By Sam Eyoboka & DanielÂ Idonor
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sent his hearty congratulation to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on his election as president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN. The new CAN president was until his inauguration yesterday the national president of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN.
A statement by Mr. Ima Niboro, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), said President Jonathan recalled the steadfast and committed leadership which Pastor Oritsejafor had given the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.
The President, therefore, urged Oritsejafor to bring his long years of experience to bear in leading Nigerian Christians, saying the new CAN president must strengthen inter-religious harmony in Nigeria, as exemplified in the warm, brotherly relationship between his immediate predecessor, Archbishop John Onaiyekan, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saâ€™ad Abubakar III.
….Tasks church leaders on corruption
Earlier at the inauguration ceremony of the new CAN president at the National Christian Centre, President Jonathan charged church leaders in the country to join hands with his administration to stamp out corruption in the facet of our national life.
The president who was represented at the ceremony by the Minister of Water Resources, Chief Awodele Najeem Adewale said the Church as the light of the world, was better positioned to help the government to kick out corruption from our nation.
Pledges commitment to electoral reforms
The president also used the occasion to pledge his commitment to electoral reforms that would ensure free, fair and credible elections next year and appealed to the Church and all other stakeholders in the Nigerian project to rise up to the challenge by making quality contributions that will make such dream a reality.
The 302-member National Assembly of CAN yesterday unanimously ratified the election of National President of PFN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor without any objection whatsoever to become the first Pentecostal president of the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria.
Oritsejafor appeals for cooperation
In his acceptance speech, the new CAN president, Pastor Oritsejafor was magnanimous in victory when he extended a hand of fellowship to all and sundry within the Christian fold, saying: â€œLet us put the elections behind us and work together for a stronger Church in Nigeria.â€
The CAN president called on all aggrieved persons to forgive one and another as the only vehicle for meaningful development in the country, saying: â€œThose who would serve God must be of service to man; unless that is the case, our claims to serving God will ring hollow.â€