The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has again reiterated the urgent need to review the country’s constitution saying the fear of the Islamization of the country is real as the constitution laid foundation for the Islamization process as it gives certain privileges to the Islamic religion ahead of others. CAN President, Dr Samson Ayokunle The body maintained that all Nigerians should be treated as equals hence, the fundamental errors in constitution is uncalled for and must be corrected in the spirit of equity and fairness. This is even as the body cautions groups within the Christendom to desist from misinforming the people ahead of its Presidential election but resort to CAN constitution on the guidelines for election to avoid overheating the polity and exposing the lives of CAN leadership to dangers of any kind. Addressing journalists in Jos on Sunday, CAN National Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Evangelist Samuel Kwamkur who spoke on diverse issues lamented the ignorance which allow for the leadership of the body to be lambasted by people who have no idea about the workings of CAN.
Kwamkur said, “It is my constitutional responsibility as the Legal and Public Relation Officer of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to address you and state clearly the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria with regards to her constitution and processes our forthcoming Presidential election would involve and equally comment on the state of our nation; challenges and expectations. “The three-year tenure of the President and Vice President of CAN is coming to an end by July 2019 having taken Office on 20th July, 2016. It is becoming normal that whenever there is transition of leadership in the Association, some ignorant persons find it an opportunity to go into the media to misinform innocent Nigerians particularly the Christian Community on the election process and their expectations. In fact, most times the leadership’s life in some occasion is put on line.
The processes and procedure of CAN elections is provided for in the Constitution of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) 2004. For instant; Article 14 provides for the Nomination, Qualification and method of nomination and election of the President and Vice President. “Article 14 (a) states; “the President and Vice President shall be elected by the National Assembly from nominations submitted by the National Executive Committee and shall hold office for an initial term of three years and shall be eligible for a final term of another three years, thereafter the office shall rotate to another Church Group accordingly.”
He explained that, “Prior to the nomination to the National Assembly by the National Executive Committee, Article 14 (d)(1) provides that, “the President and Vice President must be nominated by an Electoral College of 15 Spiritual Leaders, each of whom must not be below the rank of a Bishop or its equivalent selected from the CSN,CCN,CPFN/PFN,OAIC and TEKAN/ECWA Fellowship in the ratio of 3:3:3:3:3. “On the forthcoming elections, each bloc was contacted to submit names of candidates interested in contesting for the office of the President. Three blocs indicated interest namely, CCN, OAIC and TEKAN/ECWA. The Electoral College which was inaugurated early May 2019 has sat on the nominations and elected two out of the three candidates namely Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle the current President of CAN who is going for a possible second tenure from CCN and Rev. Dr Caleb Solomon Ahima from TEKAN/ECWA. “There are only two stages remaining for the election to be completed.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) will vote for the two nominated candidates and the person with the highest vote will be deemed elected as President while the runner up will be considered elected as the Vice President. The process will be completed with the final ratification of the two elected leaders by the National Assembly of the Association at a later date. Date has been fixed for the election of the President by NEC in June 2019 while the ratification comes on a date in July 2019. “It is unfortunate that there are some ignorant or mischievous persons going around to campaign against one another in a process that is supposed to be more spiritual than carnal.
The election that is supposed to be done under solemn atmosphere is often been heated by mischief makers.” Speaking on the state of the nation, Kwamkur added, “For some years now, the Church has been deeply concerned about the state of the nation as regard the increase and expansion of the activities of insurgencies, armed bandits, armed robbery, kidnappers, killer Fulani herdsmen seems to have continued unabated. We expect the government to be bold enough to take responsibility and be sincere in providing convincing lasting solutions. “The situation whereby the Government will be denying the increasing rate of insecurity while the security budget keeps swelling up with increase in casualties amongst the security operatives, increase in number of victims and cry by communities is worrisome and calls for serious reflections.
We advocate further for the creation of state police as the major solutions to ending this communities’ invasions by so called unknown gunmen. “The inability of the Federal Government to ensure the release of Leah Sharibu and other abducted victims of Boko Haram gives us sleeplessness. One of the cardinal promises of President Buhari’s Administration is the end to the reign of terrorism and ensuring the released of captured victims of insurgents but the first tenure ended up without achieving maximally such result. We pray and hope that President Buhari will do everything within his ability to achieve this goal if he is to be taken more seriously.”
Continuing, he stressed, “On planned Fulanization or Islamization: CAN believes that the foundation for Islamisation of Nigeria has since been laid by the makers of the Nigeria Constitution and some previous leaders of Nigeria. Particular examples are the provisions made in the Constitution for the operation of Sharia laws and Courts. “This makes the common law and the sharia law to be operating in the same constitution. This naturally has divided the nation into two and sets the tone for Islamization.
The implication of this scenario is confusion. Furthermore, as we have said before, the registration of Nigeria, (a secular state) as a member of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) by military fiat is a further confirmation of deliberate Islamization of the country. This calls for review if our leaders are sincere with their claim that nobody is islamizing the country. “We commend sincerely the position of the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for opening up against the planned Islamization of Nigeria. The former President simply repeated what many of our CAN leaders have said before. We had even taken this in written form to the Presidency for immediate attention.
If what Obasanjo said should be doubted, what is the justification for the community cleansing by killer Fulani Herdsmen who jump on innocent communities in the night killing them and taking over their communities? “We never saw any far reaching steps taken to bring these killer herdsmen to book! What is the justification for the Federal Government effort to create and maintain cattle routes or colony for Fulani herders despite their level of impunity? How can you justify the Federal Government’s establishment of a radio station for Fulani? (Though this is being denied recently that is was established for nomadic education) “Why can’t strict security measures that silenced the IPOB in few days be taken against Boko Haram and killer Fulani Herdsmen? We cannot for many years claim that our borders are porous and nothing is done about it. Nigeria cannot afford to be losing her citizens for years because we have an uncontrolled border.”