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CAN shifts election to June, as TEKAN/ ECWA fails to submit candidate

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Due to the inability of the TEKAN/ ECWA bloc of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to submit its candidate for the forthcoming presidential election, the association has shifted the election from May 19 to June 15, 2016.

CAN Secretariat had given March 31, 2016, as the deadline for all the blocs to submit the names of their nominees, but up till now, the TEKAN/ ECWA bloc has not submitted its candidate for the election due to alleged internal crisis.

It would be recalled that on March 21, 2016, the head of the TEKAN/ECWA Church group, Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Dziggau and his vice chairman Rev. Iliya Anto and Rev. Yakubu Dzarma (rtd) were kidnapped along Kaduna-Abuja road and there are insinuations in some quarters that their kidnap was not unconnected to the forthcoming election.

CAN, which is the umbrella body of Christians in the country, is made up of five blocs and they include: Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), the

Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (CPFN)/ Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) and the TEKAN/ ECWA bloc.

A major source from one of the blocs that does not want to be mentioned told The Guardian that the decision to shift the election was taken after the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the association on Monday, in Abuja, just to enable the bloc to sort themselves out and come up with a candidate.

The source disclosed that an initial date of June 22 was agreed at the NEC meeting, but due to conflicting programmes, the date was changed to14-15th June, 2016.

According to the source, the electoral panel would meet on June 14, 2016, for constitutional review, while the presidential election will hold on June 15, 2016.

The 15-member Electoral College would screen all those vying for the position, vote within themselves and then send the names of the first two candidates to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the association for ratification.

The source told The Guardian that the OAIC bloc has Prof. Joseph Otubu, who is the General Evangelist of the Motailatu Cherubim and Seraphim Church Worldwide (MCSCW) as its candidate, while the CCN presented Rev. Supo Ayo-kunle, outgoing CAN Vice President, who is the head of Baptist Churches in Nigeria as its candidate.

When The Guardian sought to know whether the Catholic Church is still part of CAN and why the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) did not present any candidate for the election, the source stated that the Catholic Church is still part of CAN, adding that the current Assistant Secretary General of CAN is from the Catholic Church and that three out of the fifteen members of the electoral college are from the bloc.

The source, however, stated that it is not mandatory that all the five blocks must have a candidate, adding that the PFN bloc could not present a candidate because the outgoing president is from that bloc.


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