What we discussed with Buhari – CAN President

President Muhammadu Buhari and  President of CAN, Sampson Ayokunle shaking hands
President Muhammadu Buhari and President of CAN, Sampson Ayokunle shaking hands

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, on Friday told President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw Nigeria from international religious organisations, address insecurity in the country and ensure payment of workers’ salaries.

The President of CAN, Sampson Ayokunle, disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting of the leadership of the association with Mr. Buhari in his office.

Mr. Ayokunle, who said the meeting was called by Mr. Buhari, long after the association complained that its request for an audience with the president had not been granted, said the meeting was “better to be late than never.”

The CAN leadership has been critical of many actions of the government under Mr. Buhari, including the recent receipt of a N100 billion Islamic Sukuk bond, which the government distributed for the construction of some federal roads.

CAN has also accused the president of plotting to Islamise Nigeria.

Speaking with reporters after the meeting, however, Mr. Ayokunle said the Christian leaders were “very humbled by the calm disposition of the President.”

He said such meetings with the president “will always make people be ready to offer help to the government.”

The CAN leader said the association’s objection to Sukuk was because it believes that it was an abuse of the Nigerian constitution.

“As I said before, there wasn’t any demon in Sukuk bond. But what was wrong is the constitutionality,” he said.

He said while no CAN member was opposed to any Muslim running their own financial system, “what is wrong is for the government to be the one who will be promoting it and initiating it. It was a violation of the constitution.”

CAN’s opposition to the Sukuk bonds has, however, been faulted by several analysts and economists including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a pastor. The proponents say while Sukuk might have an Islamic origin, it has been used by several non-Islamic countries including the UK to raise funds. The Nigerian government has already announced the infrastructure projects it will use the fund for.

Mr. Ayokunle said the meeting with the president discussed the need for the government to keep the sanctity of the constitution, which will guide the behaviour and actions of citizens.

He said apart from the demand to withdraw Nigeria from all religious organisations, CAN also asked the president to ensure constant payment of salaries to Nigerian workers.

He said government’s inability to pay workers’ salaries across the country has heightened tension and led to suicide and increase in crime.

“When people can’t find food to eat, they resort to whatever they can lay their hands on,” he said.

Mr. Ayokunle also said CAN advised Mr. Buhari to authorise the recruitment of more police officer to beef up security across the land.

“We have the problems of kidnapping, armed robbery, herdsmen attacks, militancy is also on the increase, about 300,000 police cannot police a nation of about 200 million people, even if they are given the best of equipment.

“There are lots of young people who are ready to work. Government should therefore vote more funds for security.

“We also advised the government to address the issue of Fulani herdsmen squarely,” he said.

The CAN leader said the president responded “in the affirmative.”

He said the menace of rampant attacks was as a result of the end of late President Muamar Ghadafi in Libya “whereby those who were armed by him have now moved down South, infiltrating into our country and are living with the herdsmen in Nigeria ravaging entire communities.”

He said Mr. Buhari said he was doing something to stop the menace.

CAN said it looks forward to more action from Mr. Buhari, especially in the area of “lopsided appointments, where some states have 30 people and another states having less than three. This will not give any sense of belonging to the government and to the country.”

He said CAN had been helpful to Mr. Buhari by constantly speaking out against what it perceived to be going wrong in the country.

“The people that don’t talk are the enemies of the nation. When you see things going wrong, you quickly speak out so that they can be corrected, so that the nation can move together as one,” he said.


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  • tundemash

    Where were these CAN cl0wns when Dumbo Jo became the first and only Nigerian President to ever attend the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries) meeting in Egypt in 2013 ? https://www*pmnewsnigeria*com/2013/02/06/in-pictures-jonathan-arrives-cairo-for-oic-summit/
    Why was Jonathan not accused of Islamising Nigeria then? Imagine an Islamic cleric following Buhari about like Ayo “Kanye West” Oritsejafor was following Jonathan about when he was CAN President; would Buhari not have ben accused of Islamising the Presidency by these cl0wns and their online wailers ? CAN is just an arm of PDPigs; they can wail from now till eternity if they so desire.
    These rogues offering advise are the ones who need to listen to the voices of reason on the immoral tithes they are collecting to buy jets and wear bling-bling. I hope Buhari just bin whatever document they brought and assume they never showed up; they are politicians in pastoral clothings.

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      GEJ was groveling for support and a second term. The people saw through this gimmick and so he was chucked out at the right time!

