Daily Trust (Abuja)

18 November 2012

Nigeria: Why Southern CAN Was Formed - Anglican Bishop

Contrary to claims that there is division, the 17 Southern States Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) block founded in February this year is for unity of Nigerian Christians.

Rt Rev (Dr) Emmanuel Chukwuma, Anglican Bishop of Enugu and CAN chairman South-east told our reporter in Abuja recently that southern CAN was formed for "nearness, collaboration and togetherness."

He said it is "to be able to identify the problems of the southerners because we found that with the collaboration of the southerners, we'll be able to face other problems facing our brothers in the north or in the west."

He explained, "So when we talk about southern CAN, it is to bring about the unity of the people and togetherness to be able to identify the problems of the southerners.

"With the solidarity of the southerners, we'll be able to face problems facing our brothers in the north or in the west.

"We found out that Nigeria is polarised so it is the authority of the general CAN that there should be southern CAN and I don't think there is confusion about it.

"It is all for the glory of God and for the efficiency of the Christian race in Nigeria."

Southern CAN was founded by CAN chairmen and secretaries of states in the southern part of Nigeria.

The Primate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Nicholas Okoh is the chairman of the southern CAN.

When contacted, CAN national secretary, Rev (Dr) Musa Asake acknowledged that the 17 Southern States CAN is a new formation.

He maintained that the group was founded to help northern group. "We want to cry together. We have the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we have Northern Governors Forum, we have Southern Governors Forum. Are they against each other? Things are peculiar to the different regions. We have to educate each other. We're not divided, we're united," Asake expressed.

Though formed since last February not much has been heard about it until late last month when it issued a communiqué in Abuja after deliberating on the state of the nation.

In the communiqué, President Goodluck Jonathan was asked to take drastic measures to curtail the Boko Haram uprising.

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