Jonathan resignation calls splits CAN

Pastor Oritsejafor
President of CAN, Ayo Oritsejafor.

The Kaduna State chapter of the Christian body accused the regional chapter of doing the bidding of the opposition.

Sani Tukur 

The demand by some Northern Christian leaders that President Goodluck Jonathan resigns has caused sharp divisions within the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The Northern Chapter of the Christian group, comprised of the 19 Northern state chapters, last week called for the resignation of Mr. Jonathan. The group, in a statement by its spokesman, Sunday Oibe, based its call on the rising insecurity in Northern Nigeria, and the seeming inability of the president to nip the crises in the bud.

However, one of the major state chapters of CAN in Northern Nigeria, the Kaduna State chapter, has dissociated itself from the position of the regional body.

On your own

The Chairman of Kaduna CAN, Samuel Kujiyat, in a statement in Kaduna on Thursday, said the chapter “representing the entire Christian community in Kaduna State, wish to immediately dissociate Kaduna State CAN and the good God-fearing Christians in Kaduna State from the views and stance of Sunday Oibe and his Northern States CAN.”

Mr. Kujiyat stated that when President Goodluck Jonathan emerged the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and went ahead to win the general elections, “some Northerners who lost out in the elections vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable for him.”

He added that it is “therefore not surprising that even though security challenges had been on before the April 2011 Presidential Elections, it assumed dangerous dimensions recently, threatening to plunge the country into a religious war”.

The Kaduna Christian leader accused the opponents of the President of instigating the killings saying “the avowed threats of these losers, who are the sponsors of the insurgency, have become a reality.”

Mr. Kujiyat accused the opposition of seizing “every opportunity to blackmail, denounce, denigrate and insult the President with no decorum or fear of God.” He accused those threatening to impeach Mr. Jonathan in the National Assembly as being part of the sponsors of the violence.

The CAN leader condemned Mr. Oibe’s call for the president’s resignation saying “all God-fearing Nigerians should devote their time, especially those that are religious leaders to offer prayers for our President and the country in general in order to seek God’s intervention in the handling of these security challenges”.

Northern CAN is Illegal

Mr. Kujiyat also descended heavily on the leadership of CAN in the North by calling it an illegal body.

“We again want to say that the so called Northern CAN is an illegal body that is not recognized in the CAN Constitution 2004, and therefore not entitled to speak for the 19 state Branches or Chapters of CAN in the North,” he said.

He accused the regional branch of being used by opposition political parties against the president.

“They have become paid agents of the opposition to deliberately distract Mr. President from his transformation agenda of bringing good governance to the people of Nigeria, so as to discredit him,” he said.


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