      • Gbola

        And why didn’t CAN tell jonathan NOT to drag Nigeria into the OIC ??

        Previous presidents shunned OIC.
        Jonathan was the first to embrace them and CAN kept mute.

        Now you come here trying to make a case for CAN.
        Abegiiiii

        • Chukwuka Okoroafor

          Wasn’t it IBB that made Nigeria a member of OIC?

          • Gbola

            All succeeding heads after IBB shunned the OIC meetings.
            Jonathan was the very first one to acknowledge it.

        • FirecloudOFGOD

          “And why didn’t CAN tell jonathan NOT to drag Nigeria into the OIC ?”
          Know your History.

          First of all, GEJ DID NOT DRAG Nigeria into OIC.
          It was IBB that REGISTERED Nigeria when he JOINED OIC in 1986.
          Previously it was on an observer status.

    • systematic

      No be lie.U are very correct my brother

  • Afo

    CAN president can discuss everything with PMB except corruption so they are not asked to refund the N7b which GEJ gave as support bribes. They will ask their various states to pay staff salaries and their members are falling upon the wicked governors for filthy lucre or mammon. CAN can also float financial instrument which can benefit Nigeria and ask the government to promote it and rather than do this they are stealing from their members to buy jets and set up universities. On point with herdsmen havock and withdrawal of Nigeria from religious bodies. Nigeria must also stop funding pilgrimages.

  • wode

    This is so shameful of an organization like CAN. For me, they are mostly bunch of attention seekers who have lost relevance due to their inordinate utterances and share intolerance.

  • Anonymous

    U are talking to a ceaf mute, a man whose integrity and sincerity is questionable, a man who upon all the noise of corruptipn and incomptence of his cabinet members still has no reason to replace or re-shuffle anyone, infact he defends and excuses them but go ahead, feel free to campaaing for him in 2019 cus he gives u a fake Cheistian VP who is a betrayal of the christian faith or chose an individual who lile previous PDP presidents creates an environment where monies flows and circulates very well for the religious clegy to buy private jets and live large.

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      Please bear with Buhari. He is just recovering from a major health challenge. My own concern is that this health excuse does not absolve him of the 6 wasted months when he first started, nor does it prevent him from revisiting the performance cards of his officers. You may argue that he still has 18 months to do this and change his cabinet. But then how much time is left before the people review the President’s own report card?
      In fact are we sure that Buhari is not unhappy with the performance of his people? Who knows, he may even feel that they are doing exceptionally well!

      • Gbola

        Come 2019, cast your single vote to oust him.

        Till then, stop making noise.

  • Gbola

    Since CAN is asking the FG to pay all arrear salaries, why isn’t the same CAN asking the individual state governments to also do so ??

    Wasn’t it the FG that even bailed out alot of these states ??
    Didn’t they hear about the Paris Funds scandal ??

    ■■■
    CAN is a political organization.
    Anything that deviates from the spreading of the Gospel is not required of them.

    ■■■
    Traditional banks like GTB charge up to 25% as interest rates on loans. Yet these CAN deceitful elements don’t say a word.
    Now that an islamic financial system (Sukok) is about to be deployed in Nigeria just as it has in the UK, these ugly monsters have reared their bony skulls.

    ★★
    Isn’t competition with our traditional banks healthy ??
    ★★
    Abi who is forcing anyone to borrow from sukok banks ??
    CAN is free to tell their member pastors to nount the pulpit and tell all their worshippers and congregation not to borrow money from sukok banks because sukok money is not “Christian-money”.

    ■■■■■
    Where were these morons when one of their members used his private jet to ferry a whopping $9.3 million across the ocean to South Africa ??

    ■■■■■
    Where were these deceitful and shameless nuisances when one of their members attempted to increase the floors in his synagogue Abi church WITHOUT A PERMIT to the extent that all the parishioners perished when the building collapsed ??
    Till date, NOT ONE WORD from CAN on this.

    Abegiiiiiii make we hia word !!

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      @Gbola you said: “…these ugly monsters have reared their bony skulls.”
      “..were these morons when one of their members..”
      “. deceitful and shameless nuisances “

      I am sure you know that Foul language is not necessarily persuasive. Non-Civility is part of the problems of some of our so called educated Africans!

      It does not matter if you are Christian or Shango worshipper, Nigeria is NOT an Islamic country, we have a Constitution and that was what Mr. Ayokunle alluded to when he said“.. there wasn’t any demon in Sukuk bond. But what was wrong is the constitutionality,”

      You mix up issues. ” ..CAN is a political organization…” “… increase the floors in his synagogue..” etc, Your argument is all over the place. Try to stick to the point.

