Rev. Supo Ayokunle Emerges New President Of CAN

CAN_PresidentThe Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has elected Rev. Supo Ayokunle as its new president.

Reverend Ayokunle is the current National President of Nigerian Baptist Convention and takes over the CAN leadership from Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.

The election was conducted at the National Ecumenical Center, Abuja.

Rev. Ayokunle defeated his rival, Joseph Otubu of the Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (MCCSW) with 54 votes to 28.

The outgoing president of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, whose tenure ends in July announced the result of the election and declared Reverend Ayokunle his successor.

Dogara Warns Christian Leaders Against Partisan Politics

DogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has called on Christian leaders to refrain from partisan politics and remain united in order to have a common voice.

Speaking at the 2nd Christian Pilgrimage Stakeholders Summit organised by the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission in Abuja, Speaker Dogara said the challenges being faced by the country requires a holistic approach of all Nigerians.

He advised Christian leaders to work towards sustaining Christian pilgrimage as the Federal Government is no longer in a position to fund pilgrimage.

He further explained the need for Christian leaders to sustain the pilgrimage through a united front.

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, spoke on the future of Christian pilgrimage just as the Primate of the Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, enjoined Nigerians to keep faith with god.

The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, John-Kennedy Opara, challenged Nigerians to invest in the future of Nigeria.

Top on the agenda of the gathering was the issue of funding pilgrimage by the government and its agencies and exploring ways of sustaining the exercise without depending on government for support.

This gathering ahead of the general elections of CAN.

Police Call For Vigilance, Moderation During Yuletide

PoliceThe Police have again advised Nigerians to be vigilant and report suspicious movements and strange gatherings to security agencies.

This is part of efforts to ensure a crime-free yuletide.

Speaking to Channels Television in an interview in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Olabisi Kolawole, said that the Inspector General of Police has directed all Police formations to be extra vigilant by ensuring that people celebrating the festive period do so within the confines of the law.

The Force Public Relations Officer further said that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure quick response by the Police to complaints from the general public.

“The IGP wants the people to work with the Police by making sure that whenever they see any strange objects or strange persons in their neighbourhood they inform the Police or any law enforcement agent that is around. They should not wait until it happens before they call the Police.

“At the same time, this period calls for celebration, driving and traveling all over the country. People should try to be careful and watchful. Drive with care not to expose their valuables. They should try not to travel with huge amounts of money, they should make use of their ATM cards and be careful not to drink while driving,” she said.

Mrs Kolawole also added that the IGP has instructed all Assistant Inspector General of Police and Commissioners to ensure a robust deployment of men and resources before, during and after the yuletide.

“He has directed that they should ensure that they secure every important point; vulnerable places like churches, mosques, playing grounds, shopping malls and other places like government offices and buildings.”

CAN President Congratulates Nigerians At Christmas, Maulud

CANThe President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has congratulated Nigerians on the occasions of Christmas and Eid-el-Malud celebrations.

In a statement on Thursday, Pastor Oritsejafor said that the season offers Nigerians another unique opportunity to imbibe the lessons that come with the season.

“For the Christian and Muslim communities, the messages of the two celebrations are clear and key to our collective existence as a nation.

“I urge all to imbibe and demonstrate the virtues of peacefulness, care for one another and sacrifice that the birth of Christ Jesus and the Holy Prophet Mohammed preaches.

“The season presents us a great opportunity to reflect on the challenges confronting our nation.

“Let us use this occasion to strengthen our collective resolve to fight vices such as ethnicity, sectionalism and economic hardship that threatens to tear us apart.

“Let’s give our unalloyed support to the military as they fight to defeat Insurgency in the north east of Nigeria,” the statement read.

 

 

Babangida, Gowon Call For Peace, Seek Support For Buhari

Babangida, Gowon Call For Peace In NigeriaFormer Head of States, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) has called on Nigerians to support the effort of President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the insurgents in the north-east region.

General Babangida made the call on Saturday after attending the Eid prayer in Minna, the capital city of Niger State.

The former military President also called for patience as the administration of President Buhari works to stabilise the nation’s economy.

In another development, a former Head of States, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) advised all Nigerians to seek peace and national development.

General Gowon made the appeal on Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, while addressing Christian pilgrims. He urged them to always remember to pray for the nation whenever they embark on the holy exercise.

He noted that prayer was necessary, as Nigeria fights the Boko Haram sect insurgents in the north-east.

“Peace in the country will lead to prosperity,” General Gowon said.

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, also appealed to churches to start teaching Christians how to contribute their quota to the development of the nation.

