Enugu CAN Chapter Pray For Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi

The Enugu State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has offered special prayers for the re-election of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and God’s continuous favour on him to fulfill his heart desires for the state.

Rising from a “mega prayer rally in Enugu yesterday”, tagged: “Enugu State is in the Hands of God”, which was attended by the leaders of the five blocs in CAN Enugu State, namely, Most Rev. Dr. Calistus Onaga of the CSN (represented by Rev. Fr. Dr. Donatus Onuigbo); Most Rev. Dr. Emmanuel O. Chukwuma of the CCN; Bishop Obi Onubuogu of CPFN/PFN; Rev. Michael Ebonine of OAIC and Rev. Emmanuel Edeh of ECWA/TEKAN, the chairman of the association, Rt. Rev. Christian Obiefuna in his address told Gov. Ugwuanyi that “his second tenure is in the Hands of God” and “it is safe with Him because you have acknowledged Him”.

Disclosing that the rally’s prayer theme “originated from the doctrinal and ideological principles” of Ugwuanyi, the Christian body commended the governor for his commitment to God and entrenchment of peace and good governance in Enugu State, stating that he pays workers’ salaries regularly, provides infrastructure and security in spite of “the dwindling economy” and “meager resources” of the state.

CAN Enugu State described Gov. Ugwuanyi as a “God-fearing” leader and stated that the association was “proud to identify with a man whose slogan is Enugu State is in the Hands of God”, saying: “Be assured of our support and supplications to God for a successful, peaceful transition and fulfillment of your heart desires for Enugu State”.

The body added that the prayer rally was “our own contribution to support the good governance in Enugu State under the supervision of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi”, stressing that it is imperative to ensure that the state continues to be in the Hands of God in “principle and practice”.

“Beloved, truly, Enugu State is in the Hands of God. It is imperative that our efforts should be that Enugu State shall continue to be in the Hands of God in principle and practice. CAN is not a political party and shall not act as such.
“Our role is to encourage all believers in Christ to fear and respect God in all our dealings in public and private for inheritance of eternal life and to pray for those in authority for good governance, as the heart of the king is in the hands of the Lord”, said CAN Enugu State.

While wishing the governor “a happy birthday and more fruitful returns”, the body prayed: “God will give you good life, good health, wisdom and understanding and show His mercies on you now and hereafter. As you have handed Enugu State to God, Enugu State is secured. Don’t relent in prayers and acknowledging Him because the best is yet to come as He will direct your path”.

CAN, #BOG, Sokoto Sultan Disagree Over Promised Amnesty To Repentant BH

The Christian Association of Nigeria, the #BringBackOurGirls coalition and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam, have disagreed over the amnesty promised to repentant Boko Haram insurgents by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President on Friday promised to grant amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect who are ready to drop their arms and embrace peace.

Buhari made the promise at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while receiving girls who were abducted from their school in Dapchi, Yobe State last month and were released on Wednesday.

He said, “While further efforts are being made to secure the release of every abducted citizen in Nigeria, the government is ever ready to accept the unconditional laying down of arms by any member of the Boko Haram group, who show strong commitment in that regard.

“We are ready to rehabilitate and integrate such repentant members into the larger society.

“This country has suffered enough of hostility. Government is, therefore, appealing to all to embrace peace for the overall development of our people and the country.”

It is a welcome development –JNI

But while the JNI said the amnesty promised to repentant Boko Haram insurgents was a welcome development to the peace efforts of the government, CAN opposed the move.

The Secretary-General of the JNI, Dr. Abubakar Khalid-Aliyu, told one of our correspondents that it was a good development as long as it would guarantee peace in the country.

He, however, noted that the amnesty should only be granted to “those that show remorse,” adding that those granted amnesty should be monitored before being reintegrated into the society.

CAN, on the other hand, frowned on the move, describing it as a sign of “weakness on the part of the government.”

