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Catholic Church pulls out of CAN for being “run as part of the government”
The Administrator of Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Monsignor Christopher Ajala, has explained why the Catholic Church made the decision to pull out of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), claiming that it the organisation was now too close to government.
Ajala was speaking at a press conference in Abeokuta, which was organised to mark the 15th anniversary of the diocese and pointed out that CAN, under the leadership of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, was now moving in a different direction from its laid down objectives.
“The Catholic Church took their stand before the purchase or the aircraft was donated to him. But what the Catholic Bishops Conference is complaining about is about the way they are running the national CAN now that is not meeting the objectives and the goals of CAN and the forefathers of CAN,” he said.
“CAN is now being run as part of the government and we said no. Because they (government) will dictate to us what to do and they will not take our advice seriously. The Catholic Church decided to withdraw from the activities of CAN at national level; we are still part of the state. We made our stand clear in November, last year, and by December, the man bought a jet. I don’t know how he got it but the president was there on that day the jet was delivered to him.
“So, what we are saying is that our religious leaders should be honest, upright and they should also be the conscience of this nation. If you are bought, the masses of this country are finished. If you can use money to buy our religious leaders, then there is no hope for the common man. That is the Catholic Church’s stand. We are supposed to speak for the people to correct the wrongs in the society and assist every government to know the will of God for them and we still stand by that.”
He also warned Nigerians against voting in someone from the North as president in 2015, stating clearly, that it will not solve the Boko Haram conundrum.
“You mentioned that if a Northern president is elected that this will stop, I doubt it. It is very clear now that it’s not the northern leaders that are responsible. If an Emir could be attacked, the Sultan also could be attacked. So, it’s not just a northern leader leading us; that’s not the issue. This group has its own objectives and we should be united in fighting them. Northerners and southerners should be united in fighting this evil.”