Evidence that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) never really closed ranks following its highly contentious election of June 14th, 2016 came to the fore on Sunday as northern Christians under the aegis of Concerned Christians of Nigeria (CCN) and Northern Nigerian Christians (NNC) said they are reverting to the pre-independence status as Northern Nigeria Christian Association (NNCA).
The group, which is a conglomerate of churches from the North, also called for an investigation of CAN under the leadership of its immediate past National President, Pastor Ayo Oritesejafor.
Addressing a joint press conference in Jos, the Plateau State capital yesterday, Rev. Luka Shehu of CCN and Elder Peter Luka of NNC, said the decision to revert back to the NNCA became imperative following what they described as the “travesty of justice, lies and manipulation” that led to the emergence of Rev. Supo Ayokunle as Oritsejafor’s successor during the June election.
According to Rev. Shehu, “In the spirit of freedom of choice and liberty to choose, we hereby state emphatically that those who wish to continue membership of CAN in the North are free to do so.
“However, considering our common shared values and peculiarities as Christians from the the North and in the absence of any understanding or compassion from CAN and after wide consultations amongst Christians leaders, traditional rulers, youths and women, we under this auspices from the North have unanimously decided to revert to the pre-independence Northern Nigeria Christian Association”.
He recalled that the NNCA had joined CAN so that the interest of Christians from the North would be protected, “but if that cannot be achieved, then there is no need being associated with the body”.
“Without sentiments or prejudice, today we have started a movement that will redeem the name of Christians in the North and Nigeria, through promoting equity and social justice, to fight corruption and promote evangelism”, he added.
The Cleric further claimed that the election that brought the Rev. Ayokunle led CAN executive, “was contrary to CAN constitution and the greatest travesty of justice, lies, manipulation and imposition by men in white collar and cassocks.
“Therefore, we the Concerned Christians of Nigeria and the teaming Christians of the North renounce and reject every process of 14th June, 2016, and Ayo Oritsejafor with mockery to due process and integrity handed over to his choice.
“The outgoing CAN President, Oritsejafor, the CAN General Secretary Rev. Dr. Musa Asake and the TEKAN/ECWA Bloc leader Rev. Emmanuel Dziggau need to account for the five prado land cruiser jeeps given to CAN”.
Speaking in the same vein, Elder Luka, said, “We are writing to EFCC to come and investigate CAN. The history of that aircraft of Pastor Oritsejafor should be investigated.
“Is he encouraging every CAN President to get his own private jet? While the people are dying. It is injustice, wickedness and it’s malicious.
“We cannot continue to fold our hands while our leaders will be busy using jeeps, private aircrafts and building private Universities, and our brethren are dying of hunger”.
According to Luka, CAN leaders under the leadership of Oritsejafor had never visited victims of insurgency in the north-east, victims of attacks in the middle belt region and other northern States.