Daily Trust (Abuja)

25 January 2013

Nigeria: 'Power Tussle Behind Catholics Withdrawal From CAN'

Photo: Wikipedia
St Peter's Basilica, Rome.

Catholic Church's pull out of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is because the Catholics lost CAN Presidency to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.

Spokesman for the 19 Northern states of CAN and Abuja, Mr. Sunny Oibe, said Wednesday night in an interview with journalists in Abuja.

Oibe said, "There is no division in CAN and we are all speaking with one language. There are some certain elements in the leadership of PFN led by Cardinal John Onaiyekan because he lost PFN Presidency to Oritsejafor who has a lot of achievements.

"There is no need for anybody to lose sleep over the threat by Catholics to pull out of CAN because without them, CAN will still continue. The constitution of CAN makes provision that membership can be terminated by any group that is misbehaving or any group can also terminate their membership.

"Why is it that when Catholics were in the leadership of CAN, every bloc supported them but now because power has changed hands, they are threatening to pull out and causing confusion?.

"Catholics have accused the current CAN leadership led by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of being pro-government. But if you look at the whole scenario, you will be able to find out who between Oritsejafor and Onaiyekan is more close to government.

"The problem with Catholics is that they always display arrogance of knowledge. They don't want to be under anybody but they want everybody to be under them. It doesn't work like that because there is no seniority in CAN."

Administrator of the Catholic Diocese in Abeokuta, Monsignor Christopher Ajala, announced the group's decision to pull out of CAN Wednesday because of differences on how to run the organisation.

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