SGF is not a Chris­tian: North­ern CAN

Daily Trust - - OPINION - By Lau­retta Onochie

It seems to be that the Chris­tian As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (CAN) in this dis­pen­sa­tion, has ar­ro­gated to its North­ern chap­ter, a role of ig­nominy hith­erto, played by oth­ers dur­ing the Jonathan Ad­min­is­tra­tion. It is com­mon knowl­edge that this or­ga­ni­za­tion, with a lead­er­ship that some­times is not in talk­ing terms with God, is set to go on col­li­sion course with Nige­ri­ans. Nearly all Nige­ri­ans sup­port Pres­i­dent Buhari’s war on cor­rup­tion so Nige­ri­ans are se­ri­ous about up­root­ing cor­rup­tion in their na­tion.

First, in the Van­guard on­line news of April 26th 2016, this North­ern CAN said Nige­ria will slide into con­fu­sion if Jonathan was ar­rested. Of course, Nige­ri­ans who are wait­ing for all those who looted their trea­sury to be brought to ac­count, were shocked that an or­ga­ni­za­tion that is af­fil­i­ated to God, could ut­ter such un­righ­teous­ness. Why would they em­bark on such an un­holy ad­vo­cacy? Should men and women not reap what they sow?

Isn’t that what the Bi­ble pre­scribes? If Rtd. Col. Da­suki, Chief Oliseh

Me­tuh, Alex Badeh Akpobolokemi, etc., are fac­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions and be­ing charged to court, why would Nige­ri­ans be con­fused if any­one, no mat­ter how highly placed, sus­pected to have stolen pub­lic funds, is pulled in, if found cul­pa­ble? It leaves one with a clear pointer as to who is be­hind the con­tin­ued mis­guided ut­ter­ances of men who speak from the pock­ets of their spon­sors and not through the in­spi­ra­tion of the Holy Spirit. It has fur­ther be­come clear that as the Na­tional CAN in the past, looked away from the steal­ing that went on un­der a sup­pos­edly Chris­tian Pres­i­dent, the North­ern CAN, is now be­ing used to cas­ti­gate ev­ery ac­tion of the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Buhari. Their med­dle­some­ness is be­com­ing ir­ri­tat­ing. They want to dic­tate who get ap­pointed, and who should not be ar­rested if found cul­pa­ble. One won­ders, what sort of peo­ple do we have in this as­so­ci­a­tion?

I know Pres­i­dent Buhari is not averse to crit­i­cisms, so a body such as CAN has a role to play in be­ing the con­science of not just the Chris­tians it rep­re­sents, but also other Nige­ri­ans of good faith. How­ever, in play­ing that role CAN should have all its facts so its crit­i­cisms can be con­struc­tive, sound, fair, just and be­liev­able. The role some CAN mem­bers are play­ing now, am afraid, is clearly part of the work of the “Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Cor­rup­tion Fight­ing Back.”

The change mantra is be­ing taken se­ri­ously by the Pres­i­dent. Con­se­quently, he has ad­hered to the pro­vi­sions of the con­sti­tu­tion with re­gards to fed­eral char­ac­ter. Nowhere in our con­sti­tu­tion is it stated that reli­gion must be a cri­te­rion for ap­point­ing peo­ple to po­si­tions. How­ever, the fol­low­ing North­ern Chris­tians, ex­clud­ing the in­her­ited ones, were ap­pointed by the gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Buhari: Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the

Fed­er­a­tion, En­gi­neer Babachir David Lawal; Hon. Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, Chief Audu Ogbe; Hon. Min­is­ter of Youths and Sports, Com­rade Solomon Dalung; Late Hon. Min­is­ter of State, Labour & Pro­duc­tiv­ity, Bar­ris­ter James Ocholi; Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on Po­lit­i­cal Mat­ters, Hon. Gideon Sam­mani; Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on Po­lit­i­cal Mat­ters, Mr. Ayuba Birma; Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on So­cial Events, Mr. Ayuba Balami; Per­sonal As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent on So­cial Events, Mrs. Faith Pukuma; Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the Pres­i­dent, Le­gal and Doc­u­men­ta­tion, Prof. Adamu Us­man; Ad­min­is­tra­tor of Villa Chapel, Rev­erend Isaac Ambi; Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary, Nige­ria Chris­tian Pil­grims Com­mis­sion, Pas­tor Tor Uja; Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Nige­ria In­land Wa­ter­ways Au­thor­ity, Mr. Boss Mustapha.

Not many south­ern Nige­ri­ans can work out the reli­gion or tribes of most north­ern­ers as many names are com­mon to both Chris­tians and Moslems in the north, the same way many north­ern­ers as­sume that Okon Bassey and Pere Ta­muno are Igbo men. It there­fore, be­hoves North­ern CAN to as­sume the role of ed­u­cat­ing south­ern­ers with facts, with a view to al­lay­ing their anx­i­ety oc­ca­sioned by per­ceived marginal­iza­tion. For ev­ery ap­point­ment made, there are prob­a­bly a mil­lion oth­ers who are qual­i­fied too. But only one can be ap­pointed. It’s there­fore sad that if an ap­pointee is a Chris­tian who is not known to North­ern CAN, his or her Chris­tian­ity be­comes a nul­lity and of no ef­fect. Could this be the faith of the SGF and other Chris­tian ap­pointees. Could this be of CAN. It’s ob­vi­ous that the aim of all these mis­in­for­ma­tion is to di­vide a re­gion per­ceived as Pres­i­dent Buhari’s strong­hold. The role of an as­so­ci­a­tion such as CAN is not that of di­vid­ing the north along re­li­gious lines. It should be that of unit­ing the whole coun­try so Nige­ri­ans can col­lec­tively fo­cus on build­ing a strong na­tion where peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence equal op­por­tu­ni­ties ir­re­spec­tive of tribe, reli­gion, etc.

Again, one does not need a reli­gion to do a good job. All re­li­gions of the world en­cour­age merit. There are those who may not sub­scribe to any reli­gion but can do a great job. Should it not be of para­mount con­cern to the North­ern CAN that peo­ple who can do the job be ap­pointed? Should they not be hold­ing to ac­count those who are fail­ing in their du­ties? Should they not be solidly stand­ing be­hind the right­eous work of this gov­ern­ment in­fight­ing the cap­i­tal sin of cor­rup­tion?

The CAN in Nige­ria in the im­me­di­ate past be­came con­tro­ver­sial. This led to the Catholic Church in Nige­ria with­draw­ing its mem­ber­ship of the as­so­ci­a­tion. The pre­sent ut­ter­ances of the North­ern Chap­ter of CAN show that they have not re­pented of their sin­ful past. They need to for­sake their past trans­gres­sions and re­turn to the scrip­tures. That’s the only way they can find res­ur­rec­tion and maybe, those who left the as­so­ci­a­tion may then re­turn. God save Nige­ria from un­godly men! Amen. Lau­retta Onochie @lau­restar

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