THE election for the presidency of the Christian Association of Nigeria,
CAN, has assumed a new twist as the outgoing President, Pastor Ayo
Oritsejafor is said to have summoned a meeting of the
President-in-Council, PIC, for tomorrow amidst reports that the Catholic
Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, has threatened to pull out of CAN.
indicated that Dr. Jeremiah Gado, the candidate of TEKAN/ECWA bloc and
alleged government candidate for the CAN presidency, has approached an
Abuja High Court for unlawful denial as a candidate in the election. It
was learnt that the TEKAN/ECWA candidate was actually looking for an
interim injunction to stop the election but the court refused to grant
the request. The court instead asked that the parties be put on notice
and served to enable them appear before it on Tuesday. A reliable source
close to the umbrella body of Christians confirmed the development,
saying Gado had approached the court seeking to address his undue denial
as a candidate for the presidential election and some other issues.
to the schedule of events, the election of a new President to succeed
Oritsejafor is billed for Tuesday by the 309 members of the CAN, NEC.
The Electoral College has screened the only two candidates —Rev. Samson
Olasupo Ayokunle of the Baptist Convention, who polled eight votes, and
Prof. Joseph Otubu of the Organization of African Instituted Churches
(OAIC), who scored two votes.
According to the Constitution of
CAN, the Electoral College, headed by erstwhile Chaplain to two Nigerian
presidents and Head, Aso Rock Villa Chapel, Rev. William Okoye, was
expected to screen the nominated candidates and recommend two of them
for the National Executive Council for election. The Catholic
Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN and the Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of
Nigeria/Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, CPFN/PFN, which nominated the
outgoing president, did not present candidates for the election.
the unresolved dispute in the TEKAN/ECWA bloc the number of candidates
for the CAN president was reduced to just two which, some now reason,
should have made the Electoral College to recommend the two to NEC for
Meanwhile there were indications last night that
the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, has threatened to severe
relationship with CAN, unless the impasse is resolved and adequate
opportunity is given to every candidate who had indicated interest in
the presidential contest.
Details were sketchy but the CSN was
said to have threatened that they would pull out of CAN if the election
was not cancelled. Our source, who said it was still top secret as at
yesterday evening, claimed that the Catholic Secretariat, making up one
bloc of CAN, had sent in a letter demanding that the election was
cancelled…”because indirectly they are looking for an ECWA man to lead