BY CALEB AYANSINA
ABUJA – The Christian Association of Nigeria has dared Catholic block to pull out of the organization, accusing them of arrogance.
Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, on Wednesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital threatened to pull out of the National Christian body over the alleged romance of the CAN leadership with the federal government.
CAN however blamed CBCN action on the loss of the Presidency to Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, rather than being too close to the government as alleged. Oritsejafor also doubled as the President of CAN.
The Public Relations Officer of the 19 Northern States of CAN and Abuja, Mr. Sunny Oibe, in an interview with Journalists, Wednesday night also described the conference as an appendage of PDP, who speaks with the two sides of their mouth.
His words, “There is no division in CAN and we are all speaking with one language. There are some certain elements in the leadership of CBCN led by Cardinal John Onaiyekan because he lost PFN Presidency to Oritsejafor who has a lot of achievements.
“There is no need for anybody to lose sleep over the threat by Catholics to pull out of CAN because without them CAN will still continue. The constitution of CAN makes provision that membership can be terminated by any group that is misbehaving or any group can also terminate their membership.
“Why is it that when Catholics were in the leadership of CAN, every bloc supported them but now because power has changed hands, they are threatening to pull out and causing confusion?”
“They have been agitating that the Presidency of CAN must come from the South. They are appendage of PDP and PDP themselves. They are known for double standards. A man of God should not be double speaking”.
Accordding to Oibe who is also the spokesperson of the President of “Tarayar Ekklisiyar Kristi A Nijeriya”, a conglomeration of 13 church groups in CAN, Catholics should not mislead the public even if they want to pull out.
He added, “The Catholics are claiming that the current CAN leadership has deviated from the vision of the founding fathers when they don’t even know how CAN came about. What did the Catholics know about the vision of the founding fathers?
“CAN was formed because of the marginalization of Christians in the North. The Christians in the North, particularly those of them from the TEKAN extraction came together and formed Northern Christian Association. It was that body that metamorphosed to CAN”.
He further disclosed that when CAN was to register during the Obasanjo’s administration, “the leadership was given to them because Catholics were in leadership; I want to correct that impression because they have been telling the world that they are the founding fathers of CAN.
“Catholics have accused the current CAN leadership led by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of being pro-government. But if you look at the whole scenario, you will be able to find out who between Oritsejafor and Onaiyekan is more close to government.
“The problem of Catholics is that they always display arrogance of knowledge. They don’t want to be under anybody but they want everybody to be under them. it doesn’t work like that because there is no seniority in CAN”.