The media aide to the CAN President, Pastor Bayo Oladeji, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said, “Why grant amnesty to criminals who have killed many people? It shows weakness on the part of the government or sympathy for them as being speculated.

“In what way are they different from armed robbers, kidnappers, ritual killers, and corrupt people that are facing prosecution?

“What kind of government are they running? Where on earth are we having all kinds of messy events being orchestrated by the government? May God deliver Nigeria!”

The # BBOG said some insurgents that were freed in the past later backtracked and unleashed terror on the people.

The group questioned the rationale behind the move, noting that the government had not presented any strategy for preventing freed terror suspects from going back to terrorism.

The BBOG spokesperson, Sesugh Akume, said, “Some of the insurgents released later went back to join their colleagues. We have evidence of this. What is the strategy behind declaring amnesty for terrorists and releasing those in custody and allowing them to go back to what they were doing?”

He dismissed the explanation made by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, that the government had a ceasefire arrangement with the insurgents and that they should not have abducted the Dapchi schoolgirls.

He said, “The Minister of Information said they had a ceasefire arrangement with Boko Haram and they ought not to have abducted the Dapchi girls, so they had a moral burden to return the girls. You are talking about terrorists and morality?

“It seems as if the rest of us understand the terrorists differently from how the government understands them. They need to come down from their high horse and explain to us what is going on.

“How can the government be talking about Boko Haram and morality? Those they released in the past went back and unleashed more terror, so how are they going to prevent this from happening again?”

Similarly, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, expressed concern about the release of thousands of Boko Haram suspects and the promise of amnesty for repentant insurgents by the President.

The group’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, said, “We are getting uncomfortable with the way this government is getting close to Boko Haram. We remember that when this government came to power, Zakari Biu, a commissioner of police, who was suspended for releasing a Boko Haram kingpin, was reinstated into the police as CP.”

President warns security chiefs, politicians

Buhari had earlier warned the people he described as politicising the security situation in the country, saying they should desist or incur the wrath of security agencies.

“May I also warn against those elements who have chosen to make a political fortune of our citizens’ misfortune.

“Government would not tolerate any attempt by any person or group to trivialise or politicise security issues for politically motivated ends.

“Accordingly, security agencies would not hesitate to decisively deal with such unscrupulous characters,” he said.

Buhari also announced that he would not hesitate to wield the big stick against security chiefs if any case of abduction was recorded in any part of the country.

He said he had directed them to beef up security around all schools.

“The security services have since been directed to put in place further measures around all schools vulnerable to attacks to ensure the safety of our pupils/students, teachers and school workers.

“I have tasked all the security agencies to work to ensure that we do not witness any recurrence of these incidents.

“Security chiefs have been warned in clear terms that any lapse on their parts will be viewed seriously,” he said.

The President announced that a total of 107 students previously abducted had been unconditionally released by their abductors.

He said the unconditional release signified his administration’s commitment to the security and well-being of all Nigerians.

He said he was never in doubt about his administration’s focus and direction since his assumption of office.

He restated his position that security, anti-corruption and revamping of the nation’s economy remained the main focus of his government.

Buhari added, “You will recall that on the 14th of this month, I paid a visit to Yobe State during which I sympathised with the parents, families, government and people of the state for the tragic abduction of the students in Dapchi.

“I made a solemn pledge on my word of honour that this administration would do everything possible to ensure the unconditional release of the girls.

“I further tasked all the appropriate security agencies to safely bring back the girls. We also reached out to our contacts at home and abroad. We embarked on back-channel shuttles with a clear view to bringing this tragedy to an end.

“We entered into negotiations solely to make sure that no single girl was hurt. This strategy paid off as the girls have been released without any incidents. Let me re-emphasise our administration’s commitment to the fight against terrorism and insurgency, and also call on all Nigerians to join in this task.”

Buhari assured the rescued pupils that they would freely live and pursue their dreams in Nigeria without fear of violence or molestation.

