Why we boycotted CAN election, by Catholic Church
• Minister, youths laud exercise
From the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) yesterday came a clarification why the Catholic Church abstained from the just election which saw Rev. Samson Ayokunle emerging President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Prof. Joseph Otubu as his deputy.
According to its Secretary General, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu, the Catholic Church stayed away because of alleged irregularities in the acceptance of candidates from the various blocs for the election.
He told The Guardian that though the CSN did not present any candidate for the exercise, the bloc had wanted to ensure a level-playing field for every participant.
“ There were irregularities in the acceptance of candidates and we wanted it to be settled, we didn’t submit any candidate. If we had wanted to submit, we would be allowed to, we were only interested in fair play, not as if we wanted to contest the election or suggesting anybody. We wanted to ensure that the association maintains a good name, it is for no personal reasons,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister of Interior, Lt. General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd) and President of the Patriotic Christian Youths of Nigeria (PCYN), Evang. Simon Timothy Nasso, have commended the leadership for a successful conduct of the election.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Dambazau noted with satisfaction the sterling qualities as well as antecedents of the new CAN president and expressed optimism on Rev. Ayokunle’s capacity to continue the good works of his predecessors, which will help promote the unity, peace and economic prosperity of Nigeria.
To Nasso, the peaceful conduct of the exercise has put to rest the tension and agitation that characterised the process.
In a chat with reporters in Abuja, he lauded the Federal Government for not interfering with the process, thus “allowing the church to produce visionary leaders who would lead the people amidst current challenges and provide direction for the church and the country.”