Northern Nigerian Christians under the aegis of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) North West Zone, on Friday, has denied endorsing the re-election bid of the President of CAN, Rev. Samson Supo Ayokunle.
The denial was contained in a statement signed by Secretary of CAN (North West Zone), Sunday Oibe.
The North west Zone of CAN dismissed an online publication credited to the Vice Chairman of CAN Northern Region, Joseph John Hayab that Northern Christians have thrown their support for the re-election of Rev. Ayokunle.
In the statement, the group called on the public, especially Christians in Northern Nigeria, to disregard the claim which, it alleged, was masterminded by the Vice-Chairman of CAN in the region, Joseph Hayab, “for personal reasons”.
Ayokunle faces stiff challenge from the President of Tarayar Ekklisiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria, a conglomeration of 15 churches in Northern Nigeria, Rev Caleb Ahima, in the CAN presidential poll scheduled for June.
TEKAN, which means Fellowship of the Churches of Christ in Nigeria, belongs to the same bloc with Evangelical Church Winning All.
The statement reads in part: “Ordinarily, the Northern Zone of CAN would have ignored him, but for the forthcoming election and the fact that Hayab has become a serial offender in several cases. We assure him that he will not get away with this offence this time.
“We have consulted with the Chairman of CAN in the North West Zone, Bishop David Bakare, who is our critical stakeholder.
“The Chairman of CAN in Northern Region, Rev. Yakubu Pam, will always consult everybody on every serious matter before he makes a comment, especially if it has to do with the entire North. The Secretary of Northern CAN, Danladi Yerima would not have been part of the lies by Hayab, without the consent of Northern CAN.
“Both Reverend Pam, Yerima and Bakare said there was no meeting where a decision was taken to support Ayokunle. Let us make it clear that Hayab is on his own, what he said is his personal opinion.
“The Northern CAN did not partake in the meeting convened and attended by him alone. We are calling on the public, especially Christians in Northern Nigeria to disregard Hayab and his lies.
“We see it as gross insubordination; if because of the gentility of Rev. Yakubu Pam and amiable nature of Danladi Yerima, he decided to embark on this ambiguous adventure and controversy, he failed.
“This was the same thing that Hayab did under Archbihop Peter Jatto and was suspended and sacked as the Public Relations Officer of Northern CAN.
He has the penchant to speak with the media without authority. It is this same Hayab who said Northern CAN was illegal and removed the signboard of Northern CAN.
Yet, he is now using the Northern CAN to play selfish politics.
“We are aware of his pranks; five Christian leaders have told us that Hayab had informed them that Ayokunle (incumbent President of CAN), has asked him to carefully select some of the prominent church leaders for them to go and break fast with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock Villa on Monday May 27 2019.
The invitation of those that will break fast with the President will be restricted to persons who are loyal to Ayokunle as a ploy to woo voters.
Now, was Ayokunle the President of Christians selected by Hayab to break fast with Buhari or President of every Christian in Nigeria? These and others are the questions Ayokunle must answer as we prepare for the general election of CAN scheduled for June.
Ayokunle himself should see that his problem is coming from sycophants like Hayab who surround him. We are not part of the purported endorsement of Ayokunle.
We are calling on Nigerian Christians to disregard it. Hayab is doing a yeoman’s job. Taking a decision in Northern CAN has a process, Northern CAN cannot be broken by anybody.
We will soon take a collective decision and make our position known.”