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CAN to Elders Forum: Your stand on our visit to Buhari baseless

FOLLOWING the outburst by the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) over the visit of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN ), to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Christians’ umbrella body says it has no business with the NCEF.

“We visited Buhari as a constituted body, not a political party, neither do we share political interest as an association,” said CAN’s Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Samuel Kwamkur while reacting to the NCEF attack.

He described the development as baseless in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday even as he maintained that leadership of CAN visited the president because he was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The NCEF on Monday had described the visit of CAN leaders to president Buhari as evidence that the Christian Association has unholy ties with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The NCEF has had a long-standing dispute with the CAN, which resulted in the Christian association denouncing the forum and severing ties with it last December.

In its statement on Monday, NCEF accused CAN of partisan politics. It said CAN was treading a path that would destroy the future of Christianity in Nigeria.

But reacting to the NCEF statement, Kwamkur said the forum which has been disbanded by the leadership of CAN almost a year ago has no right to fault the decision of CAN.
He said it was right for CAN to visit and congratulate president Buhari who has been declared the winner of the just concluded 2019 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“I was part of the delegation of CAN, it is getting to one year now since CAN disassociated itself from the activities of the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF),” he said.
He added that the decision to visit the president was not supposed to be with the Forum’s knowledge since its members were no longer part of CAN.
“CAN has disbanded NCEF and they have no reason to join issues with CAN. If CAN is going right they will go left. CAN has no business with the elders’ forum on this matter,” Kwamkur said.
“Most of the leaders of CAN were in that team who went to see President Muhammadu Buhari. The five blocs constituting CAN was fully represented by the leaders of the blocs.”
He explained that the Catholic Secretariat was represented by the Secretary of the body alongside other respected leaders from the bloc as against the falsehood that Catholic was not part of the visit.
According to him, CAN works with the authority that be, and “if INEC is the constituted authority with the mandate to conduct elections and declare the winner what reasons do we have to say ‘no’ to it? It means we are been partisan if we go against the decision of INEC.”
Kwamkur further stated that Christians were advised to respect authorities arguing that the bible did not say respect the leaders that love you or behave well to you.
“There is no condition to that admonition in the bible. There is nothing wrong with the opposition going to court. In fact, we appreciate the moves to avoid crisis after the election,” he said.
“If the court later decided in favour of the opposition, CAN will also go and congratulate the person again. We have also taken the decision to see the opposition and share with them to encourage the rightful moves.”
“I do not see why we should be fighting over this. We have been confronting this administration with the truth. How can the elders’ forum want to summon the CAN president and direct him on what to do? It is not proper.”

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