Oritsejafor Asks Sultan To Write Boko Haram

CanLogoThe President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has urged the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, to write a letter to Boko Haram to stop their attacks just as he did to the Islamic State militants of Iraq and Syria.

He also enjoined religious clerics, particularly those who enjoy good relationship with the sect to reach out to the leadership of the sect so that the real Islam could be presented to them instead of allowing them to continue to misrepresent Islam.

He made the statement after the sultan informed the gathering that he had written to the Islamic state to stop terrorism in the name of Islam.

Nigeria Is Fighting A Religious And Ideological War – Oritsejafor

oritsejafor_NewThe President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor says Nigeria is fighting a religious and ideological war in the north-east where insurgency has taken a firm grip in the last six years.

Pastor Oristejafor said Christians have suffered more in the region as insurgents, driven by what he called the ‘Wahabist ideologies’, attack communities in the north east.

Oritsejafor, who spoke on Wednesday in Abuja during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of CAN, said “territories that have fallen under the control of Boko Haram are predominantly populated by Christians, a sign that Christians are no longer safe in those parts of the country.

“What is happening there is unacceptable to us. Christians are the main victims. We are not saying that other people are not affected. But Christians are the ones affected more. All the places where Boko Haram has foisted their flags are dominated by Christians.

“They have taken over Mubi in Adamawa state which is dominated by Christians. Somebody will now tell me this is not religion. Who is fooling who? Nigerians should accept that we have a problem”, he said.

The clergy also called on local and international community and religious bodies to help Nigeria in wining the fight against terrorism.

Apart from urging Christians to intensify prayers for the victims of the insurgency in the north east, the CAN leader said the military needs a superior ideology to defeat insurgency.

“All well meaning Nigerians must pray and continue to pray. We must pray. I will not join those condemning our security agencies. They are Nigerians. Women are losing their husbands and children are losing their fathers. I want to challenge the military. They can do better. They must continue to fish out those sabotaging their efforts. Those people should be expelled. They are in all the security agencies.

“No matter the intention you have, if you have people working against you, you will not succeed. There are too many people in the system working against the system. Why should these kind of things be happening? Innocent people are being killed. It is too much. Enough is enough!

He further noted that the ongoing insurgency in the north is a religious and ideological war that needs the support of Islamic scholars and the military to succeed.

“I want to make an appeal to our Muslim clerics and Muslim political leaders to come together and see how they can help us solve this problem. They have the solution. There are some Muslim scholars Boko Haram members respect. To a large extent, that is the only way out.

“As members of CAN, we are ready to meet with them. I believe in progressive dialogue. This is my strong appeal. I want to appeal to those at the grass root. This connects to the leaders. The leaders should talk to those at the grass roots. They should give reliable intelligence to our security agents. Please, do not harbour these people. They are not fighting for you. Expose them”, he said.

 

CAN Felicitates With Muslim Faithful On Eid-el-Fitr Celebrations

Ayo-OritsejaforThe Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Sa’ad Abubakar, and all Muslims on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast and the occasion of the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.

The President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, in a statement on behalf of the entire Christian community in Nigeria, reminded all Muslims of the significance of the occasion, especially about the virtues of love, peace, good neighbourliness as emphasised by the Holy prophet.

“In times like this, all Nigerians irrespective of their affiliations must strive to promote good neighbourliness and the ability to rise above ethnic, religious and political sentiments to work for the collective good of the nation.

“I like to use this unique opportunities to call on all religious leaders especially in this period of celebrations, to preach peace and unity among Nigerians because both Islam and Christianity preach peace. As opinion leaders let us use our positions to influence positive disposition towards ending chaos in our country.

“The holy Prophet Mohammed lived and preached peace at all times, therefore, the acts perpetrated by some disgruntled Nigerians in the name of Islam are most condemnable and should be discouraged. No nation can achieve greatness in an atmosphere of crisis and unrest”, the statement read.

CAN joined the Muslim community to pray for the peace and unity of the nation and to commit Nigerian troops in the battle field in the hands of God so as to win the ongoing counter-terrorism campaign.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor stated that it was his earnest belief that the nation would continue to grow from strength to strength and all faithful would use the instrumentality of religion to promote peaceful coexistence and development for Nigeria.

He reiterated that the collective will of the people would always prevail if they were united in prayers, in their contributions to national development and in their resolve to promote peace in their communities.

He urged all Nigerian people to imbibe the teachings of the holy books and to demonstrate true love in all their endeavours.

Inter Religious Harmony Will Aid Peace And Progress In Nigeria – Oritsejafor

CAN_AyoThe National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has stressed the need for inter religious harmony for the peace and progress of Nigeria.

