The Catholic Church has announced its return to the Christian Association of Nigeria after about five years of dissociating itself from the body.
The return process was concluded on Thursday and Friday in Abuja when a delegation of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, led by Rev. Fr. (Prof.) Cornelius Omonokhua, attended the expanded National Executive Committee and quarterly meeting of CAN for the
amendment of its constitution.
CAN President Samson Ayokunle was excited about the return.
“Their return is one of the best things that have happened since I was given the mandate to become the President of CAN,” he said in a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Assistant, Media & Communications, Adebayo Oladeji.
“One of my visions for CAN is to bring our Catholic brothers and sisters back to the fold and I must acknowledge the support and understanding of my brother in Christ, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria and his team.”
He noted the church must not be at war with itself at a time like this when Christians are almost becoming endangered species in Nigeria.
According to him, churches are being denied Certificates of Occupancy, especially in the core North, when Christians are being denied key public .
CAN’s Director of Legal Issues, Kwankur Samuel, said the organisation is already working on the new constitution.
The CAN Chairman (North Central Zone), Rev Dr Israel Akanji, said the Body of Christ in Nigeria is now one, virile and strong.
“We can now speak with one voice. With their return, CAN is even now stronger and greater. We have learnt one lesson or two from the challenges that led to their withdrawal. Never again will any of the blocs withdraw its membership,” he stated.
The CBCN withdrew from the 42-year-old Christian body in 2012.
The group comprises the Christian Council of Nigeria; Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria; Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Christian Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria; Organisation of African Instituted Churches, Tarayar Ekklesiyoyin Kristi a Nigeria and The Fellowship of the Churches of Christ in Nigeria/Evangelical Church of Winning All.