Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said it would devote its 45th anniversary activities to prayers for Nigeria. This is even as the religious organisation called on all Nigerians to remain fervent in their faith while resorting to prayers in battling the problems that have besieged the country and the world at large.
The call was made during the 45th anniversary celebration of the association where it admonished Nigerians to fast and pray for the country.
Speaking at a press conference held to celebrate the event in Abuja, yesterday, CAN’s assistant general secretary, Elder Abiodun Sanyaolu, enumerated the achievements and efforts of the association in fighting for the rights of Nigerians.
“We have declared three days, 24- 26 September to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness when we will take a full stock of the association and celebrating some Christians who have been a shelter for the association. There will be a lecture on Friday, 24th September, followed by the award night on Saturday 25th and will be concluded with a thanksgiving service on Sunday, 26th September.
“However, tomorrow is for fasting and prayers nationwide against the menace of insecurity challenges, economic predicaments, erosion of moral and we shall ask God for forgiveness and mercy.
“We call on all Christians and non-Christians to join us tomorrow in seeking for the deliverance, freedom and liberty of our country from those who are hell bent in making an Afghanistan out of it. Our God is able to deliver us and He will and even if He tarries, we will not bow down to any idol,’’ he said.
He said CAN, which is the largest ecumenical body in Nigeria was established by the collective effort of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) during the then Federal Military Government of General Olusegun Obasanjo on 27th August, 1976 in Lagos.
Thereafter, three other blocs: Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN/PFN), Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and Tarrayar Ekklisiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria/Evangelical Church Winning All (TEKAN/ECWA) were admitted to the fold.
CAN was established primarily to promote understanding, peace and unity amongst the various people and strata of society in Nigeria through the propagation of the gospel.
Sanyaolu stated that since the inception of CAN, it has stood its ground and fought for the unity and safety of Nigerians irrespective of their religion.
The Christian association slated 24-26th of September for its activities in celebrating its anniversary while calling on all to join in the prayers and fasting to ask for God’s mercies over the nation.
“Since the association came on board, it has been consistently and persistently standing against the evil in the land. This shows that CAN is against injustice and any unpatriotic actions of the government,” he said.
The association expressed its displeasure with the state of things in the country, stating that the citizens are suffering under the burden of the harsh economic conditions while also living in fear due to the high rate of insecurity.
“CAN is not happy with the economic recession that the country has been consistently going through. Although the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has been telling us that we are out of it but the handwriting on the wall is saying otherwise.
“ The cost of living is rising daily due to some inhuman policies like the hike in the fuel pump price and the attendant consequences. The army of our youths has lost hope in the country that cannot take care of them. The list is endless,” he said.
Crying out over the perceived persecution of the Church, the Christian council mourned one of its own who had fallen at the hands of terrorists, while bemoaning the date of Leah Sharibu who was described as the “face of Christian Persecution”, following her show of utter faith. The association described the stance of the security agencies as sympathetic towards the hoodlums as they had never recorded success in bringing the culprits to book.
“It is regrettable that there is a siege on the church. It all began with the killings and burning of churches in some states in the North at the emergence of the Boko Haram terrorists. Their primary targets, according to their declaration, were Christians and fellow Muslims who stand on their way. You will recall that when their attacks on our members began, it was only CAN that was crying out until they began to attack their fellow Muslims. Several thousands of our members were killed including the late CAN Chairman in Michika Local Government of Adamawa State,” he added.