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Onaiyekan, Mbang want to scuttle CAN's Ayokunle's inauguration, alleges group

Christ Redeemers Union (CRU), a Christian group, have raised the alarm that two ex-Presidents of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), have formed a powerful bloc to frustrate the inauguration of  President-Elect, Dr. Supo Samson Ayokunle scheduled for July 20.

The organisation alleged that a former President of CAN and Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has summoned some Christian leaders including the outgoing President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor to a meeting.

The meeting has been scheduled for Thursday July 7 at the residence of another former President of CAN and ex-Primate of the Methodist Church, Sunday Mbang in Akwa Ibom State.

A statement issued by the National Director of CRU, Dr. Ebenezer Olusola Abednego, in Abuja, described the meeting as illegal.

While describing the purported meeting in Mbang's house as illegal, Olusola, warned that the CRU would resist any plot to scuttle the inauguration of Ayokunle and "create confusion in the body of Christ."

He said, "We have been informed that the meeting was at the instance of Cardinal Onaiyekan who is from the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria block, who was defeated by outgoing CAN President, Oritsejafor. 

“The aim of the meeting is to frustrate the inauguration of the newly elected President of CAN, Ayokunle and Prof. Joseph Otubu. 

"This same ex-President of CAN had earlier expressed his disdain and had sworn that no member of Pentecostals and white garment churches would be President of CAN. 

“For us in CRU, the meeting is laced with serious mischief and we see it as a plot and Bobby trap to cause crisis in the body of Christ and disallow the incumbent from finishing his tenure successfully. 

"The Akwa Ibom meeting has no name, and is unconstitutional in CAN. Will Nigerian Christians allow this aggrieved ex-President of CAN to usurp the authority of CAN NEC which had validly and constitutionally elected a successor to Oritsejafor."

Efforts by our correspondent to confirm from Oritsejafor if he had any knowledge of the meting were not successful and his lines were completely switched off.

Ayokunle, President of Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), contested under the platform of Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), while his Vice President-Elect, Prof. Joseph Otubu of the Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Movement, contested under the umbrella of Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC).

The new leadership of CAN would be inaugurated on July 20 during the forthcoming General Assembly of CAN Abuja to be presided by Oritsejafor who is Founder of the Word of Life Bible Church.

When contacted on the allegation, Onaiyekan confirmed the meeting but warned that it was not for public consumption.

He said, "Who told you about the meeting? I know you are a journalist, but just know that the meeting is not supposed to be given any publicity."

When asked to shed more information on the meeting and respond to the allegation that it was to scuttle the inauguration of Ayokunle he said he had nothing else to say. 

"I said I'm not ready to comment on that meeting. I have no information about whatever is happening now in CAN. 

“You know that if there is anything I wish to share with you, I will not hesitate. By God's grace, when it is time, I will speak with you", he stated.

In his reaction, a former President of CAN in whose house the meeting has been scheduled, Sunday Mbang, was harsh in his response.

He said, "I don't understand what you are saying, the issue you are raising has nothing to do with us. 

“I repeat, it has nothing to do with us. The election, suspension and all others, we are not concerned. 

“We are not party to it; have you heard me? Please ask me no further question. 

“Full stop, thank you."

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