Nigeria overdue for restructuring, CAN president tells Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Photo: Reuters

The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, has thrown his weight behind calls for restructuring of the country. 

He said separation of state and the church must be redefined. And while the state must not be allowed to control the church, the church must influence the state through Christians in positions of power. 

Ayokunle, also President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, stated this, yesterday, in Abuja at the International Workers’ Retreat of the convention. He maintained that after 57 years of independence, the country was due for restructuring and this must be done without fear or favour. 

He said: “There is the need to update how we govern ourselves. Thus, restructuring the nation after 57 years is a welcome development. It must be done without bias or prejudice to religion, ethnicity, class or group affiliation.

“It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in his New Year message rejected the clamour for restructuring, which has polarised the polity. We must develop our home-grown democracy as the present system, which is a hybrid of America and Britain, is not working well for us.” 

The CAN President enjoined Christians to embrace politics, if they wish to impact on the political scene. He pointed out: “To get to a position of power, there is need for election, especially in a democratic setting like ours. We must be involved in all facets of politics.”

He added: “Politics is not a dirty game as many have come to believe.

Those who play politics are the ones who are dirty. Participate actively at the ward level of your party, attend meetings, and contribute meaningfully during discussions. Vote and encourage others to vote during election. Do not stay back at home and watch TV, play football or sleep. Monitor and protect your vote.”

The CAN leader prayed for peace on the recent killing of innocent citizens in Benue and Taraba States by Fulani herdsmen. He asked God to comfort the bereaved and heal the recuperating.

He also challenged the government and the security agencies, saying: “The bloodletting could have been avoided if our political leaders and the heads of security agencies are alive to their responsibilities.

This is why CAN has been consistently calling on them to live up to the billings. What is happening in the North Central of the country is a shame. It is wicked and ungodly. It is high time we stopped it before we are thrown into another needless civil war.”

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