminence, Pastor E. A. Adeboye (General Overseer, The Redeemed Christian Church of God)
  • Bishop David O. Oyedepo (General Overseer, Living Faith Church AKA. Winners’ Chapel)
  • Her Eminence, Reverend Mother Esther Ajayi (Love Of Christ Generation, C&S Church.)
  • His Eminence, Pastor David Ibiyeomie (General Overseer, Salvation Ministries.)
  • His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Kanu Uche  (Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria)
Elder ‘Biodun Sanyaolu (Assistant General Secretary, CAN)
  • His Most Eminence Baba Aladura, Elder (Dr.) D. L. Bob-Manuel (Prelate, Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim & Seraphim)
  • Rev. (Dr.) William Okoye (Founder and General Overseer, All Christians Fellowship Mission)
  • His Eminence, Rev. Caleb Ahima (Vice President, Christian Association of Nigeria)
  • Engr. Samuel L. Salifu (Former General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria)
The General Secretary of CAN, Barr. Daramola Joseph Bade presenting an Award to his Predecessor, Engr. Samuel Salifu

CATEGORY: INTERNATIONAL ECCESSIATICAL ACHIEVERS

  • His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Vice President, World Baptist Alliance. Executive member, World Council of Churches. Central Working Committee Member, World Council of Churches Honourable President, Religion for Peace.
  • His Eminence, Archbishop Dr. Panti Filibus Musa, (President, Lutheran World Federation.)
  • Rev. (Dr.) Ezekiel Lesmore (Director, African Alliance Christian Council)
  • Rev. (Dr.) Ibrahim Yusuf Wushishi (Director, Peace and Diaconia for Africa, World Council of Churches.)

BUSINESS/ PROFESSIONALS

  • Apostle (Dr.) Folorunso Alakija Group Managing Director, Rose of Sharon Group
  • Rev. Yakubu Pam Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC)
  • Mr. Godwin Emefiele Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Chief Arthur Eze CEO Atlas Oranto Petroleum
  • Chief Michael Adenuga GCON Founder, Globacom Nigeria.
  • Femi Otedola Founder/CEO, Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd.
  • Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren Former DG, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority
  • Priscillia Ekwueme Eleje First Female Director of Currency operations, Central Bank of Nigeria.
  • Prof. John Kennedy Okpara Former Executive Secretary, Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission (NCPC)
  •  Sir Olusegun Adekunle Former Permanent Secretary, OSGF

Bishop STV Adegbite Presenting an Award.

CATEGORY: SPOKEMEN FOR THE OPPRESSED

  • His Lordship, Bishop (Dr.) Matthew Hassan Kukah Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto
  • Dr. Obadiah Mailafia Former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria. (Post-Humous Award)
  • Rev. John Joseph Hayab Chairman, Kaduna State Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)
  • Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam Founder, Para-Mallam Peace Foundation
  • Barr. Femi Falana Human Rights activist

YOUNG CHRISTIAN ACHIEVERS AWARD

  • Leah Sharibu One of the abducted Dapchi School girls, who stood for her faith.
  • Maduafokwa, Egoagwuagwu Agnes   Best JAMB Candidate 2020, Scored 365
  • Miss Ogwubie Chikemzi praise Best 2020 WAEC Candidate in Nigeria
  • Master Monwuba Chibuikem Best 2021 JAMB candidate, Scored 358.

CATEGORY: SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD

A Special Recognition Award presented to Imam Abubakar Abdullahi. Presented by Rev. Yakubu Pam, Executive General Secretary of NCPC.
  • Imam Abubakar Abdullahi (Projected Value for humanity and projected Inter-Faith aid: Though a Muslim, Sheltered over 200 Christians in Barkin Ladi LGA, during an attack in that region.)
  • Mr. Ikenna Nweke (Projected honesty and Christian values: Returned found money and valuables in Japan.)

