Ayokunle emerges as CAN president

Samson Ayokunle

Samson Ayokunle

President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Rev. Samson Ayokunle has been elected as the new National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Ayokunle, who is the out-going vice president, polled 58 votes to defeat the other candidate, Prof. Joseph Otubu of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), who got 28 votes to emerge as the vice president for the next four years.

CAN Secretary General, Dr Musa Asake told The Guardian in Abuja that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the association met yesterday to vote for the two candidates, who were presented to it by the 15 -member CAN Electoral College.

She added that the General Assembly of CAN would meet in July to ratify the election, which he described as very free, fair and transparent.
Asake noted that before the election commenced, one of the supporters of the TEKAN/ECWA candidate raised a motion insisting that the election should not go on because the name of his candidate was not included, which was however countered.

He explained that at CAN, we don’t impose a candidate on any block and we don’t reject candidates. Once a block sends someone, whether you like him or not, you cannot reject that person so we did not get a name from the TEKAN/ECWA

Asked if the development will not bring division within the association, Asake said, “TEKAN/ ECWA is a block, TEKAN have about 15 denominations, ECWA has one denomination, so it is ECWA that had issues and not the entire block.

He however noted, “now that we have had the election, and new leaders emerged, we need to reconcile our differences in a Christian way and move on.”

The association’s secretariat had given 31st March, 2016 as the deadline for all the blocks to submit the names of their nominees and having failed to meet the deadline, the association in the second week of May gave the block two weeks to submit the name of their candidate.

CAN is an umbrella body of Christians in the country, made up of five blocks. They include: Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN)/ Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and the TEKAN and ECWA Fellowships Group.

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