Speaking in Abuja at a conference organised by Christian Elders Forum of Northern Nigeria, Pastor Oritsejafor appealed to religious leaders to be in the vanguard of promoting peace.

Pastor Oritsejafor described insurgency as a crime against humanity and advised members of Boko Haram to repent in the interest of the nation.

The Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs for the Church of England, Dr Toby Howarth, who delivered a goodwill message from the Archbishop of Canterbury also emphasized the need for religious harmony, describing Nigeria as a country with great potentials.

With the theme ‘Voices Against Violence’, the conference being attended by Christian leaders from the 19 northern states is aimed at addressing issues of security and peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

CAN Urges Islamic Clerics To Engage Boko Haram Members Ideologically

Ayo-Oritsejafor2The Christian Association of Nigeria, has stressed the need for Muslim scholars and clerics to engage members of Boko Haram ideologically in addition to the military approach by the Federal Government.

Addressing a forum of Christian and Muslim leaders in Abuja on Tuesday, President of the Christian association, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said the menace of Boko Haram was not an Islamic agenda but an ideological movement that needed to be countered with a better ideology.

“The bottom line problem of Boko Haram is that it’s an ideology which is very important. Now, if it is an ideology, yes, the military is very vital and they must play their part but you will not solve it completely just by bullets. You will have to create an avenue for a superior argument in the area of ideologies. In other words, you must bring up another ideology that is higher and better,” Pastor Oritsejafor said.

He said that such strategy would counteract and contradict the ideology that had created the monster – Boko Haram.

The chairman of Islamic Resource Centre, Professor Mohammed al-Amin, who also addressed the gathering, said the fight against insurgency by the Federal Government was not an attempt to decimate the number of Muslims in the north.

“I perfectly agree that Boko Haram is an ideological problem and the best way to tackle it is through intellectual engagements which are actually at its lowest ebb in this country.

“Among Muslim scholars, there were some that started these engagements some years back with the group and I think it is really very important that we encourage this to continue because if you convert someone ideologically you have done what weapons and other persuasive efforts could not do,” he said.

Fighting Insecurity: Jonathan Meets With Governors, Security Chiefs

GEJ2The expanded meeting convened by the Federal Government to look at security situation in Nigeria has kicked off in the Presidential Villa with President Goodluck Jonathan presiding.

The meeting which has a fuller house as against what happened a week before, has many of the governors from the opposition parties present.

The President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Nigeria and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, as well as the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor are also attending the meeting.

Twenty-four governors are in attendance while the governors of Jigawa, Imo, Oyo, Rivers, Kano, Ogun, Plateau, Edo and Yobe are being represented by their deputies.

The security chiefs in attendance are; the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as the Inspector-General of Police, the Comptrollers-General of Customs and  Immigration, Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Commandant-General of the  Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp.

The Interior Minister, Mr. Abba Moro, Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Abduljelil Adesiyan, the  Foreign Affairs Minister,  Viola Onwuleri, Agriculture Minister,  Akinwunmi Adeshina and the  Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, are also present.

The expanded National Security Council meeting was summoned by President Jonathan following the bombing in Nyanya, Abuja and the abduction of over one hundred female students from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno.

 

Oritsejafor, Al-Mustapha Launch Think Nigeria Christian Muslim Movement

Ayo-OritsejaforA Non-Governmental Organisation, Think Nigeria Christian Muslim Movement, led by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, has advocated what it called institutional revolution through tolerance, statesmanship, honesty and commitment to the unity of Nigeria.

According to Pastor Oritsejafor, religion has in recent times brought conflicts making it necessary to foster greater understanding across religions in Nigeria for lasting peace.

The Christian-Muslim conference on peace, unity and justice proposed solutions for religious conflicts  and preached against unnecessary competition between the two religions, changing the misconceptions adherents of both religions have of themselves.

Made up of Muslims and Christians, the group notes that the major issues the country faces have been along two hard lines, the Muslim and Christian religions, a situation where false impressions of each other held on both sides have persistently brought conflicts while religion has become an agent of wickedness and division instead of unity and love.

Professor Mohammed Al-Amin, who likened Nigeria’s situation to a human body with malfunctioning essential organs, said there is a need to evolve a new class of political and social leadership by killing oligarchy.

This group also believes Nigeria needs to be changed by re-orientating and refocusing the damaged ideologies in the country, especially in the two core religions.

Both Christians and Muslims are encouraged to remain obliged to the solutions proffered to foster tolerance, unity and peace.