Read More

MEDIA BRIEFING: “CAN is 45. A New Dawn for our Association and the country.” – CAN Assistant General Secretary

THE TEXT OF THE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (C.A.N) AND CHAIRMAN PLANNING COMMITTEE OF SAPPHIRE (45TH) CAN DAY CELEBRATION, ELDER BIODUN SANYAOLU ON 26TH AUGUST, 2021 TO MARK THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASSOCIATION.

Gentlemen of the Press

I welcome you all to this Media briefing on the 45th Anniversary of the Christian Association of Nigeria. It is important to inform the world that CAN, which is the largest ecumenical body in Nigeria and indeed Africa was established by the collective effort of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) during the then Federal Military Government under General Olusegun Obasanjo on the 27th August, 1976 in Lagos.  Thereafter, three other blocs;  Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN/PFN),  Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and  Tarrayar Ekklisiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria/Evangelical Church Winning All (TEKAN/ECWA) were admitted to the fold. CANwas established primarily  to promote understanding, peace and unity amongst the various people and strata of society in Nigeria through the propagation of the gospel. The little acorn has since developed into a mighty oak.

It is pertinent to state that CAN is an Association of Christian Churches with distinct identities, recognizable Church structures and system of worship of one God in the Trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The Association makes Christ the centre of all its works and has continued to promote the glory of God, by encouraging the growth and unity of the Churches. No doubt, the journey has been both pleasant and intriguing. Pleasant because the inherited wall of bricks has become a city of Gold and a rallying point of faith. Intriguing because we have continued to survive challenges which threaten our unity and corporate existence. Our gratitude is borne out of the fact that “If it has not been the Lord who was on our side, now what may Israel say.” (Psalm 124).

Since the Association came on board, it has been consistently and persistently standing against the evil in the land. We joined other pro-democracy forces to fight injustice, inhuman policies, arrest and imprisonment of the innocent, perceived state murder like the unjust killing of the foremost environmentalist, Saro-Wiwa, the criminal annulment of the 12 June  1993 presidential election believed to have been won by the late businessman, Bashorun Moshood Abiola despite the fact that he was not a Christian. That shows that CAN is against injustice and any unpatriotic actions of the government.

Today, it is regrettable that there is a siege on the Church. It all began with the killings and burning of churches in some states in the North at the emergence of the Boko Haram terrorists. Their primary targets, according to their declaration, were Christians and fellow Muslims who stand on their way. You will recall that when their attacks on our members began, it was only CAN that was crying out until they began to attack their fellow Muslims. Several thousands of our members were killed including the late CAN Chairman in …Today, Leah Sharibu is a face of the persecuted Christians in the country. Her only offence was her refusal to disown her faith. She was forced to join about 120 abducted Chibok schoolgirls whose lives are being wasted in the den of the terrorists.

It is reprehensible that the security architecture of the country has been compromised. Terrorists are operating with impunity wherever and whenever they wanted. Our security agencies are giving us the impression that these terrorists, those operating in the Northwest are named bandits by their friends and sympathisers. It us needless to remind you of how they invaded some tertiary institutions in the North abducting and killing as if our security agencies were on holiday. Hundreds of innocent children are being threatened with guns by criminals including 63 students of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State. We wonder how some religious leaders are able to locate the location of the terrorists inside bush.

CAN Sapphire (45th) Anniversary Logo

CAN is not happy with the economic recession that the country has been consistently going through. Although the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has been telling us that we are out of it but the handwriting on the wall is saying otherwise. The cost of living is rising daily due to some inhuman policies like the hike in the fuel pump price and the attendant consequences. The army of our youths are have lost hope in the country that cannot take care of them. The list is endless.

