Christians Celebrate Easter Amid Calls For Hope, Unity


Christians in Nigeria and across the world are celebrating Easter, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

The celebrations represent the culmination of the Holy Week which starts with the observance of Palm Sunday to mark the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

To mark Easter, Christians thronged churches for special services, prayers and thanksgiving.

In its Easter message, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said Easter called for celebration despite the challenges bedeviling the country.

“Is there anything that calls for celebration in all these things we are facing? Yes, there is. Nothing is worse than death!” CAN President Reverend Samson Ayokunle said.

“If Jesus died and was buried, putting his disciples in the greatest state of disappointment and sorrow but afterward rose from the dead, then, Nigeria is going to be great again.


This file photo shows some Christians gathered at a church in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.


“This nation will rise from all the challenges we are facing and we Nigerians are going to rejoice and be proud of our nation again in the name of Jesus Christ.”

President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and leaders called for unity in their Easter messages, especially as it comes about eight months to the 2023 general elections.

“As we approach another season of electioneering, let the security and unity of the nation guide our actions and utterances,” Buhari said in a statement on Thursday.

“This period emboldens us to believe that the current spate of uncertainty and insecurity will soon unfold a season of the triumph of good over evil; hope over despair, and light over darkness.”

On Friday, as Christians marked Good Friday, Pope Francis used the occasion to call for peace in Ukraine.

The Pope spoke when thousands of Christian attended the “Way of the Cross” prayer service, which he presided over at Rome’s Colosseum.

Pope Francis, who has repeatedly condemned the conflict in Ukraine, and has called for an Easter ceasefire, prayed that the “adversaries shake hands” and “taste mutual forgiveness”.

“Disarm the raised hand of brother against brother,” he said.

CAN Declares National Prayers Over Coronavirus


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has directed churches in the country to observe Sunday, march the 22nd and 29th as days of prayers against the Coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria and globally.

CAN President, Reverend Samson Ayokunle also advised churches to strictly follow the guidelines for combating COVID-19 in all their gatherings as they trust God for victory over the plague.

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The christian body says it is not unaware of the ban on the presence of more than 50 people in a gathering so it is advising churches to conduct house cell based services, online services and in the absence on online facilities, they can break services into not more than 50 members per shift.

The Christian Association of Nigeria also asked churches to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers, soap and water and maintain at least one meter distance with anyone coughing or sneezing.

‘The Battle Is Not Yet Won’, CAN President Reacts to Killings

Presidential Election: We Have No Preferred Candidate – CAN
CAN President Samson Ayokunle (file)


President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, has said that the killings in the North show that the battle is ‘not yet won’.

The Christian leader, who was in Maiduguri to assess the devastation caused by the insurgents in the North-East, insisted that the country needs help to come out of the conflict.

He also stated that people deserve to return to their place of habitat, instead of being Internally Displaced Persons.

“There is no reason to deceive ourselves, it is not over yet, the battle is not won yet and we need to know that the end is in sight if we don’t give up.

“As long as you continue to see IDPs it means that we have not reached the end of the matter, people ought to go back to their places of residence where they were born where they have their means of living.”

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The CAN President revealed that the body has embarked on several advocacy meetings to seek support and collaborations from the international community to end insurgency in the country.

“We have been speaking, making advocacy and we have taken our advocacy beyond the shores of Nigeria. I’ve gone to Washington DC, met the House of Reps Committee Chairman, Chris Meat, on the problems of insurgency and the devastation it had caused in Nigeria and the world should come to our aid.”

He also alleged complicity on the part of community leaders and government for allowing the killings in Zamfara to last this long.

“To me, to some extent, the government allowed it; How can I be the leader of a community and unwanted elements are rising up. Will I not quickly nip it in the bud?

“I am advocating that the leaders of the communities and the agents of the government be sincere enough and be patriotic beyond economic returns to expose the unscrupulous elements within the community so that the rest might be able to live their lives, fulfill their dreams because they don’t have two lives to live.”

Be Innovative In The Quest For Survival, CAN Tells Youths

CAN advises youths of Nigeria at Bowen UniversityThe President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Samson Ayokunle, wants young graduates in Nigeria to change their thoughts and orientation towards the society, which he said had led to different ills.

Reverend Ayokunle made the observation in Iwo at the 11th convocation of Bowen University, in Osun State.

He asked the youths to stand firm for whatever was righteous.

The CAN President warned unemployed youths to jettison the idea of perceiving armed robbery and kidnapping as means of survival and rather be innovative, especially in this period of recession.

“Shun embezzlement, shun violence which some graduates are perpetrating in our society today. Do not join the gang of armed robbers or kidnappers in order to survive,” he cautioned.

He further told the youths to take a cue from the life of the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, who has employed a number of people and has become a blessing to the whole world.