While the parents of the freed Dapchi girls celebrated their reunion with their children, the President appealed to the Chibok Community never to lose hope or to despair.

He said he was determined as never before, to bring back the remaining Chibok girls, adding “and this, we must accomplish. And that will be soon by God’s grace.”

The President thanked all Nigerians, who in spite of political differences, prayed and showed solidarity with the families of the abducted pupils during the period that they were in captivity.

This, he described as the Nigerian spirit.

“We can and should sustain it beyond moments of sorrow. I remain thankful to the international community and our friends who offered varying degrees of assistance during the back-channel communications.

“May I, on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, extend our appreciation to the security agencies for their loyal and tireless efforts in making this day a reality,” he added.

Fatima Bashir, who spoke on behalf of the girls, thanked Buhari for his efforts in saving their lives and bringing them back home safely.

The Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, in his remarks, noted that uncoordinated comments by senior government officials incompetent to speak on the abduction complicated the girls’ rescue operations.

Daura said four of the girls who were discovered to have broken legs were taken for X-ray at the DSS medical facility.

He also said all the girls were found to have one skin disease or the other due to their inability to have a bath for over one month.

He added that they had been medically examined, and those with ailments were treated, adding that the measures were taken to ensure that they were in good health.

The DSS boss attributed the girls’ release to what he called painstaking, back-channel dialogue with their abductors.

He said, “It may be recalled that the President had given a clear directive to security agencies to use peaceful options to ensure the timely and safe release of the girls. What followed were intense dialogues behind the scene, spearheaded by the DSS.

“The insurgents’ only condition was their demands for the cessation of hostilities and temporary ceasefire to enable them to return the girls to where they were taken from.”

Daura said the girls, including four representatives of their school (the Principal and Vice Principal) as well as their parents, were brought into the medical facility as part of measures to relieve tension and anxiety.

“The presence of these representatives have further reassured and stabilised the girls,” he said.

On the way forward, Daura suggested to the President that efforts should be sustained towards ensuring the release of all abducted persons in the North-East, improving the security of schools in vulnerable locations, and improving on the coordination efforts among security agencies to avoid future incidents, among others.

N’East: Military can’t deploy troops in all schools, says DHQ

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters, Abuja, said on Friday that the military was unable to deploy troops in schools in the North-East because of the large geographical size of the region.

The Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. John Agim, who stated this in an interview on Channels Television, said the military did not have enough personnel to supply to all the schools to prevent terrorists’ abduction or attacks.

Agim described the Federal Government’s decision to send policemen and personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to the region as commendable.

He said, “The military does not have the power to deploy (troops) in all the schools. It is not possible. People don’t know the landmass that we have in the North-East and the number of troops that are deployed in that place. The landmass is very large.

“It is very difficult. It is not possible. Where the military was deployed in Dapchi, they (the troops) were taken away. They were deployed for other assignments. So, it is possible that the Boko Haram can operate in a place for a long time without the military presence.

“They were withdrawn out of Dapchi for another assignment on January 10 and this attack took place on February 19.”


Islamization Rhetorics: A Deliberate Attempt To Create Division And Mutual Suspicion

By Rotimi Ayanwale

Human beings can at best be described as homo economicus: path dependent, self-interested, utility maximizers and rational. Although the level of rationality every human has is contingent on the amount of information he is privy to.

This general definition makes the news making the rounds about Islamization agenda by a person or few in a sovereign secular nation understandable. This parochial mindset can probably be tolerated from some individuals but not from religious institutions that are expected to hold high values and express views capable of fostering Nigeria’s unity.

No, doubt, Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), is a talented man who has traversed the private sector, the church, the public service and ultimately holding the second highest office of the land. His journey, no doubt would have transformed him to a realistic man by virtue of his interaction with virtually all social class in Nigeria. He is equally a Pastor who stands by his faith in a secular Nigeria where people have the right to worship without fear.

