Concerned Christians Forum of Nigeria (CCFN) has warned the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, against dabbling into politics, which has been causing disunity in the body of Christ and the country at large.
CCFN, which gave the warning, noted that CAN’s constant comments and statements on political issues do not conform with the vision of its founding fathers.
James Amedu, National Coordinator, gave this warning on behalf of the group at a press conference on Monday, stressed that divisiveness in the country must not emanate from Church or it’s leadership.
The group said it was particularly worried over a recent statement credited to the leadership of CAN where it insisted on a Christian Senate President and Speaker for the National Assembly .
Amedu said it appears that CAN, under its immediate past and current leadership, is committed to fully evolving into a political party or at the very least the Christian wing of the PDP.
Text of his speech at the press briefing below.
The Kingdom of God is threatened and the threat comes from within. Gentlemen of the press, hopefully you are not as scandalized by the demand by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) asking that the position of the Senate President and Speaker should be ceded to a Christian.
This demand, as reported, was made in a statement signed by one Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, who is the Special Assistant, Media and Communications to the President of CAN, Reverend (Dr) Samson Ayokunle.
The street logic offered by that statement was that the President and the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) are Muslims, hence, a Senate President and Speaker of the Christian faith will “give all Nigerians a sense of belonging.”
Note that this ludicrous demand came just days after CAN initially confounded even its own ranks by giving reason for not visiting the Presidential Villa to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the recently held Presidential Election.
It turned out that this story was flown as a strategy for scoring an invite to the Villa since the association’s leadership was aware that such invitation will not be willingly extended to it after identifying as the “Christian Chapter of the Opposition” in clear violation of the neutrality expected of an organization whose membership straddles the political divide.
Our thinking is that the founding principles of CAN did not envisage the body becoming enmeshed in politics to a point where its leadership become political lobbyists that have joined the campaign for sharing the loots of election victory especially now that CAN leadership is now hiding under a new found nationalism to influence a party it vehemently opposed during the elections. It had shown such error of judgement when it revealed that rather than seek the face of the Almighty and take direction from the spirit it would rather watch the trend of the election petition tribunal blow before deciding to visit a president-elect and bestow prayers upon him.
But in what has become a growing tradition of disdain for the views of the masses, CAN has arrogated to itself the role of kingmaker while expressing the belief that other factors and stakeholders do not matter. The emptiness of this arrogance is glaring and the demand that a Christian must be the Senate President uncalled for and highly demonic.
Gentlemen of the press, when CAN said it was “waiting for the controversy surrounding the presidential election be resolved in court first before going to do so (congratulating President Buhari)” and later visited the same Villa, we knew that this kind of shenanigan about Senate presidency will ensue. We knew that it was a precursor to a greater manifestation of base selfishness on the part of people that should be feeding the Lord’s flock but have instead resorted to eating the sheep. For us it marks a new low that a religious association that should be the embodiment of Christ is now engaged in. CAN has now been reduced to flying political kites at a time when it should intensify its role as a conscience for the country.
It is equally appalling that men whose primary calling should have persistently align with God’s Commandment could resort to lying in the course of trying to escape the nightmare situation they created for them in the course of assuaging their greed. They go against the very sermons they have preached to their congregations and violate the charge to Christian faithful in Leviticus 19:11 (“‘Do not steal. “ ‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another.) For them the words of Proverbs 14:5 “A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies” have no meaning whatsoever because the words that emanate from CAN in recent years call for concerns for anyone desirous of doing God’s will.
We at this point demand that the CAN leadership should have been sincere enough to admit that it has fundamentally strayed from its calling.
True Christians and indeed Nigerians have not forgotten so soon about the N7 billion bribe to CAN leadership under a certain administration. We have not forgotten when the pinnacle of the otherwise religious group became an errand boy for a government that sent him on gunrunning and money laundry rounds. Now that these kinds of sleazy deals are no longer flowing the Presidential Villa CAN’s attention has swerved to the National Assembly, perhaps in anticipation that it can facilitate the installation of a pliant leadership that will allow it share in the loot.
We are using this opportunity to call on CAN and its leadership that it is not too late to do the right thing. If they are interested in being partisan, they are welcome to declare their intent so that Christian faithful under their guidance can take heed and discern when they are being campaigned to as opposed to hearing sermons. These clergymen are also free to congregate and register a political party or in the alternative decamp to the PDP from CAN so that Nigerians will know where they stand.