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CAN poll: Northern CAN dissociates self from protests

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By Sam Eyoboka

SECRETARY of Northern Christians Association of Nigeria, CAN, Revd Danladi Yerima, yesterday, dissociated Northern CAN from a statement credited to the group’s Public Relations Officer, Revd John Hayab, where he claimed that the June 14 election of new CAN President was a “kangaroo election”, and unacceptable to northern Christians.

New CAN President, Rev Ayokunle
New CAN President, Rev Ayokunle

Hayab was quoted by a national newspaper as saying that the election which ushered in new executive to take over from Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was null and void. However, secretary of the group, told Vanguard that “as secretary to the Northern CAN, I know that prior to the election, the Northern CAN appealed to the National CAN to consider the possibility of postponing the election day to resolve the issues that were posed by the TEKAN/ECWA bloc and as far as I am concerned that was an advisory from us.”

Yerima said the election had been conducted, noting that Northern CAN was made up of 19 northern states and Abuja and “to the best of my knowledge, all the 19 northern chairmen voted in that election. How can a right thinking and sane person come up to say that such election is null and void and unacceptable to Northern CAN? As far as my office is concerned here, we have never taken that decision. We respect the National CAN. It is not actually the opinion of Northern CAN.”

Reminded that Hayab remains the PRO of Northern CAN and that he spoke outside his brief, Yerima said: “The PRO of any organisation is supposed to speak the mind of such organisation not his own. He is our PRO but the secretariat which I head, did not mandate him to speak on behalf of Northern CAN to condemn the elections. I did not think that is the opinion of Northern States CAN, because I should be the person to know because I will be the one to take the minutes of such a meeting where that decision was taken.”

On if there was a court injunction restraining the elections, Yerima, a lawyer, denied knowledge of any injunction, saying: “Honestly, I cannot really tell you that there was a court case. I heard it just as you heard that there was a court case. But I believe that legal issues are better understood by legal minds. Sometimes when a matter of this nature is before the court, it is very difficult to comment on because it may lead to contempt of the court. I cannot say there was or not because I was not part of that election.”

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