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        Can one really educate a person of deep seated tribal and religious bigotry ?

        • Gbola

          That title belonged to your father.

      • Gbola

        CAN is a political organization, if not, why dont they petition the REPS and Senators representing the constituency their churches are domiciled ??

        When did ot become their job to interprete matters of constitutionality ??

        You say my points are all over the place but you aren’t capable of refuting any of the points I raised.

        Again,
        Why wouldn’t CAN address the issue of one of their members ferrying dollars aboard his private jet ??
        Isn’t that also a matter of constitutionality and/or Law ??

        Abeg stop being selectively deceitful.

        • systematic

          Good reply

        • Justice Equity

          When a yoru is set to betray, he can back stab even oduduwa,it is in their blood.
          A generation that is landmark chameleons, hollow minded free educated imbeciles, treacherous mischievous betrayals .
          Just for few crumbs from SAI BABA table, you can stab your conscience. What a people, what a race, what a shame.

        • FirecloudOFGOD

          There are things that cannot be helped. One is when someone is steeped in ignorance and has deceived himself into believing lies.
          The issue is not establishing a financial system, the issue essentially is –
          is it constitutional? You failed to address that point!

          • Gbola

            Is it constitutional in The U.K ??

            Abi do you have anything that sounds like “Sukuk” in the British constitution ??

            For you, Ignorance is a bliss.

      • Gbola

        “…..It does not matter if you are Christian or Shango worshipper, Nigeria is NOT an Islamic country, we have a Constitution and that was what Mr. Ayokunle alluded to when he said”.. there wasn’t any demon in Sukuk bond. But what was wrong is the constitutionality,…..”.

        ■■■■■

        This sukok financial system is adopted in the U.K, and Christians in the U.K are benefiting from it with absolutely no fight-back.

        Is sukok in the British constitution ??

        Abeg make I hia word.

        • Chukwuka Okoroafor

          But in the U.K. it is private interests that use Sukuk (individuals and maybe companies) and it is run by private groups, not the government.

          • Gbola

            It’s the Federal Government’s job to solve the economy (of which HIGH INTEREST RATES) is a main contributor.

            By funding sukuk, they’re targeting the problem.

            It’s similar to the FG starting a BANKING SYSTEM – forget the fact that it’s designed by Muslims.

            In this case, the end justifies the means – LOWERING INTEREST RATES.

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            But let it be a private affair. That is all that I am saying. The government should not be involved in supporting it or running it.

          • Sam

            What you should be after is what supports your cause as well as that of the ordinary people. The lower rate support the ordinary man ,what’s the problem with that . Have you asked yourself why this men of God fail to shame corrupt politicians?

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            It should not come with the government being directly or indirectly involved. That is all that I am saying.

          • Gbola

            Its the government’s job to solve our economic woes.

            High interest rates goes directly to the heart of that.

            And the FG is targeting the bull’s eye here.

            Why is that a problem ??

            Think about this — businesses borrow at a high rate of 25% and pass this down to consumers which results in higher prices of goods and services.

            Why would you want our economic woes to continue by remaining in status quo ??

            Oga abeg rethink !!

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            But the same institutions offer foreigners 2-5% interest. We should be asking why that is and look to remedy that instead of something like this, especially when there is so much religious tension in the country.

          • Gbola

            Bros are you hearing yourself ??

            2 – 5 % ???

            Isn’t that better than 25 – 30 % charged by traditional banks ???

            As a businessman, when provided with both optuons, would you choose the interest rate from traditional banks ??

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            The traditional banks charge foreign investors 2-5% interest. That was what I was saying. Why not ask what is going on and rectify the situation?

          • Gbola

            If the FG supporting and running it would bring interest rates down, whats the problem ??

            Betterstill, why isn’t CAN coming up with a Financial System to either replace the Traditional bank’s OR this Sukuk by the FG ??

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            And that is mixing religion with government, something that Nigeria needs to escape entirely. I would oppose it also if CAN came up with an alternative system with government involvement.

          • Gbola

            How is the deployment of a Banking Financial System , the mixing of religion with government ??

            What’s the problem with this system having being invented by Muslims ??

            Don’t you know any good person who is a muslim ??

            Why must everything be seen through the myopic lenses of. Religion ??

            Oga, think about the resultant effect of lower interest rates and lets move on.

