‘Our diversities will be harnessed to bring Nigerians together’
•As OAIC Hosts CAN President In Lagos
Members of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), Nigerian Region, a bloc in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), recently organised a reception dinner at the Raddison Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, for the newly elected CAN President, His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr.) Daniel Chukwudumebi Okoh, who assumed office in July this year.
Briefing guests, the chairman of the occasion, Baba Aladura Dr. Israel Akinadewo recalled that since CAN’s inception, OAIC as a bloc has never produced a president until now, adding that OAIC is grateful for the emergence of His Grace, Most Rev. Daniel Chukwudumebi Okoh, as CAN President and it is for this reason that its members came together to thank God for answering their prayers.
OAIC Regional President, His Eminence, Elder Dr. Napo Emuchay, described the CAN president as a resourceful and a versatile person, adding that he is a man who exercises verve and tenacity of purpose in his engagements and for this reason, OAIC believes his tenure would enable CAN to experience laudable achievements in different areas of life.
Emuchay urged the new CAN president to return Nigerian Christians to the apostolic age when Christians were truly unified for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ, saying the new CAN President should look for way to check the infiltration of materialism into the church, which according to him, is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ. He called on CAN leadership to champion the re-engineering and re-direction of the Christian fold to the true gospel.
Okoh thank God and also appreciated those who contributed to his emergence as CAN President. Okoh appreciated the efforts of people like the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa among others, who he said championed the growth and increase of CAN membership aside the birth of blocs in CAN, saying there is no rancour and bitterness in CAN as people think.
He said: “There is no bloc in CAN that said no to the candidacy of Okoh emerging as president. It tells that we are ready to move together, speak with one voice and to act together. What this means is that our people have realised that for us to be able to face our common challenges we must come together and I have not taken this for granted.
“I cannot do the job of CAN president alone, I need your support because together we are stronger, will make more impact and be more relevant and powerful. CAN will not stand alone, no matter how big we are, we must find a way to engage people from other religions because we live in an entity called Nigeria. We don’t have a choice other than to find a way to live together.”
“We have fought our battles in the past and we have not been able to look at the beauty of our diversities, but now we have an advantage to harness the beauty of our diversities and, so, Christians and other religious leaders must try to as much as possible in their teachings and sermons to say things that will bring Nigerians together.
“My responsibility as the leader of all Christians in Nigeria is not to say things that will divide the country. If that is the reason people think that I am here they are making a mistake. I am not saying that we should give up our faith… however, we are not going to compromise our stand. By engaging we maintain the dignity of the association. If there is anybody who thinks that CAN will soon break up, we will not break up, rather, we will become stronger and better when we speak with one voice. CAN has done well.”
Dignitaries that attended the event included the former Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Sunday Ola Makinde; Baba Aladura, Prophet Solomon Alao and wife; CAN chairman, Lagos State, Dr. Stephen Adegbite; and Vice-president, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN, South West Zone), Archbishop John Osa-Oni; Senator (Mrs.) Oluremi Tinubu; Muslim Clerics; Elder Biodun Sanyaolu; Vice Presidential Candidate, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Dr. Isaac Idahosa; representative of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Akin John; and Deputy Baba Aladura, Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren, among others.