“This is the only condition under which the CSN can positively consider its continued membership of the Association.”
…As Catholic Church threatens to pull out
Chris Steven, Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has elected the President of Baptist Convention, Reverend Supo Ayekunle as its new President.
Reverend Ayekunle defeated Elder Joseph Otubu of Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (MCCSW) with 54 votes as against 28 votes in an election conducted on Tuesday.
The outgoing president of the body, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, announced the result at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.
His emergence came after months of controversy about who would succeed Pastor Ayo Oristejafor amidst speculation and allegations that the Presidency wanted to impose a candidate on the body.
The election which was earlier slated for today, 15th of June, 2016, was rescheduled for yesterday without notice.
According to sources familiar with the infighting in the Christian body, outgoing president, Oritsejafor hurriedly called for the early conduct of the election in order to prevent the possible arrest of some key leaders of CAN over the ongoing leadership crisis.
Meanwhile, the crisis rocking the apex Christian body is far from over, as the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria has threatened to pull out of the association.
In a letter addressed to Oritsejafor, dated 9th of June, 2016 and signed by Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, Archbishop of Jos and President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), the church had demanded that the election be suspended, pending the resolution of some grey areas.
It had also threatened to pull out of the association should the warning be ignored by Oritsejafor-led CAN.
Catholic Church had maintained in the letter: “The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), which represents the Catholic Church in Nigeria, has observed with sadness how, for some years now, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has continued to deviate from the original objectives for which it was founded.
“The CSN has on various occasions appealed to the Leadership of CAN to do all it could to ensure that the noble ideals of the Association be not only recovered but also promoted.
“Unfortunately, these appeals have so far been unheeded. This situation of things constrained the CSN to suspend active participation in the affairs of CAN, with a request that sincere efforts be made to improve on the situation.
“The way and manner in which the electoral process of CAN has been handled does not show any willingness of the leadership to do things in a way worthy of the Association. We can no longer go along with the way things are now.
“The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria therefore demands that the current electoral process be suspended forthwith until the heads of the five Blocks of CAN reconvene (which we hope will be as soon as possible), to work out a way of bringing the association back on track, so that it may serve the purpose for which it was originally founded.