CAN warn against Christian/Christian or Muslim/Muslim ticket for 2023 Presidential election.

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday cautioned political parties in the country against heating up the polity with either Christian/Christian ticket or Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket in the 2023 general election.

CAN's President, His Eminence, Rev Dr. Samson Ayokunle told the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in his office at the National Assembly complex.

“Sir, concerning 2023 elections, we would admonish you politicians not to heat up the polity in any way as the campaigns are opened by guiding the utterances that would be coming out of you. There is already tension in the land because of insecurity.

“We equally want to urge you on presidency that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket”, he said.

The CAN leader expressed dissatisfaction and disappointment with the menace of the economic downturn and its consequences on the polity and called for an enabling environment to cushion the effects on the people.

Said he, “Sir, the church is worried about inflation in the land which has sent many people out of business. Unemployment is at unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislative assemblies in calling the attention of the executive to this, more robust and daring efforts are required to nip these things in the bud. Enabling environment should be created for investments and incentives or tax exceptions given to local manufacturers on some goods.”

The CAN President who commended the Federal Government on the management of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic also warns against forcing the people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We appreciate the Federal Government, especially the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for the way this stubborn virus has been managed. We want to urge the government to continue to encourage Nigerians to take the vaccine but never to force or coerce people into doing so,” he said.

In his response, the Deputy Senate President, Omo-Agege registered his appreciation for the visit and called for more of such interaction with a view to bridging the gap between the National Assembly and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). He also appreciated the interest and the support of the Association in the efforts of the government to promote peace and unity and in its war against the pandemic. He tasked the Church leadership to encourage people to take the vaccine to reduce the menace if the government should not force it on them.

Those who were in the delegation included the General Secretary of CAN, Barrister Joseph Bade Daramola; the Chairman, CAN North Central who also doubled as the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji; CAN’s Legal Director, Barrister Comfort Chigbue the Director, National Issues and the CAN Chairman Lagos State, Bishop Stephen Adegbite and the Director, Education, Youth and Women's Development, Barrister Omonuwa Ogiemudia.

Others are Barrister Inoru Anna Preye (CAN, Bayelsa State); Barrister Ibrahim Isa Babangida (CAN, Katsina State); the Special Assistant (Media & Communication to His Eminence), Pastor Adebayo Oladeji; the CAN's Media Officer, Isaac Macrock, and the CAN Security officer, Captain Bolade Ogidan.

The Text of the Address

Courtesy Visit and Parley of Christian Association of Nigeria Leadership with the Deputy Senate President on October 28, 2021

Dear Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic and Deputy Senate President, Senator Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege

All other members of the distinguished Senate, here present, CAN Leaders here present, gentlemen of the Press,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is our joy to be with you today after we have desired to have this parley with you before now without success.

This parley is first of all an identification of the church in Nigeria with you as one of us who is occupying the highest legislative office currently in Nigeria.

Secondly, it is to let you know that we desire that you would be more open and available to the church which is your Faith family so that if there is any pressing issue in the nation over which we are bothered, we can easily discuss such with you and by so doing help the nation to move forward. The few times we have invited you, it was the Special Adviser on Religion you sent.

Thirdly sir, we are here to urge you to lead other legislators to allow the church in Nigeria meet with you all for prayers from time to time, may be quarterly because the prayer of a righteous man avails much. If Paul plants and Apollo waters, if God does not grant the increase, it would be vanity of vanity.

Sir, concerning 2023 elections, we would admonish you politicians not to heat up the polity in any way as the campaigns are opened by guiding the utterances that would be coming out of you. There is already tension in the land because of insecurity. We equally want to urge you on presidency that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket.

Sir, the church is worried about inflation in the land which has sent many people out of business. Unemployment is at unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislative assemblies in calling the attention of the executive to this, more robust and daring efforts are required to nip these things in the bud. Enabling environment should be created for investments and incentives or tax exceptions given to local manufacturers on some goods.

We appreciate the Federal Government, especially the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for the way this stubborn virus has been managed. We want to urge the government to continue to encourage Nigerians to take the vaccine but never to force or coerce people into doing so.

Finally sir, we are here to briefly pray for you, knowing how enormous your assignment is.

Thank you for listening to us and for receiving us.

Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo A. Ayokunle

President, Christian Association of Nigeria




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