One does not need to look too far before seeing tendencies of organized political capture and path dependence in Nigeria. A development worsened because of the support it receives from bodies which are supposed to hold high societal values.

The story of Nigeria in the past years have been that of monumental and systemic corruption which has risen to an alarming level and posing existential treat. There is no nation that can deliver when the monies meant for all kinds of social services ends up in private pockets. The beneficiaries of this ugly trend prefers status quo and can do anything to achieve this situation that keep huge percentage of Nigeria in a state of despair and abject poverty while a privileged few enjoy our commonwealth. This must stop! The avenue to sustaining this shameful position must be challenged.

Prof. Osinbajo’s position is that faith leaders must uphold high moral standard and the church particularly should avoid been politicized but inculcate in people enviable values and norms. The church must not be turned into one that creates division and hatred amongst members of the society. The church must speak to the truth no matter what and at all times steaming the values of Christ. The church must realise that Nigeria cannot and can never be islamised and should shift focus and attention to endeavors capable for prompting brotherliness and national collective action.

The infrastructure gap that exists in Nigeria is visible all over the country and there is need for innovative financing model to bridge the gap.

The need for out-of-the-box solutions brought SUKUK financing model to the fore. The funds mobilized through SUKUK bonds have since been allocated to finance road projects across the geopolitical zones of the country which will jump-start economic development around those corridors and foster broad-based growth.

As Nigerians, we must be opened to innovations especially ones that can unleash our national economic potential. As it were, the United Kingdom, issued SUKUK bonds which attracted over $2bn to finance critical projects and no nation have developed without strategically tapping into new models, new ideas, breaking path dependence and adopting creating destruction.

People are poor, Nigerians are yearning for development and it is the duty of the elite across all social organizations to support government to deliver on its core mandate of delivering public goods and lifting people out of poverty in a bid to create a prosperous country. To achieve this, places of worship must continually spread messages that will enhance national cooperation which is an ingredient for national development.

As it is today, aside government, places of worship must speak against our common enemy which is corruption. It has become a way of life and norm. Nigeria cannot survive if the rate is not lessened for the dual goals of building resilient and respected country as well as highly celebrated religious leaders who will live a life of example and desist from talks capable of tearing Nigeria apart.

Rotimi Ayanwale, a Public Affairs analyst, writes from Abuja, Nigeria.


2019: CAN Endorses Fayose For Presidency

The Ekiti State governor Fayose’s presidential ambition has been supported by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The Association believes that Fayose is the ‘man that can move Nigeria forward.’

On October 16, 2017, a letter signed by CAN National General Secretary, Rev. Dr Musa Asake, the group urged fayose not be deterred or distracted by people who have nothing to offer the country.

It read;

“Unarguably, you have done what many of our politicians; Christians in particular, do not have the courage to do. This is why I agree with you, hook, line, and sinker, when in your speech you said inter alia, ‘You are all witnesses to my commitment to this party in this difficult period, where I have demonstrated uncommon courage that makes me stand out as capable of leading our country at this time.

Your Excellency, because you are known to doing great in your leadership and that you will move this country forward, the enemies of progress are not happy with your declaration and are not sleeping well.

The devil will use many, even those who might be closer to you, to try to create lies, false accusation, spread rumors, just to distract people from seeing the good leadership qualities that are in you.

In times like this, if honest and courageous leaders like you are not careful, this can bring discouragement. Be assured that the Lord, who has led you in your leadership as the governor of Ekiti State at this time, will never let you down

Your critics have the right to say whatever they want, that is to be expected anyway. No leader should expect applause from his critics. The leader that Nigeria really needs is the one that shuns the cosmetic approach because he knows it is superficial and the ‘quick fix it’ approach because he knows it is temporary. The country needs a leader who has the courage to face problems honestly, the wisdom to understand them, the strength to do something about them and the faith to trust God to do the rest.”

