CAN inaugurates electoral panel ahead of May election
Ahead of the May 2016 election of the new president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), an Electoral College that would screen candidates vying for the top leadership of the association would be inaugurated today, The Guardian learnt.
This is amid internal crisis that is rocking the association over who becomes the next president.
The 15-member electoral college after screening all those vying for the position would vote within themselves and then send the names of the first two candidates to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the association for ratification.
The CAN, which is an umbrella body of Christians in the country, is made up of five blocks: 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.
Just recently, a Christian group, under the umbrella of the Christian Redeemers Union (CRU), accused the Presidency of trying to install one of the loyalists of President Muhammadu Buhari as CAN President.
A major source from one of the blocks that does not want to be mentioned told The Guardian that the crisis is so deep, adding that the association is highly divided now than ever before. He stated that CAN secretariat had asked all the blocks to submit the names of their nominees latest by March 30, 2016.
According to the source, some people are of the view that the leadership of the association should go to the North.
The CAN constitution stipulates that positions should rotate among the five blocks that make up the association and it is only TEKAN/ECWA and OAIC that have not produced a president.
On March 21, 2016, the head of the TEKAN/ECWA Church group, Rev. (Dr.) Emmanuel Dziggau and his Vice Chairman, Rev. Iliya Anto and Rev. Yakubu Dzarma (rtd) were kidnapped along Kaduna-Abuja Road and there are insinuations in some quarters that their kidnap was not unconnected with the forthcoming election.
The source pointed out that it might not be easy for TEKAN/ECWA to produce a president now since the current General Secretary is from the ECWA block.
When The Guardian asked whether the current General Secretary is finishing the term of the former CAN scribe, Samuel Salifu, the source claimed that the appointment letter given to Asake is for a four-year term, which is subject to renewal for another four years.
When contacted, the Chairman of the Christian Elders Forum, Soloman Asemota, said that the forum couldn’t be neutral and allow presidency to impose a candidate on CAN.