“You can make positive difference. Therefore, go out there and positively demonstrate that you are an elite group, a people to be respected anywhere, anytime,” he added.

The Chancellor of the University, Reverend Olimide Kehinde, enjoined graduates of the faith based institution to be different in terms of decorum, moderation, moral purity and excellence.

“Knowing full-well that many graduates today are not well versed in native intelligence. It becomes additional responsibility on us parents and guardians in the university setting to instill the consciousness that the products of faith based university must show difference in terms of decorum, moderation, moral purity and excellence,” he stressed.

First Set Of Medical Doctors 

While congratulating students, parents and guardians on the occasion, Reverend Kehinde advocated commitment to keeping the vision and mission of the university as headed by the Nigeria Baptist Convention.

The Vice Chancellor of Bowen University, Iwo, Professor Matthews Ojo, said the university was producing its first set of newly qualified medical doctors.

The Vice Chancellor told the gathering that apart from the 23 medical doctors, the university also produced 63 first class among over 1,000 graduates who received their certificates during the ceremony.

He said that 23 medical doctors would be inducted, highlighting that the university was happy with the competition of the training of its pioneer medical students.

The VC said: “It is an improvement to what is obtained from the previous 59 and 49 for 2003 and 2005 respectively”.

Professor Ojo stated that the university had continued to make its impact felt positively within its host communities, saying it was collaborating with the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, to make the road linking Iwo with Osogbo motorable.

He said, “The university has partnered the Oluwo of Iwo in the areas of rehabilitating the bad roads on the Iwo, Ede and Osogbo axis so as to make it become motorable. We are also sponsoring the Iwo Day, the Olupona Day and others. We also sprouted culverts in some of the communities around us”.

The Vice Chancellor commended the Federal Government for the recent licenses given to 10 private universities in Nigeria, describing it as a measure towards creating more access to university education in the country.

He said the capacities of the institutions in existence could not cater for the demands of over one million admission seekers, emphasising it was a right step in the right direction.

Sustain Economic Reform Efforts, Christian Association Tells FG

Samson-Ayokunle-Reverend-and-President-of-CANThe Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is asking the Federal Government not to be discouraged in her steps to bring the nation out of recession.

Speaking at the end of a three-day fasting and prayer for the nation’s economic situation, the president of CAN, Reverend Samson Ayokunle, expressed hopes that the present situation would propel the government to take tough decisions to tackle the economic challenges.

Nigeria’s economy slid into recession after the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

A report of the National Bureau of Statistics said that the decline had caused the Naira to get weaker while lower oil prices dragged the oil sector down.

The output shrunk by 0.36 in the first quarter.

During the quarter, nominal GDP was 2.73% higher at 23.48 million Naira at basic prices.

On how to scale through the difficult time, the President of CAN urged Nigerians to be hopeful and adopt a change attitude to work.

“The solution is not saying I will commit suicide or go into depression. It is not a time to be venting anger on the people around you. They are not the cause of your problem.

“The economic gloom is not in Nigeria alone. It is in Brazil and other lands of the world, but we want to kick it out of Nigeria.

“With concerted effort, we will all get there.

“People just want to work and while away time and not to really do the work.

“You cannot earn salary when you are not adding value. Our ideology of work must change,” he said.

Losing Millions Per Day

The Nigerian government has said it is doing its best to pump money into the economy.

The government’s promise is coming at a time that the nation’s revenue has continued to dip due to the drop in crude oil price and resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region.

President Buhari said in the U.S. on Friday that the nation loses millions of barrels per day due to militant activities at a time when every dollar the nation earns counts.

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria failed to save for the rainy day

He blamed the attacks on corrupt politicians, whom he said recruited the militants.

“Those who stole Nigeria dry are not happy. They recruited the militants against us in the Niger Delta and began to sabotage oil infrastructure.

“We lose millions of barrels per day, at a time when every dollar we can earn, counts.

“It is a disgrace that a minimum of 27 states, out of 36 that we have in Nigeria, can’t pay salary,” he said.

On what led to Nigeria’s economic recession, President Buhari said: “We got into trouble as a country, because we did not save for the rainy day.

“For example, between 1999 and 2015, when we produced an average of 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, and oil prices stood at an average of $100 per barrel, we did not save, neither did we develop infrastructure. Suddenly, when we came in 2015, oil prices fell to about $30 per barrel,” he said while addressing Nigerians in the U.S.

According to President Buhari, his administration is working on a government structure that will effectively engage the skills and expertise of Nigerians in the diaspora.

He agreed that distinguished Nigerians in the diaspora had a role to play in Nigeria’s development, promising to provide a conducive environment for them to thrive.

“I assure you that we are trying to be systematic in the government to organise the government properly.

“When we do that, we will get the ministries to function and we will need quality people to come along and help it to move fast,” President Buhari told the gathering.