By; SAMSON YAKI, Kaduna.
Reactions have continued to trail the media report linking Northern Christians with purported pooling out of the national body of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Reverend Sunday Ibrahim, the Financial Secretary,
CAN Northern States, denied the purported pull out in an interview in Kaduna.
Ibrahim, who is also the association’s Kaduna State Secretary, 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 the aggrieved members to a round-table to amicably resolve all pending disagreements.
In a press statement, Chairman,Plateau State chapter of the association, Reverend Doctor Soja Bewarang said that there has never been a time that nothern CAN has met to take such decision.
Reverend Bewarang, while refuting that such meeting was held in Jos the plateau state capital, described the rumour as unfortunate.
“It is very unfortunate that the said press conference was done in Jos but the Chairman of CAN Plateau State is not aware of. While there may, indeed, be some issues, dialogue is the best solution and not pulling out.
“There is no way pulling out can help the cause of Christians in Nigeria, especially with the challenges we face today”, Reverend Bewarang said.
In another development, one Mr Matthew Owojaiye in a Facebook post described the rumour as lies and insulting to northern Christians.
He gave a picture of what transpired at the Abuja Conference that birthed the rumour saying that only the Catholic withdrew from voting.
“Northern Christians comprise of all the five blocs of CAN, only the Catholics withdrew from voting. TEKAN /ECWA Bloc was there to vote. Pentecostals from the north voted, Anglicans, Methodists and Baptists voted, OAIC, ie the Aladura Churches voted”, he said.
Matthew called on the rumour mongers to desist from rubbishing the name of Northern Christians; “Let nobody rubbish the name of ECWA, We do not know the northern Christians that withdrew from CAN, Please stop telling lies, false propaganda” he concluded.
It would be recalled that Concerned Christians of Nigeria and the Northern Nigerian Christians 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.
Reverend Luka Shehu of CCN and Honourable 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 Reverend Jeremiah Gado of the TEKAN/ECWA bloc, to prevent the emergence of a northerner as CAN president.
Northern CAN disassociates self from withdrawal rumours
By; SAMSON YAKI, Kaduna.