CAN To Osinbajo: ‘Stop Saying Buhari’s Govt. Has No Islamic Agenda’

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo to stop discrediting the organisation in his “avowed resolve to douse religious tension in Nigeria and win the heart of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari”.

The Vice-President last week said there was no agenda to Islamise Nigeria and that no one could possibly do so.

He also berated Christian leaders for raising alarm on the issue.

Reacting, President of CAN, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, urged Osinbajo to cross check his facts well before making public remarks on the matter next time.

In a statement on Wednesday signed by his spokesman, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Ayokunle noted that most Christian leaders in Nigeria were taken aback by the remarks credited to Osinbajo and had sought the intervention of the leadership of CAN to set the record straight with documented facts pointing towards the verity of plot by the present government to Islamise Nigeria.

The CAN President said Osinbajo was indeed, oblivious of certain happenings, stressing that the body of Christians in Nigeria have long been aware of the grand plot to Islamise Africa, with Nigeria as a major focus.

He insisted that the Nigerian government has been working in tandem with the Organisation Of Islamic Countries (OIC) and Islam In Africa Organisation to achieve this.

He said, “The OIC met in London in 1983 with a follow up meeting in Nigeria in 1989 and had issued a communiqué to Islamize Africa with Nigeria capturing a great attention. This is a public knowledge while facts could be obtained from Wikipedia with links on OIC’s Conference in London, 1983 and Abuja Declaration of 1989.

“It is also a matter of fact that Nigeria was later made an observer member of the body (OIC) through General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Under General Sani Abacha, another Muslim leader, Nigeria was made full member in total violation of the constitution that the nation is secular and our government should not be religiously partisan.

“From then on, conscious efforts were on to draw Nigeria into joining different Islamic organizations in keeping with the resolutions of OIC & Islam in Africa Organization (IAO). (See their communiqué tagged ‘Abuja Declaration of 1989).”

Ayokunle said that CAN has not been opposing, and will not oppose Islamic evangelism in any part of Nigeria, even if done with the support of the government since Christians also evangelise, but that the Christian body will never support any government to make Islam a State religion under any guise.

“We are not opposed to Islamic evangelism by any Muslim group if done with a peaceful motive. The Christians also exercise their constitutional rights to do so through revivals and gospel rallies. But we are opposed to the government of Nigeria adopting Islamic resolutions aimed towards a compelling of this country, contrary to the dictates of the constitution”

CAN, however, advised Osinbajo to use his office to correct the imbalance in the Nigerian system and other alleged unconstitutional actions noted with the government in order to reduce tension in the polity.

“Our worry as a body is that Nigeria started getting active in international Islamic alliances and organizations in total violation of the constitution. But the Vice President seems not conscious of this and the motive behind adoption of the Sukkuk Bond.

“Then we ask, Is Sukkuk constitutional? Is Sukkuk not part of the resolutions of OIC & IAO Is it not part of Nigeria’s adoption of Islamic sharia and financial system that it is mandatory for all governments in Africa subscribing to Islam?

“We also ask why the present government joined Islamic Military Alliance against terrorism. Are we an Islamic nation to so do? Can’t Nigeria fight terrorism without joining Islamic coalition? Why would the government continue to consciously heat up the polity?” the body quipped.

SUKUK: ‘Christianize’ Nigeria Too, Falana Tells CAN

agos-based lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, has called on the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to “Christianize” Nigeria.

Mr. Falana spoke at the strategic dialogue roundtable organized by the Social Economic Rights and Accountability, SERAP, held in Lagos on Thursday.

The lawyer was reacting to the controversy surrounding the N100 billion Sukuk bond offered by the Nigerian government.

CAN had in reaction to the offer said the move was an attempt to Islamize Nigeria.

But Mr. Falana, on Thursday, said the Sukuk bond was a legitimate means through which government could generate funds, as practiced in many countries of the world.

He called on religious leaders not to set Nigerians against themselves based on religion.