Despite all these problems, we have many reasons to celebrate. If despite the efforts of the Association to speak truth to power, you can imagine what could have been happening without CAN. This is why some external forces are making futile attempts to hijack the Association. They are using some undisciplined and undiscipled Christians to attack the leadership of CAN. But we cannot lose our focus. Our members are being persecuted because of their faith. Some were denied of their inalienable rights like promotion and appointments. Churches are denying certificates of occupancy in many states in the North while many public schools have removed the Christian Religious Knowledge from their curriculum. If you take a critical look into some serious sector of the government, like security, one would begin to wonder if still have Christians in Nigeria. Yet, we have reasons to thank God for the existence of CAN. We have a government that does whatever it likes despite our crying and shouting yet we have reasons to celebrate God’s faithfulness over CAN. Thousands of our churches have been pulled down by the government or burnt by the terrorists yet we are still thanking God for allowing our founding Fathers to form the Association.

Next month, we have declared three days, 25- 27 September to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness when we will take a full stock of the Association and celebrating some Christians who have been a shelter for the Association. However, tomorrow is a fasting and prayers nationwide against the menace of insecurity challenges, economic predicaments, erosion of moral and asking God for forgiveness and mercy.

We call on all Christians and non-Christians to join us tomorrow in seeking for the deliverance, freedom and liberty of our country from those who are hell bent in making an Afghanistan out of it. Our God is able to deliver us and He will and even if He did not, we will not bow down to any idol.

CAN is 45. It is a New Dawn for our Association and the country. 

Thank You for your attention.

Read More

2021 SAPPHIRE (45TH) CAN DAY PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS

THE TEXT OF THE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (C.A.N) HIS EMINENCE, REV (DR.) SAMSON OLASUPO A. AYOKUNLE AT THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF C.A.N ON FIRDAY 27TH AUGUST 2021

Precious Greetings to you all in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The Bible says:

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth forth his works. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world (Psalm 19:1-4).

The Christian Association of Nigeria is Forty-Five years old today. Our Association, which is the largest ecumenical body in Nigeria and indeed Africa was established by the collective effort of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) during the then Federal Military Government under General Olusegun Obasanjo on the 27th August, 1976. Thereafter, 3 other blocs were created namely: (i) Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN/PFN), (ii) Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and (iii) Tarrayar Ekklisiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria/Evangelical Church Winning All (TEKAN/ECWA) CAN was established to promote understanding, peace and unity amongst the various people and strata of society in Nigeria through the propagation of the gospel. The little acorn has since developed into a mighty oak.

It is pertinent to state that CAN is an Association of Christian Churches with distinct identities, recognizable Church structures and system of worship of one God in the Trinity of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The Association makes Christ the centre of all its works and has continued to promote the glory of God, by encouraging the growth and unity of the Churches. No doubt, the journey has been both pleasant and intriguing. Pleasant because the inherited wall of bricks has become a city of Gold and a rallying point of faith. Intriguing because we have continued to survive challenges which threaten our unity and corporate existence. Our gratitude is borne out of the fact that “If it has not been the Lord who was on our side, now what may Israel say.” (Psalm 124).

It is indeed a thing of joy that the association has been living to its expectations and has never for once reneged on its cardinal objectives. Over the last forty-five years, the Association has been deeply engrained in its core objectives and has remained a ‘watchman’ on the spiritual and moral welfare of our Nation, Nigeria. CAN is also known as a constant force and vociferous voice against all manners of socio-political ills in Nigeria. The Association is renowned and respected for its moral and spiritual significance.

We thank and appreciate our founding fathers, past Presidents, as well as the past National Executive members who have worked assiduously in laying the right foundation for the Association on which successive administrations draw their strengths. We also appreciate everybody who have at one time or the other served the Association with their time, talent, wisdom and treasures. We cannot count our successes today without leveraging on their invaluable contributions.

As watch persons over the affairs of this Nation, we are not unaware of some of the challenges of our dear country, most especially that of religious intolerance and the activities of Boko Haram, bandits and other criminals which have made many people, particularly Christians homeless. The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps scattered all over the country are predominantly occupied by Christians from the North West, North East and the North Central part of the Nation. It breaks our hearts that large majority of people in IDP camps are Christians, mostly displaced by religious terrorists and intolerance in their neighbourhoods. The events of the past few months had been absolutely unpleasant – gory to sight and depressing to the soul. Insecurity is so prevalent today to the extent that in the early morning of August 24, 2021, the Nigerian Defense Academy was invaded by bandits with two high ranking military officers killed and one kidnapped.

