President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged the role of the Christian Association of Nigeria in fostering religious unity and harmony in the country.
Buhari also congratulated Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the General Superintendent of Christ Holy Church (Odozi-Obodo), following his emergence as the President of CAN.
Okoh was sworn-in by Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, the outgone president of CAN.
This was disclosed in a statement on Friday by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity).
The statement reads in part:
“The President notes that the election of Most Rev’d Okoh by the very important Christian body is a testament to his devotion to the Church of God in the country and beyond, distinguished vocation as a Christian leader and abiding commitment in promoting ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue.
“Acknowledging the role CAN plays in fostering religious unity and harmony, the President trusts that the incoming President will continue to provide the needed leadership for the Church, affirming the Scriptural truth: ‘‘That they all may be one.’’ (John 17:21a)
“President Buhari, who has fond memories of his interactions with CAN leadership, values the counsel and spiritual contributions of Christian leaders to nation building by encouraging, advising, strengthening, correcting and criticizing those in authority.
“The President prays that the tenure of Archbishop Okoh, in this new phase of ministry, will be marked with success, urging the blocs that make up CAN to kindly give the cleric every needed support to excel.
“He also wishes the outgoing President, Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle best wishes in his spiritual and secular endeavours.”
Recall that CAN, during Ayokunle’s tenure advised all political parties not to field presidential candidates and running mates of same religion ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Meanwhile, the new CAN president seems to stand on the association’s position against same religion ticket for presidential candidates and running mates.
He said after he swearing-in on Thursday.
“We are coming in at the time that all of us in the Christian faith believe that some section of political leaders are not sensitive to the diverse nature of our population when certain decisions are being made.
“Many Christians feel and have the genuine fear that there is a deliberate plan to remove the Christian faith from the scheme of things and make us second-class citizens in our own country.
“There is genuine fear borne out of the recent happenings in our polity, that is, the same-faith ticket in one of the major political parties in Nigeria, despite the caution raised by CAN since two years ago.
“Whatever happens, no matter how many times our sensibilities are insulted, we must resolve to make a positive impact on the political, economic and social systems of our dear nation.”