By Sam Eyoboka & Caleb Ayansina
THE umbrella body of Christians in the 19 northern states of Nigeria, yesterday, dissociated itself from reports that it had pulled out of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, over the outcome of CAN’s elections that produced Rev. Samson Ayokunle.
A recent statement by a group known as the Concerned Christians of Nigeria and Northern Nigerian Christians, said Northern CAN had been forced to revert to the pre-independence Northern Nigerian Christian Association, NNCA.
Speaking to Vanguard, Chairman of Northern CAN, Rev. Yakubu Pam, expressed shock, asking “how can northern CAN pull out and for what reason?”
According to Rev. Pam, “CAN has nothing to do with that group. Rev. Luka Shehu of the Concerned Christians of Nigeria is not a CAN leader and cannot, therefore, speak on behalf of the body.
“The people are mixing so many things together. The young man is not a CAN leader or chairman and CAN Northern Nigeria speak only through the Chairman.
“CAN will not pull out. Pull out to go where? Pull out for what? We acknowledge there are challenges. Is there any place you go to that there is no problem?
“There are challenges that erupted during the CAN election. Yes, we acknowledge it, but our leaders and former CAN presidents are putting their heads together.”
Also responding, the Secretary of Northern CAN, Rev. Danladi Yerima, said: “It is not true. I am the Secretary of Northern CAN. We have never contemplated it, neither have we taken a decision to pull out of CAN.
“The misinformation is from a group of people who have arrogated to themselves the power of deceit, falsehood and are insensitive to the corporate existence of the Church in this country. I want to tell you that Northern CAN is not part of that group.
“Northern CAN is part and parcel of CAN, and Northern CAN cannot pull out of CAN simply because certain people somewhere could not fulfill their ambitions. They are using all groups to cause division in the Church.”
Similarly, Borno State Chairman of CAN, Bishop Mohammed Naga, said: “Those who are calling themselves northern Christians are not representing anybody in the north. They are coming from nowhere.
“All Christians/ delegates from the north came out to vote for Pastor Ayokunle. Those who said that they are now forming the Northern Nigerian Christian Association, NNCA, are not representing northern CAN.”