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Osinbajo, Obasanjo, Dogara, Okorocha, others bag awards at CAN’s 45th anniversary

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THE Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has given an award of excellence to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at its 45th anniversary on Saturday.

Others who bagged various awards were: former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara.

The CAN also gave awards to several state governors, faith leaders, including its past presidents and general secretaries.

Muslim Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved the lives of over 200 Christians during an attack in Barkin Ladi Plateau State in 2018, was also given an award at the event.

Speaking during the event, Osibanjo called on religious leaders and various groups to always preach fairness and equity relentlessly among their followers.

According to a statement by his Media and Publicity Assistant Laolu Akande on Sunday, the vice president also enjoined leaders to use their positions and privileges to advocate for freedom of worship, justice, and the rule of law.

He noted that fairness, equity and respect for the rights of others were fundamental to peace and security in the country.

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“We must continue to let the important truth be known that Christ did not come to establish a religion or to condemn men, but to show all men that his own righteousness, not our righteousness or performance, is the qualification for eternal life,” he said.

“That the gospel commands consideration for the views of others, treating them as we would wish to be treated; non-violent communication, that our words must be words of grace seasoned with salt.

“We must, as an organisation and as individuals, remain constant and relentless advocates of freedom of worship, respect for human rights, fairness, justice and the rule of law.”

He noted that CAN had not only been continually faithful to its founding vision but had also become a veritable force for peace, unity and social justice.

The vice president stated that the current and past leadership of CAN had acted in full realisation and recognition of their roles as pivotal stakeholders alongside the government and the private sector in nation-building.

Osinbajo praised CAN President Supo Ayokunle and his team for the enormous work they were doing to promote peace across the country.

“We are proud of the role of the moral compass of society and interlocutor for peace among the different faiths that CAN has played and continues to play in our nation.”

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“I am aware of your collaboration with the leadership of the Islamic and other faiths, to reconcile where there are conflicts, to pacify where there has been the offence, and to reprimand where there have been misdeeds. Well, done, and congratulations,” he said.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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