“I am challenging CAN to Christianize Nigerians; Christianize us by setting up interest-free banks…” he said.

He said religious leaders must be careful in their handling of issues, stressing that suspected kidnapper, Evans, had clerics who worked for him.

“Evans has a pastor, a Muslim cleric, and traditional priest…because all the prayers are needed,” he said.

Source: Sahara Reporters

EDITORIAL: Perishing For Lack Of Knowledge

The Bible never fails to illuminate. A famous forewarning points out the folly of perishing for lack of knowledge. Those who, through the centuries have sensibly heeded to this injunction have kept out of harm’s way and thereby had more purposeful lives.

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have regrettably not heeded this sensible admonition with their ill-thought out allegation that the floating of the Sukuk Islamic bond by the federal government is meant to Islamise the country through the back door.

CAN, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by its General Secretary, Rev Musa Asake, demanded the abrogation of the laws and framework behind the bond and threatened to seek legal redress if that was not done.

This ludicrous position must be repudiated by both Christians and Moslems, as it is aimed at stultifying the sustainable development of the economy. For a start, Islamic finance products have grown by leaps and bounds in the past few decades across the world. This is because it has met a need and closed a gap in the market. A few years ago, the Bank of England, the Central Bank of United Kingdom set up a dedicated Islamic finance desk which has grown in geometrical proportions, way ahead of expectations. Revered international institutions such as Goldman Sachs and so forth also have fast growing dedicated Islamic finance desks. At home in Nigeria, over 73% of the customers of Jaiz bank, an Islamic institution are Igbo traders who are virtually all Christians.

This also confirms the foresight of the Governor of the State of Osun Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. We may care to recall that Osun, under Aregbesola had in 2013 floated a N11.4bN Sukuk bond to fund government’s massive education infrastructure provision projects.

Modern international banking itself arose out of the Crusades and the attempts to capture Jerusalem in the middle ages. The knights Chevaliers, a Roman Catholic holy order benedicted by the Pope, created such things as letters of Credits, Bankers Acceptances and so forth as they swept across ill-defined, not yet national borders. Do we now call investment banking Roman Catholic banking which should not be used by other Christian denominations as well as Moslems, Hindus and other religious groups?

Nigeria inherited the present Anglo-Saxon banking model from British colonialism and it has largely failed to deliver the development goods. Even in the Anglo-Saxon heartlands, it has long been seen as a problem.

For example, in 1945, a left-wing socialist government in the United Kingdom, created the World’s first Venture Capital Company – Investors In Industry, as a response to the perceived weakness of the British banking industry to bring in the necessary impetus to rebuild Brittan’s post second world war economy.

Furthermore, in a famous series of articles in the British Sunday Times in 1978, a former Financial Secretary to the British government, Harold Lever, effectively accused the British banking system of acting as a brake on the development of the prospects of British industry. In contradistinction, he pointed out, the ‘Lander’ banking system in British industry’s great competitor, Germany, by emphasising close long-term relationships and low interest rates was taking British industry to the cleaners. The New Deal of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the more recent Obama fiscal stimulus both represented an attempt to navigate around the inadequacies of the short-termism of the Anglo-Saxon banking model.

Faced with the need to rebuild the economy, Nigeria must adapt to innovation, new ideas and try to adopt new models. Demagoguery does not help. If the indecorous position of CAN is to be taking seriously, Christian schools must henceforth stop teaching Algebra. As every school boy is aware, Algebra came about from the work of Islamic judges as they tried to navigate their way around the intricacies involved in solving problems arising from implementing the Islamic law of inheritance.

The times call for fresh ideas and innovation, thinking outside of the box and not childish or self-serving.

Aregbesola: Nigeria Unity Will Give Blackman Face In The World  

Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday reiterated the call for a united and strong Nigeria whose central and historic position on the black continent must be realised for the black race to take its rightful position.

He made this call when the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) paid him a courtesy call cum condolence visit.

