The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), has been warned against politicizing and polarizing the Christendom ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The Concerned Christian Forum of Nigeria, (CCFN) while giving the warning on Sunday, asked the CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle to desist from what it termed unacceptable mission of forcefully dragging Christianity into partisan politics.
The Christian group was reacting to the recent demands from President Muhammadu Buhari by the CAN leadership at a recent parley in Abuja.
Ayokunle, had during the meeting asked President Buhari to release former NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and leader of the Shiites, Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from detention.
Leader of the CCFN, James Amedu, while reacting, however, called on the leadership of the Christian body to always seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit before embarking on any visit or making comments on sensitive issues concerning the state of the nation.
Amedu alleged that those that visited Buhari were only playing “approach the highest bidder” game just to make themselves visible as a force to reckon with.
His words, “We like to state from the onset that the visit and the series of utterances the platform was used to deliver run contrary to the Christian creed.
“We will like to refresh memories to this time four years ago on the approach to the 2015 General Elections. It was a period that the Christian faith was ridiculed repeatedly because the then CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, reduced the association into the outsourced PR firm of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Things got so bad that CAN was practically dragged into his gun running scandal in South-Africa.
“There may be no scientific polling but we feel the burden in our soul as to the number of the faithful whose belief and faith in Christianity waxed cold on account of Christendom being politicised. Even CAN itself lost the participation of certain member blocs. It has taken a long period and intense efforts at healing and again uniting Christians in the land, which presupposes that the current CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle, would have sought direction from Holy Spirit before again dragging the association into politics.
“The reactions from the public discourse space is that Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle and the team that visited President Buhari are playing “approach the highest bidder” game in which they are making themselves visible as a force to reckon with so that the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar can approach them with his monetary bid to take sides with him. This is most unfortunate as CAN is rapidly being dragged back to the Oritsejafor era with all the damages likely to be done to the Christian Faith.
“The CAN team overreached itself and plodded into territories with which it is not familiar. They, for instance, asked that Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Leader of the Shiites, Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky should be released from detention. People are now asking if CAN leaders are supportive of the kind of theft that Dasuki engaged in or that they are continuing the legacy of the immediate past leadership of CAN, which was unclothed in bed withb Dasuki. We wonder if this CAN leadership has plans to re-write the Ten Commandments, one of which expressed declared that “Thou shall not kill”, since they want to in their own wisdom make a charge of murder bail-able by asking that the government should free Dasuki.
“We also note that CAN is asking for protection for the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), when they go on their disruptive and violent protests. We are at a loss here that CAN is actively routing for a group that is on an Islamization agenda, particularly the Shia strain. We wonder what protection will be there for Christians when these IMN protesters have succeeded in setting up the kind of dominance they desire in the country.
“The aspect of the security chiefs having overstayed their welcome is one that we find dangerous because of how it can be interpreted to cause the collapse of Christendom should the same be applied to us. Let us not forget that there is a Corporate Governance Code by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria that was issued on October 17, 2016 which would have ended the eternal tenure of some those that are making this call. They found it outrageous that they could be told to serve limited term yet they are accusing Service Chiefs of having overstayed their tenure when they have not been four years in office. It will be interesting to see how the CAN leadership will react if the Corporate Governance Code is applied to confirm they have overstayed their own tenure in their various churches.
“They also mentioned states that are in crisis in a way that suggest the trouble with these places is that of Christianity versus Islam when in reality there are other underlying local and ethnic issues that require dispassionate intervention and not self-serving bootlicking.
“Their position on kidnapping, banditry and other crimes is welcome. But they needed to have gone a step further to acknowledge the role played by inordinate pursuit of Mammon on their part in driving impoverished citizens across religions into uninhibited material pursuit that made crimes attractive. It is one thing to blame poverty for these crimes and it is another thing to admit that some of those on that team that visited President Buhari contributed to making citizens poorer by the snake oil approach they have adopted to wealth building.
“It is therefore imperative that the Rev Dr Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle CAN should desist from this unacceptable mission of forcefully dragging Christianity into partisan politics. We are aware that some of the CAN leaders have desecrating their pulpits by campaigning for certain candidates under the pretext that they are relaying God’s voice.
“We are not spiritually positioned to chastise our leaders neither are we judging them. But we must speak out because of the burden the spirit has put on our soul to remind them that there is danger in false prophecy, ” he said.