Opinion/Feature | 24 January 2013 12:32 CET

"Why Catholic Church Pulled Out of CAN" - Msgr Chris Ajala

By Agency Reporter

"Why Catholic Church Pulled Out of CAN" - Msgr Chris Ajala

Monsignor Christopher Ajala, Administrator of Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, has highlighted the reason the Catholic Church suspended its activities in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), national body.

Speaking at a press conference to mark the 15th anniversary of the diocese in Abeokuta yesterday, Ajala declared that the Christian umbrella body was too close to government.

He alleged that the Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor-led CAN had derailed from the objectives of the body, adding that the Catholic Bishops Conference was not comfortable with the development, hence its decision to pull out.

His words: “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.

“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.”

Ajala equally warned that the emergence of a Northern president in the 2015 general election may not be the ultimate solution to the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

“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.”

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