Questionable Characters Want To Hijack CAN Election – Patriotic Christian Youths  

CAN president
With about one month to the Presidential election of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), a group Christians under the aegis of Patriotic Christian Youths of Nigeria (PCYN), on Sunday raised fears that some persons with questionable characters who were allegedly sponsoring a particular candidate that is close to the Presidency.
Should they succeed, the organisation said the characters with dubious pasts, could hijack the electoral process in CAN.
The organisation therefore accused the Presidency and All Progressives Congress (APC) of plotting to instal its stooge with a view to paving way for the emasculation of Christians and turn the country to an Islamic state.
To perfect its plan, the PCYN claimed that the Presidency has allegedly recruited some fifth columnists to cause division among Christians with a view to to scuttling the electoral process.
The President of PCYN, Evangelist Simon Timothy Nasso, raised the alarm in a statement issued in Abuja, after the 2016 CAN Electoral College primary election in which Dr. Samson Ayokunle, Head of Baptist Churches in Nigeria, emerged candidate of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN).
But the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Communications), Mr. Femi Adesina, had dismissed the allegation when a similar issue was raised on February 22 this year by the National Coordinator of Christ Redeemers Union, Dr. Ebenezer Olusola Abednego, when he argued that “President Muhammadu Buhari does not interfere in the internal affairs of any organisation.”

“It means that some Nigerians don’t know their President. Your President, Muhammadu Buhari, does not interfere in things like that; so, they need to know the person who is their President.

“The people making the allegation can’t insist that they are correct because that is the man for you and Buhari doesn’t interfere in anything. If he doesn’t interfere in state elections where his own party, the APC, is having candidates, how will he interfere in CAN elections? They don’t know their President.”

Find below the text of the press statement issued by Evangelist Simon Timothy Nasso, on behalf of PCYN…

The Patriotic Christian Youth of Nigeria writes to acknowledge and reaffirm their commitment and submission to the supremacy of God over the affairs of men especially in regard to the ongoing processes leading to the election of the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

We appreciate the CAN leadership for their firm stands to ensure that the agents of manipulation did not succeed in imposing a candidate for the office of the President during the primary selection at the Electoral College.

The CAN 2016 Electoral College did their best to produce candidates for the Presidential election despite fifth columnists among them and their attempt to hold the body to ransom on the account of not getting a particular candidate included before the primary.

We wish to congratulate Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle, the Head of Baptist Churches in Nigeria for emerging the winner at the primaries followed by Prof. Otubo of the

Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC). God will surely give them wisdom to lead His church in Nigeria as the final process of the election is been awaited.

We also want to thank respected Christian leaders, Nigerians and security agencies who refused to be used to create crises and division among the church in Nigeria.

You will recall that since the commencement of the election process, we had raised alarm to the fact that a particular candidate is been sponsored by the Government through the influence of the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Though there were denial initially but the candidate as you would have witnessed in their last press address, acknowledged the fact that the SGF being a member of ECWA church has every reason to use his office and influence to project and sponsor the particular candidate.

We all know that God is God and He will not share His glory with any man hence the disappointment of the Government sponsored candidate for not making it to be the TEKAN/ECWA Bloc candidate not to even consider his choice or otherwise inthe last primaries at the CAN Electoral College.

Let us reemphasis this point once again to you and the public who wish to know the truth, that Rev. Dr Jeremiah Gado was never a candidate of TEKAN/ ECWA Block of CAN. And he was never a candidate of ECWA Unit of the bloc prior to the last ECWA Executive Council meeting held in Jos, April 13th 2016.

There were pressures both from the public and the Electoral College on CAN leadership to give TEKAN/ECWA time to resolve her differences. Twice such opportunities were given and twice the bloc could not resolve her differences after several meetings which were punctuated by attacks from thugs. Then the bloc leader helplessly wrote to tell CAN that consensus could not be reached and there is no sign that such consensus can be reached before the expiration of the tenure of the present leaders. CAN acts on same by directing the Electoral College to do the needful. Yet some selfish and compromisers want the election to be suspendeduntil their preferred candidate is nominated.

The CAN Constitution is very explicit about the nature of the candidature for the office of the President. Article 14(d) (ii) say; “Four or five candidates as the case may be shall be presented to the Electoral College, one from each constituentgroup of CAN. Two of the candidates who obtained the highest number of votes from the voting of the Electoral College shall be deemed nominated.” Anybody deceiving the public that beside the vested Government interest, there is any law in CAN that gives rights to Gado’s candidature is wrong.

It is so strange to note the level of political manipulations and attempt to forcefullyimpose a candidate before and during the selection process at the TEKAN/ECWAbloc level. We have observed strangely too the trend of events that accompanied the desperation in search for Rev.Dr Gado’s nomination. The following events are critical to us and we wonder if they were mere coincident or orchestrated for the purpose of achieving the ill motivated goals of Dr Gado and his sponsors:

1. Rev. Dr Emmanuel Dziggau, the TEKAN/ECWA Bloc leader was kidnap few days to the date he fixed for the consideration of the TEKAN/ECWA candidates for the office of the CAN President and was released a day after the secure of the manipulated nomination of Dr. Gado.
2. The initial TEKAN candidate for the election, Dr Jeremiah Madibo, President of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC) took ill and went into coma for one month while the crises last and recovered immediately when it is clear his issues was not under consideration.
3. The replaced TEKAN candidate Rev. Dr Caleb Ahima, the President of the Christian Reformed Church in Nations (CRCN) was attacked by armed robbers on his way from the 23rd May, 2016 TEKAN/ECWA meeting where his candidature was to be decided. His SUV and all belongings carried away.
4. The sudden withdrawal and resignation of the TEKAN/ECWA Bloc secretary, Prof. Samuel W. Kunhiyop who also is the ECWA General Secretary on issues surrounding the election speak volumes.