The Christian Association of Nigeria, in finding a lasting solution to the problems of our country recently released a copyright document named ‘The Charter for the New Nigeria.’ The rationale is to save Nigeria from collapse and rebuild it on a solid foundation of freedom, justice, mutual respect, and shared prosperity. The Charter for the New Nigeria© presents a simple diagnosis of why Nigeria has failed to achieve its future of justice, unity and prosperity and offers a set of structural reforms to create a new and better future for Nigeria. It is not a Christian vision. It is not a Muslim vision. It is not a southern vision. It is not a northern vision. It is the vision for all Nigerians, for a new Nigeria that works for all. The Christian community in Nigeria is worried that Nigeria is sliding towards complete state failure. We are worried that disorientation and ineffectiveness in public leadership make this a self-fulfilling prophecy. But we are reassured by the words of the Scripture that whenever a people recognize their errors and make amend, God of justice will show them mercy and the land will be healed.

Nigeria is not a lost case. Absolutely, it is not. Nigeria has hope and a great future. But that hope and future rest on resolving the constitutional incoherence that has defined our bloody past and our miserable present. But if we agree to create a new constitutional order on the basis of equality, justice, self-determination and mutual respect, if we determine to create a new social compact between Nigerians of different religious, ethnic and social groups, we will recover the promise of a great, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria.

Dearly Beloved, I must also let you know that in commemoration of our 45th Anniversary, CAN has deemed it fit to honour and appreciate some carefully selected Christian Leaders in the positions of titular command who are projecting the image of Christ and leading according to the ethics, ethos and pathos of Christianity. These individuals will be decorated during the Dinner & Award Night which will hold in the month of September.

The age of forty-five is symbolic with truth, spirituality, balance, stability, harmony, gratitude, idealism and love, it is called sapphire. We therefore believe that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is entering into its God ordained year of peace, blessings, abundance and glory. The years the locusts had eaten will be restored unto us (Joel 2:25). Every written code and prophecy of doom pronounced cancelled. TOGETHER we shall surmount the problems and challenges confronting our nation. TOGETHER we shall rise above the abyss into our God ordained destiny.

TOGETHER we shall fight the monster of corruption, nepotism, religious madness and utter human wickedness bedeviling our nation. The hour has come for us to pray more and seek God’s face and intervention.    

As we look forward to more glorious years ahead, I enjoin all members of the Association to remain steadfast in prayers, resolute in their faith and trusting in the supreme Will of the Almighty God as we continue to march on in our earthly pilgrimage. I particularly appreciate our Heads of Blocs, Zonal and State Chairmen and canvass for their continuous support and solidarity in meeting our set goals and objectives. I also thank our Heads of denominations for all their support.

find visuals of this address on YouTube:

We sincerely appreciate the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the Vice President, Pastor Prof. Yemi Osibajo GCON and members of his Cabinet for the support and cooperation thus far. I also wish to appreciate all our State Governors, members of the National Assembly, the Judiciary and indeed all Nigerians for their support and conviviality given to our association at the state and local government levels. Looking forward, we enjoin them to be at their best in salvaging the country from its current socio-political ills.

Conclusively, on behalf of my good self and the leadership of our Association, I rejoice with the entire Nigerian Christian Community on the joy of this occasion. It is our prayer that the Church of God will continue to wax stronger and that the Gate of hell will not prevail against it.

Happy 45th Anniversary!

LONG LIVE THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA &

LONG LIVE THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

For the King,

His Eminence Rev. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle (PhD)

NATIONAL PRESIDENT, CAN &

CO-CHAIRMAN, NIGERIA INTER-RELIGIOUS COUNCIL (NIREC)

Read More

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.

Read More