The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern States and FCT, on Monday refuted media reports that they had pulled out of the mother body. Rev. Sunday Ibrahim, the Financial Secretary, CAN Northern States, denied the purported pull out while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna. Ibrahim, who is also the association’s Secretary in Kaduna State, said that there was no time the state chapters contemplated pulling out of the apex body. “We have raised some concerns about some developments at the national level and sought for redress, but we never considered pulling out as an option,” he said. He emphasised that it was not the 19 northern states CAN that pulled out of the apex body, but some Christian stakeholders in the region.
“People should not confuse them with CAN in the 19 northern states and the FCT; we are part of CAN and will remain in CAN. If you go through the publications very well, it said Northern Christians under the auspices of Concerned Christians of Nigeria (CCN) and Northern Nigerian Christians (NNC). Northern CAN was not part of the press briefing. As Christians and as Nigerians, they have the right to air their views and opinion. They are simply exercising their fundamental rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association,” he said. The official, however, urged the apex body to call aggrieved members to a round-table to amicably resolve all pending disagreements. NAN reports that the CCN and the NNC had at a press briefing on Sunday in Jos, announced their decision to pull out of the apex Christian body.
The groups said they had adopted the pre-independence name of Northern Nigerian Christian Association (NNCA) due to alleged political intrigues, travesty of justice and corruption in CAN. Rev. Luka Shehu of CCN and Hon. Peter Luka of NNC, at the press conference in Jos, also accused CAN of neglecting northern Christians affected by insurgency in the North-East. They alleged that the immediate past CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor, deliberately frustrated the candidature of Rev. Jeremiah Gado of the TEKAN/ECWA bloc, to prevent the emergence of a northerner as CAN president.