We understand many Christians and concern Nigerians are worried about the challenges accompanying the electoral process in CAN recently. The ECWA President’s candidature has been so projected and presented as if ECWA is a bloc in CAN and TEKAN/ ECWA is the only qualified bloc to contest for the election. We as an Association have wondered and tried to ask so many questions too until we came to the understanding that the real ECWA church leaders i.e the ECWAExecutive members are not considered in the entire process. Our findings is clear that;

i. The caliber of persons behind Dr Gado interest is one of the major reasons: Most of the personalities behind the candidature are persons with questionable character or persons who have lost touch with CAN activities. For instant, “Pastor Eches Divine Eches” who parades himself to the world today as a Pastor and in fact claiming to be the TEKAN/ECWA Bloc youth leader leading to his address of the world press conference as such, is a person with highly questionable character. A person with long standing criminal record. A person awaiting trial as an armed robber. You may wish to ask “Pastor Divine” to tell you his real name? What took him to Imo Prison as an inmate between 23rd February, 1999 and 2nd May, 2003 with the Prison No: 80/99? It should interest you to know that the todays’ Pastor Eches Divine Eches before his imprisonment in 1999, was known and called Echezona Echereodo and at age 24 was already in prison custody for Armed Robbery. He was never discharged and exonerated but rather released on bail while awaiting trial. That this same person with criminal record will be unilaterally ordained by Dr Gado as Pastor for the purpose of this CAN election is highly disturbing and worrisome. Owing to his criminal background, he lies at random misleading his church and the public. Claiming in several occasions to be what he is not. Echezona Echereodo’s ordination in ECWA is one of the reasons for the crises in ECWA family today. His leading of Dr Gado’scampaign team is also the major reason for the crises in CAN too.
ii. Echeszona Echereodo now ‘Pastor Eches Divine Eches’ was never nominated, elected or selected by ECWA youth at any point in time as their leader not to even consider him as the Leader of TEKAN/ECWA youth bloc. Just as he was unilaterally ordained as a Pastor, he was also appointed as the Youth bloc leader of the TEKAN/ECWA bloc. For the avoidance of doubt, the current ECWA Youth National President is Barrister Chinedu Njoku, the immediate past District Youth Leader of Aba in Abia State who should be the bloc leader but for the fear of been abruptly remove as the previous ECWA Youth leader for fighting the imposition. Evang. Zacs Umaru is the National President of the TEKAN Youth Fellowship. The question now is, how did Divine become the bloc youth leader when he is not in any youth leadership position in neither TEKAN, nor ECWA.? This is an unfounded process in all the Evangelical churches in Nigeria where youths leaders emerge through elections within the youths.
iii. The persons like Daniel Kadzai the YOWICAN National Chairman who, besides having over 30 petitions against him in National CAN Secretariat questioning his character and integrity still parades himself as a registered Engineer and a HND graduate while he is not but yet emerged as the National Chairman of YOWICAN in a questionable and controversial selection process, is in the fore front of projecting the person and candidature of Dr Jeremiah Gado.
iiii. The ECWA candidate who was paraded by those in Government authority did not have or enjoy the support of his church for the purpose of contesting for the election yet he has mobilized the Government to get support. Hence the need to fight to justify his support.
v. While the TEKAN/ECWA Bloc was mobilizing to know who was going to represent her in CAN, the political powers that be have started calling and making political promises and sometimes threat. Hence attempting to coarse the bloc to nominate their candidate even before the process could start.
vi. The political projection of CAN elections along region, tribe and political affiliations by the Dr Gado’s team did a great harm to the process.  Government and members of the public were deceived that the Government candidate is of the North and that the Northern Nigeria is yet to have a President of CAN. Now, for the sake of emphasis; in the church, our elections are not conducted along region and political consideration.

We want to tell you that we are much aware of Dr Jeremiah Gado’ s team next line of actions:

a. To insist on getting CAN leadership constitute a CareTaker Committee(CTC) for the purpose of later buying the members to restart the election process and reintroduce Dr Gado as a candidate.   We know this attempt is built out of ignorant and desperation as CTC is alien to CAN Constitution.
b. To approach a court of law for an Ex-perte injunction few days to the election not for the reason of having any cause of action but to delay the elections and by implication unnecessary and ignorantly extend the tenure of the current CAN leadership.
c. To use Government machinery to destabilize the forth coming CAN National Executive Council Meeting where the two selected candidates by CAN Electoral College will be elected. This will be very unfortunate and we are sure will yield no result in their favor.
d. And that if Government security agencies refuse to support the scheming to close CAN Secretariat, they hope to mobilize thugs as they have always done during all the bloc’s meetings of TEKAN/ECWA to create a picture of a fighting church. This also will do them no good.

The questions every reasonable person should be asking are; is Dr Jeremiah Gado born for CAN leadership? Has there not been election in CAN before him and there will be after him? What will be his gains if he destroys the unity of the church to please his pay master? Will he stop being a Christian if he does not become the CAN President?

We call on all Christian to fervently pray against the new trend of Government sponsoring candidate for church elections. Those in authority should know that their God’s given mandate is not for the oppression of the church.

We are certain that as God lives, we as Patriotic Christian Youth of Nigeria will do everything possible to ensure a peaceful election in CAN and a harmonious relationship within and outside the church system.





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