The National President of CAN, Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle, had led some Christian Associations to the government house to pray for the repose of the soul of the late mother of the Governor, Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola, who passed on recently.

Aregbesola said Nigeria must not fail as a nation if it is to fulfil the roles and responsibilities history placed at its doorstep as the champion of the black race.

According to him, a united Nigeria is capable of taking the black race to its rightful place, stressing that Nigerians should always remember that they are the only race that can make a mark in the world.

The Governor, who called for other bodies like CAN to support and pray for the country, added that for the black man to have headway in the world, then Nigeria must not fail.

He explained that for Nigeria live up to performing its roles in uplifting the black race in the world then all hands must be on deck to support it to achieve the goal of making the black man important.

He said, “We need to begin to realise as a nation that we are the only black nation that can assist the black man to make a name in the world.

“Nigeria must not fail, if we must achieve  this task and play this big role on behalf of all black race, we should all begin to work towards supporting Nigeria to achieve it.

“I want to call on all well meaning groups and bodies in Nigeria to believe in the Nigerian dream and work towards realising it.

“We need to believe in ourselves as a nation for others to believe in us because this is the only way the black man from any part of the world can have a face.

“We need to begin to see Nigeria as project which must not fail and must never fail.  Failure of Nigeria will be a disaster for the black man anywhere in the world,” Aregbesola stated.

He thanked the CAN president for the condolence visit saying that he is happy that his mother died at a good time without stress, praying for all to have the opportunity of exiting the world at a time one will be celebrated.

“For my mother to have had the privilege of giving birth to me, I can say that she died a very good death and am grateful for that.

Delivering his condolence message, CAN President, Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle, said it is worthy of note that the late mother of Governor Aregbesola spent quality life while on earth, saying the quality of the life she lived was portrayed through the achievements of Aregbesola as a governor.

Ayokunle, who is also the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention,  also added that Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola died at a good time because she died at time when her demise brought about a lot of honour to her.

He noted that the quality of life she lived is made manifest in the lives of her offspring, Governor Aregbesola inclusive, saying the good and hard work of the Governor must have been taken from Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola.

“We at the CAN Headquarters received the news of the death of Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola with a great shock.

“We are grateful to God that she led a quality life, which is made manifest in the lives of her offspring of which you are one of them.

“It is my prayer that God strengthen you, the Aregbesola family and the entire state to overcome the loss.

“He will strengthen you so as to continue to impact on your generation positively,” Ayokunle said.

FG Make U-Turn, Orders Immediate Separation Of IRK, CRK In New Curricular

The Federal Government on Thursday bowed to pressure and directed the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to separate the Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) subjects in the basic education curriculum.

Recall that the grouping of IRK and CRK under the Civic Education in the new curriculum by the NERDC had generated controversy recently with religious leaders, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) calling for their separate teaching.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, gave the directive at a meeting of ministers of Education with education stakeholders from six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by Commissioners for Education from various states of the Federation and was part of the ongoing Commissioner opens up on tank farm inferno efforts to strengthen the partnership within the three tiers of government in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDG4).

Adamu, who was represented by Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, said the directive to separate the subjects became necessary because of the various complaints by Nigerians, especially the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

He explained that the collapse of the two subjects was done by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to reduce the number of subjects offered by pupils and students in schools.

The minister said: “There is this controversy over the merger of CRK and IRK in the school curriculum. There were complaints by parents that children were overloaded with so many subjects and the recommendation then was to merge one or two subjects. Unfortunately, water and oil were merged together and it is not working.

“So, to save ourselves the agony, the two subjects should be separated. We push that to the NERDC,” Adamu, in his address, reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to revamping the education sector and appealed to state governments as well as relevant stakeholders to support the federal government effort.

He also expressed the commitment of the government towards achieving the SDG4 by 2030 in line with the global timeline.

The minister said Nigeria has selected the Goal 4 of the SDGs, which emphasizes inclusive and quality education for all and promotion of lifelong learning, for implementation in view of the importance of education as a fulcrum to national development.

