Following an allegation by a Christian group that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government was planning to install a northerner as new Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) president, the Treasurer, CAN Northern Wing, Pastor Haruna Karatu has said a northerner can become CAN president and warned the group, Christ’s Redeemers Union (CRU) against involving President Buhari in CAN affairs. Reacting to this, Karatu said, “The position of presidency in CAN is not meant for southerners only. Also, it is important to know that Buhari has nothing to do with CAN, so, such allegation is nothing but blackmail.”
Meanwhile former chairman of North-east CAN, Reverend Shuaibu Byal said it is possible for a northerner to become CAN president. According to him, “Since 1976, northern Christians had never indicated interest in the leadership of CAN apart from John Onaiyekan who is from Kogi State. We had always supported any credible person that emerged president irrespective of tribe because we believe that Christians are one.
“Peter Akinola became president of CAN when Olusegun Obasanjo was president of Nigeria. They were both from Ogun State. Also, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor became CAN president when Goodluck Jonathan was president of Nigeria, they were also both from the same Niger-Delta region. So, it is a misguided statement for any group to come out and say President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to install a northerner as CAN president. People should stop bringing Buhari’s name into CAN affairs, neither should they use his name to cause division in CAN.” The tenure of Oritsejafor, who is the current CAN president, ends in July 2016.