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“The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) rejects out rightly the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 that was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari recently,” said Samson Ayokunle, CAN President in a statement.
“By implications, he has repealed the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 (1). The law, to say the least is unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode.”
Ayokunle who reacted in the statement issued in Abuja by Adebayo Oladeji, his Special Assistant, Media and Communication, described section 839 (1) and (2) of the Act, that grants powers to the supervising minister to suspend trustees and appoint interim managers of associations like civil society organizations and churches as satanic and unacceptable.
“The satanic section of the controversial and ungodly law is Section 839 (1) &(2) which empowers the Commission to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons.”
He stated that while CAN was not against government efforts to fight corruption, it would not accept any disguise by the government to exercise control over the church because of the church’s spiritual roles and responsibilities.
“This is why we are calling on the Federal government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it,” the CAN president said.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently return the law to the National Assembly for immediate amendment. Nigeria should not be compared with any other nation when it comes to the relationship between the religious institutions and the government. In Nigeria, people’s religions are tied to their humanity and of course, their life.”
Ayokunle argued that if the government is bent on imposing a law on religion organisations which according to him the entire Church in Nigeria is against, then, “they have declared war on Christianity and the agenda to destroy the Church….”
“If you cannot give us good amenities of life, we would not allow you to take away our liberty to worship our Maker,” he added.
The new Company Allied Matters Acts 2020 which is designed for the ease of doing business in the country has generated a lot of controversy and condemnation since it was signed by President Buhari on August 7.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has described the law as the most repressive law in Nigeria’s history, saying it will be used to further suppress citizens’ rights.
The accountability organisation vowed to challenge its illegality in court.