He said the federal government was aware that in the journey towards achieving the Education 2030 Agenda, key issues including the phenomenon of out-of-school children, insecurity in and around the schools and infrastructure decay must be addressed.

Until People Of Southern Kaduna Have Their Peace, Nigeria Will Not Have Peace – CAN

Rev. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, President, Christian Association of Nigerian, CAN during a solidarity visit to the victims of Fulani Herdsmen on the 4th of May, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to prove he is not a sectional leader as being peddled in some quarters. He also said that there would not be genuine peace in the country if it failed to ensure peace in Southern Kaduna.

Ayokunle, who disclosed that the organisation donated relief materials worth N8 million, said: “We came here because we realised what you people are passing through.

“We may not have much to give you physically, but identifying with you will tell you that you are not alone in this situation.

“Until people of Southern Kaduna have their peace, Nigeria will not have peace. It is the duty of the government to ensure that Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country struggling with herdsman are brought under control.

“So, peace in Southern Kaduna is a task that must be accomplished. Those troubling Southern Kaduna must be brought to book and prosecuted. Their gun must be taken away and sources of weapon prosecuted. If the government fails to prosecute them they are not sincere. These are the conditions that government must fulfill.”

KADUNA KILLINGS: Buhari’s Official Silence is Official Endorsement – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the ongoing killings in Southern Kaduna by herdsmen as giving official endorsement to dastardly acts to eliminate Christians in the state.
CAN National General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake on behalf of CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle stated this on Friday in Abuja where he declared Jan 8, 2017 national day for mourning in solidarity with Southern Kaduna people.
He enjoined Christians to have all celebrations/merriments associated with the New Year to be done low key in solidarity with “our brethren in southern Kaduna who had lost their lives and who have been denied the privilege of celebrating the yuletide.
“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for waging war against Boko Haram fundamentalists since his Assumption of office, his silence over the on-going genocide in the last few weeks speaks volume over the perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts.
“The recent defense of the President’s silence that the President has received briefing from the governor of Kaduna State over the matter is unacceptable, because the Presidency knows that the people of the affected area had already protested against the governor’s unacceptable biased handling of the continuous killings.
“Common sense tells anyone that at that instance, the President has to more directly wade in because lives are involved. The continuous killings have shown that the Governor of Kaduna State lacks the will power to arrest the situation and bring it under effective control.
“We know that southern Kaduna has been under 24-hour curfew daily as directed by the governor,yet the enemies of the people are still prowling going from house to house killing defenseless people without government protection.
“CAN has previously drawn attention to the imbalance in the appointments made in our security Institutions, hence we re-emphasize that leadership/ management of security institutions both at the national and state levels be reviewed to ensure a balance of Muslim and Christian Representation. Such balance, will build trust and confidence among all citizens of Nigeria in the Security empowered to protect our nation,” he stated.
Continuing, Asake said: “The current unprecedented onslaught against Christians in southern Kaduna by the Islamic fundamentalists disguising as the Fulani herdsmen under the watch of Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari
has reached an alarming stage.
“In view of the present predicament, the President of CAN has directed that Sunday January 8 2017, should be declared national day of mourning by Christians including those in Diaspora. We are to pray fervently for our southern Kaduna brothers and sisters who are victims of these wanton killings and also for the peace of our dear country Nigeria.
“Therefore, all Christians are to dress in mourning attire of black clothes or dresses in all our church services on January 8, 2017.”
He accused security agencies of complicity in the genocide being perpetrated against Christians in the state.
“The security operatives in the area appear to be turning blind eyes to the killings. They only rush to trouble spots after the perpetrators of the evils had performed their enterprise of killings and destruction of houses and farmlands.
“We implore the state and federal government to increase their efforts in putting an end to these killings and as well ensure that those behind the killings are brought to book under the laws of our land and those affected to be compensated,” he said.