By Danjuma Auta
The newly installed Vice President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who is also the ECWA President, Rev. (Dr) Stephen Baba Panya, has said that the church in Nigeria will continue to work for the unity and peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians.
He gave this assurance while taking over the mantle of leadership at the National Ecumenical Centre Abuja.
He called for every hand to be on deck towards maintaining the country’s long standing unity, irrespective of religious and ethnic differences, adding that the church would continue to do its best in ensuring the unity of all Nigerians.
He called on Christians to pray for God’s intervention in the political and economic affairs of the country, especially at this moment of transition from one government to the next.
Speaking on the insurgency in the northern parts of the country and the Middle Belt, Rev. Panya stated that Satan was using his agents to destroy Christianity, but maintained that Jesus had already defeated him and urged the church to stand firm for God’s will to be done in the country.
Earlier, the newly installed President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Archbishop Daniel Okoh, declared that many Christians had genuine fears of a deliberate plan to remove the Christian faith from the scheme of things in Nigeria through marginalization.
On the Muslim-Muslim ticket adopted by the APC, he said, ‘’ it was the same-faith ticket desperately adopted by a major political party in spite of the advice and caution bCross Section of ECWA women that grace the occassiony CAN since two years ago.”
Archbishop Okoh, who also stated these in his acceptance speech following the validation of his election by the CAN General Assembly, frowned at the Muslim-Muslim ticket, stressing that there were fears about it due to recent happenings in the polity.
He stated; “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.
“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,”.
His predecessor, Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle, in a brief speech, said that the joy of leadership was that whatever had a beginning had an end and thanked God for helping him to lead CAN thus far.
He warned against sitting tight in elective positions and advised leaders to always adhere to the constitutional requirements of the associations or organizations that elected them.
He disclosed that under his leadership, CAN united Nigerian Christians by ensuring that everyone was carried along, adding that they stood against bad governance and all anti-Christian policies of the present administration and urged the new leadership to always consider Christendom first in everything they do.