Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has warned the outgoing national president of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to forget his alleged plans to influence the forthcoming election of the association to impose his preferred candidate.
The Catholic Church had suspended its membership of the most influential Christian organisation in the country in 2013 stating “attitudes, utterances and actions of the national leadership of CAN which in our opinion negate the concept of the foundation of the association and the desire of Our Lord Jesus Christ” as their reason.
According to Sahara Reporters, in a letter to Oritsejafor dated June 9, 2016 and signed by the President of the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria, Bishop Ignatius Kaigama, the CBCN advised Oritsejafor to rethink any plan to rig the election. The Catholic Church said under the watch of the Warri-based pastor the association deviated from its objectives.
According to the Catholic Church, a clean and unblemished electoral process is the condition that will make it return to the association.
The letter reads:
“The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), which represents the Catholic Church in Nigeria, has observed with sadness how, for some years now, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has continued to deviate from the original objectives for which it was founded. The CSN has on various occasions appealed to the leadership of CAN to do all it could to ensure that the noble ideals of the Association be not only recovered but also promoted.
Unfortunately, these appeals have so far been unheeded. This situation of things constrained the CSN to suspend active participation in the affairs of CAN, with a request that sincere efforts be made to improve the situation.
The way and manner in which the electoral process of CAN has been handled does not show any willingness of the leadership to do things in a way worthy of the Association. We can no longer go along with the way things are now.
The CSN therefore demands that the current electoral process be suspended forthwith until the heads of the five Blocks of CAN reconvene (which we hope will be as soon as possible), to work out a way of bringing the Association back on track, so that it may serve the purpose for which it was originally founded. This is the only condition under which the CSN can positively consider its continued membership of the Association.”