The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) is a Group of Christian Elders from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Average age in the Forum is 70 years and the members have served Nigeria in various high ranking capacities before and after Independence. The Christian Elders have only one passion and that is to preserve Christianity and leave behind a better Nigeria for coming generations.
At various times and with varying degrees of intensity, the NCEF has had cause to remonstrate with the current leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on acts that are unbecoming of servants of Christ. The NCEF has found the current leadership of CAN unwilling to accept Godly counsel and unbelievably economical with the truth.
The Christian Elders regret having to raise these issues once again particularly considering the various serious challenges facing the Church and the need to forge a common front to engage issues in a crucial election year that is around the corner. However, it is a painful reality that if the Church does not put its house in order, greater evil shall befall Christians and Nigerians.
In recent times, there have been subtle attempts to seep into the consciousness of Christians two disturbing issues that portend grave danger to Christianity in Nigeria. These are:
- That the petitions of the Vice President of CAN, Prof. Joseph Otubu, against Rev. Dr. Ayokunle, have been investigated and are found to be false and lacking merit.
- That the Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund have been dissolved and a new Coordinator and new Trustees have been appointed.
Both assertions are not only false but they are illegal.
The attempt to manipulate the National Executive Committee (NEC) of CAN, by Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, the current President of CAN is not only sad but also criminal. For now, the NCEF has persuaded Prof. Otubu and Pastor Bosun not to challenge these acts of criminality using legal instruments of the State. The NCEF, in compliance with the Scriptures, will do everything possible to get Christian intervention to resolve the crisis caused in the Church through the recklessness and impunity of some CAN Officials.
Once again, the National Christian Elders Forum is compelled to protest the recklessness and stubbornness of Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, the current President of CAN. The recurring decimal since this man became the President of CAN has been strife, discord and contention at the highest level of Christianity in Nigeria. The NCEF is persuaded that worse than Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen is the tenure of Rev. Dr. Ayokunle as the President of CAN. While the religious insurgents attack the Church from without, from within Dr. Ayokunle undermines and weakens Christianity. Repeatedly the NCEF has asked, “on whose side is Dr. Ayokunle?” His actions, and glaring inactions, since becoming the President of CAN, are questionable. There is no man of good conscience who will know, and yet, condone the leadership style of Dr. Ayokunle.
The NCEF equally finds very disturbing the ease with which some Christian leaders appear willing to compromise truth and righteousness due to financial inducement. If not for such compromise, there is no way that Rev. Ayokunle would have been able to come this far in engaging in acts of illegality in the Body of Christ. One of the greatest crises of the Nigerian Church is that we have a generation of Church leaders who believe they are not accountable to anyone.
The NCEF also decries the activities of Christians in Government who use their office to weaken the interests of Christianity to further their political ambition. It is these Christians in Government who act as conduit pipe for the release of filthy lucre to compromise greedy and covetous “men of God”. Rather than use their office to promote their faith, they use it against Christ and His Church for political interests.
The Christian Elders are resolved to do everything possible to ensure that the truth prevails because righteousness exalts while sin brings reproach. If evil should be permitted to thrive in the Church, the consequence on Christianity in Nigeria shall be disastrous. Already, we are reaping the consequences of compromises made in the past. Rather than learn from the errors of the past, the current leaders of CAN seem determined to destroy Christianity in Nigeria.
Christians are urged to note that the purported investigation of the petitions of Prof. Otubu is fake. It is an embarrassing attempt to sweep the truth under the carpet. In the same vein, the so-called dissolution of the Trustees of the CAN Trust Fund and appointment of new Coordinator are manipulations aimed at frustrating the goal of making CAN financially independent to serve the interest of Christianity. It is an act of illegality that will not stand. It is unfortunate that NEC permitted itself to be dragged into such unhealthy intrigues in the Church.
Please do not relent in prayers. Outside are terrors while inside the Church there is treachery. As Christians, we must tremble at the Word of God and lay every warning that God has issued to heart. We cannot afford to be slack in enforcing truth and righteousness in the Church. Our survival depends on it.
God bless the Nigerian Church.
Solomon Asemota, SAN