NCEF regrets the constant contention and strife that define the current Administration of CAN. It is very disturbing that Christ-like leadership is not demonstrated in the Church.

Already, NCEF has passed a resolution not to have anything to do anymore with the present CAN Administration due to its character of strife and discord. However, to prevent Christians from being led astray, the Forum is compelled to respond as follows:

Our attention was drawn to a Press Statement by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to the current President of CAN, purportedly claiming that CAN has dissolved the National Christian Elders Forum. We urge Christians to disregard this statement as it is not based on truth. NCEF had, on 26th November, 2018, responded to a similar letter written by Mr. Joseph Daramola, the Acting General Secretary of CAN, on the same issue and made it clear that CAN did not establish NCEF and therefore, has no authority to dissolve it.

The following facts should be noted:

  • NCEF was birthed by Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN). On Tuesday 30th December, 2014, three members of CSMN, Mr. Solomon Asemota, SAN, Col. Ken Emechebe (Rtd) and Pastor Bosun Emmanuel travelled to Warri to meet the former President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, and informed him about the intention of CSMN to establish a body of Christian Elders to intervene for the Church. The group also requested him to inaugurate the body to promote Church Unity. NCEF started working closely with CAN as a mediatory, advisory, reconciliatory and enlightening body in order to strengthen the Church.
  • CAN Trust Fund was established by CAN and its bank account was opened in the name of CAN. The National Christian Elders Forum was established by CSMN. The bank account operated by the NCEF is in the name of CSMN and NOT in the name of CAN.
  • There is nothing wrong for any Christian body inviting the President of CAN to inaugurate any of its arms and its leaders. CSMN is an independent and duly registered body that sought to strengthen Church Unity by projecting CAN. Therefore, inauguration of NCEF by the former President of CAN does not confer its ownership on CAN.
  • NCEF is currently focused on guiding Christians to establish a functional and effective political unity so that Christian votes will no longer be used against Christians. On Friday 30th November, 2018, NCEF held a very useful and promising meeting with New Presidential Candidates towards presenting a “righteous” President for the country in 2019. Significant number of the New Presidential Candidates attended the meeting and useful resolutions were adopted. This is what is important to NCEF.
  • On May 6 and 7, 2018, the President of CAN deliberately frustrated the meeting summoned by NCEF to build Christian political consensus. On August 13 and 14, 2018, the CAN leadership also frustrated the efforts of CSMN to mobilize funding for the purpose of building Christian political structures. The current action of CAN to discredit NCEF gives the impression of attempts to thwart the efforts of the Christian Elders at supporting Christian Presidential candidates to arrive at consensus in order to harmonize Christian votes. Christians are called to note those who are protecting their interest and those who working against it.
  • As NCEF has repeatedly stated, the actions of Dr. Ayokunle, the President of CAN, constitute stealth jihad and portrays him as collaborator with Islamists. Repeatedly, NCEF asks, “on whose side is Dr. Ayokunle?” This latest unwarranted manipulation of NEC to extract another fake resolution is targeted at ensuring Christians do not unite to build a formidable “third force” to challenge the two Muslim candidates. This pattern of frustrating NCEF’s efforts at strengthening Christianity to resist the Islamists is in the character of Rev. Dr. Ayokunle.
    Recently, NCEF summed up three topical actions/inactions of Dr. Ayokunle against Nigerian Christians:
    Refusal to implement the Strategy Document of CAN which was prepared by NCEF and approved by his predecessor and NEC in 2015. It was handed over to him by NCEF on 2nd August 2016. Because CAN is not implementing a coordinated plan of action, Christianity is growing weaker while Islamism is waxing stronger.
    2. Deliberate frustration of the CAN Trust Fund which was set up to raise N5 billion monthly to fund Christian structures and support persecuted Christians. Dr. Ayokunle has frustrated it to the point it has become moribund. Even a cheque for N7 million issued by CAN Trust Fund on 12th April, 2018 to purchase food for Christian IDPs in seven states has lapsed in the National Secretariat of CAN after six months. Dr. Ayokunle, the President of CAN, frustrated the release of the money to feed Christian IDPs.
    3. Deliberate frustration of Christian political consensus. As mentioned above, on May 6 and 7, 2018, and on August 13 and 14, 2018, Dr. Ayokunle, the President of CAN frustrated the plans to build Christian political consensus. This latest illegal action of dissolving NCEF is calculated to divide Christians so that they will not speak with one voice concerning 2019 elections. Nigerian Christians have become victims of stealth jihad while their leaders are agents of stealth jihad.
  • The National Christian Elders Forum is saddened and disturbed by the recurring strife and contention in CAN. Never in the history of Christianity in Nigeria has the Church been so ridiculed and brought to public opprobrium. The Word of God states, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecc. 8: 11 From the moment CAN failed to act on the report of the General Zamani Lekwot’s Committee (July 2017) and the Hon. Justice James Ogebe’s Committee (Retired Supreme Court Justice) in Dec. 2017, the present crisis in CAN became inevitable. NCEF made some of its reports, including a photograph, public (May 2018) with the hope that Christians would read and act conscientiously and demand a thorough independent investigation in CAN with a view to resolving the crisis. Christians, as followers of Christ, should have demanded truth and justice from Church leaders and thereby set a standard of probity and accountability, in the Church and in the country, irrespective of whose ox is gored. Unfortunately this was not done. The Nigerian Church lost a wonderful opportunity to show God it can be depended upon to defend truth and righteousness. The consequence is what Nigerian Christians are seeing unfold: those supposed to have been punished for crimes against the Church/State are emboldened to act with impunity and lawlessness against truth and righteousness in the Church. Our prayer is that it would not get worse before Nigerian Christians act like Christians should.

Thank you.

For, and on behalf of NCEF,

Bosun Emmanuel