            No Christian would be forced to borrow from Sukuk banks.
            They can continue with the 25% Traditional banks.

          • Gbola

            The British Government funded the SUKUK BANK in England (for £200 million).

            Is the British Government also mixing religion with politics ??

            We didn’t hear any Christian Organization in England raise hell against it there. Is CAN more Christian than Christians in the U.K ??

          • Patriot01

            Sorry you are not the one on the steering wheel, and no matter how all these facts & links r put to u,you still cannot reason bc you are blinded by bigotry & religion enclined.

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            This is not bigotry. What is bigoted about wanting a separation of religion and state. The Federal Government funds the Haji and Pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia and Israel and I no longer want the government to fund either one. I am a Christian by the way. I was also opposed to the high level of influence CAN appeared to have over Jonathan’s government.

          • Sam

            You are wrong , government also support the use of sukuk in the UK.

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            They may support its use (in British society) but they are not involved in it. There is a difference.

          • Gbola

            Even so, our economy is different (so also our challenges) and special means need to be deployed.

            It’s perfectly fine for the FG to intervene. This is precisely what they do when they manage AT HUGE COSTS our exchange rates by buying Dollars AS OPPOSED TO leaving it to market forces.

            Government always intervene.
            Even China intervenes in their economy and market forces.
            Its not a crime to do so.

          • Chukwuka Okoroafor

            It is not a crime to intervene in the economy, but why does it have to have religious connotations?

          • Gbola

            What religious connotation ??

            I just supplied you with links showing the same Sukuk being funded by the British Government in U.K.

            Why must you exhibit such shallowness when viewing this financial banking system ???

          • Gbola

            ★★★YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. ★★★

            The British Government INJECTED $200 million DIRECTLY into the UK Sukuk banking system.

            Google it !!!

            Ive also sent you the link in one of ypur comments below.

          • Gbola

            Even Germany also launched AND DIRECTLY FUNDED Sukuk.

            ■■■■■■■■■■■

            www DOT thebanker. DOT com/Comment-Profiles/Germany-launches-Europe-s-first-Sukuk?ct=true

          • Gbola

            Of course the British Government funded it to the tune of £200 million.

            I included the link to him.

          • Gbola

            www DOT gov DOT uk/government/news/government-issues-first-islamic-bond

            ■■■■

            ★★★ The British Government FUNDED IT in the U.K.

        • Lakeside

          Gbola the issue at hand is not about the United Kingdom but Nigeria. The penchant for Nigerians to use the western world to suit their arguments should stop. There are so many things that happen in the UK that the Nigerian government does not do. CAN has made their point. It is up to you to make up your point without referencing the UK.

      • Contact Point

        Is there any christian/muslim money in the constitution? U guys r making noise over nothing. Nigeria n Nigerians need little or no interest rate to be able to borrow and build their lives, yet we are here painting religious colouration to it. Let the pastors of so called mega churches borrow the government such amount without interest and no Muslim will raise a voice against that. Besides, what’s the big deal over this religious matter, something that is creation of man.

    • Justice Equity

      When a yoru is set to betray, he can back stab even oduduwa,it is in their blood.
      A generation that is landmark chameleons, hollow minded free educated imbeciles, treacherous mischievous betrayals .
      Just for few crumbs from SAI BABA table, you can stab your conscience. What a people, what a race, what a shame..

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    Yes, the leader of the “political Christianity” has spoken. We hear you loud and clear.

  • Dan Arewa

    I don`t know why Baba Buhari invite these “CANs Of Worm”? He suppose to invite noble Nigerian Christian Elders that have not show any form of politics.
    Inviting CANs to Aso Rock is like inviting a hungry lion to abattoir.
    They are real PDPig Christian Wings. No doubt about it.

  • Frank Bassey

    Tell him whatever you like; he will do whatever he wants and call your bluff. Can’t you see your VP? He will never go with you because, at any moment, he is thinking about how to please PMB. Today, it is CAN and its people perpetrating corruption. Tomorrow, it is Jonathan and PDP, the next day, it is Angels coming to RCCG Holy Ghost Congress to meet with him and his GO.

  • Contact Point

    These guys actually went there to see the face of Mr. President. What the man said was discussed with PMB is what the President is aware of and has been working on them. Why asking the President to pay workers instead of calling out governor’s who have been given several bailouts for this purpose? Did Federal workers complained to “CAN of worms” that the FG have not been paying them? This is a useless trip for egocentric purpose.