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What is CAN?Christian Association of Nigeria is the umbrella body of all Christians and Christian institutions in Nigeria. The Christian Association was started in 1964 in the North by Late Ambassador Jolly Tanko Yusuf. When he noticed the aggressive moves of the Sardauna of Sokoto, the late Ahmadu Bello in propagating Islam, Ambassador Jolly Tanko in the company of other Christian leaders initiated the Northern Christian Association to promote and protect Christians.
The Christians in the southern parts of the country did not see any need to come together until August 1976 when General Olusegun Obasanjo, as the then Military Head of State, summoned a meeting of leaders of Christian and Islamic religion for a meeting at the Dodan Barracks in Lagos. Obasanjo delegated the late Shehu Yar’adua to conduct the meeting which was to inform the religious leaders of the intention of the Federal Military Government to introduce recitation of National Pledge in schools. When the meeting was going to commence, Yar’adua called a Muslim cleric to say the opening prayer. When the meeting ended, Yar’adua called another Muslim Cleric to say the closing prayer. At this point, the Christian leaders protested and Yar’adua’s excuse was he did not know which Christian leader that he would call to pray and the others would not disagree.
At this point, it dawned on the Church leaders that they had a serious problem and immediately the meeting ended, they headed for the nearest Christian installation from Dodan Barracks which happened to be the Catholic Secretariat. That same day, the Christian Association of Nigeria was formed and Cardinal Dominic Ekandem was appointed as the first president of CAN.
The primary objective of CAN is “That they all may be one” John 17: 21. CAN was set up to forge unity in the Nigerian Church and to promote and protect Nigerian Christians, wherever they may be.
Who is a Member of CAN?Every Nigerian Christian Church, duly recognized by the National Executive Committee of CAN as a legitimate Christian assembly, and by extension all the members of that assembly, are all members of CAN.
Why Are We Being Asked To Donate Money To CAN?Every Association is meant to be self funding. Regrettably, the amount of money agreed by the Blocs of CAN to fund the Association is grossly insufficient.
The Nigerian Church is organized into five Blocs as follows (in alphabetic order):
Every Nigerian Christian belongs to one of these five Blocs.
Presently, the Nigerian Church is facing serious attacks by Islamists and it is clear that there are pre-meditated intentions to wipe out Christianity in the nation. Of course, the Muslims will deny this, and unfortunately, politically correct Christians would also refute it. However, the murderous escapades of Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen, and deliberate acts of discrimination against Christians in the nation, noticeable from the unfortunate Civil Service purge of General Murtala Mohammed in 1975 are confirmation that Christianity in Nigeria is under serious attack. Since it is impossible to prosecute a war on an empty treasury, the Nigerian Church has to raise funds to establish structures and institutions that would ensure that Christianity in Nigeria does not go the way of Christianity in Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Turkey, and other Christian nations that have been violently Islamized.
Therefore, it is our responsibility to “contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.” Jude 3.
Every Nigerian Christian is obliged to make a monthly token contribution to support CAN. That program is called I C.A.N. SUPPORT. The standard monthly contribution is N500 but Christians are at liberty to donate more or less.
Who Approved “I C.A.N. Support”?The program was approved and established by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of CAN on 9th July, 2014 in Makurdi, Benue State.
The National Executive Committee of CAN is made up of:
a. All the National Executives of CAN (President, Vice-President, General Secretary, etc)
b. Leaders of the 5 Blocs of CAN
c. All the 6 Zonal Chairmen of CAN
d. All the 36 States Chairmen + FCT
e. Women’s Wing of CAN (WOWICAN)
f. Youth Wing of CAN (YOWICAN)
Therefore, no Church leader could query the emergence of the CAN Trust Fund.
Why Can’t Churches Fund CAN?That would have been the ideal situation.
However, we should agree that the Nigerian Church is also evolving. For now, it is easier to talk to Christians as individuals.
The ideal situation would have been to practice what is in the Bible. When the Levites collect tithe, they give 10% of what they collect to the High Priest.
For now, it shall be most appreciated if the Church leaders would simply announce the I C.A.N. SUPPORT program in Churches since it was established by the National Executive Committee of C.A.N.
This initiative appeals to Christians as individuals. As individuals, we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
What Will The Money Be Used For?First, there is the need to rebuild critical Christian infrastructure in the North. It was reported by Arne Mulder in a 158 page Report on The Impact of Persistent Violence on the Church in Northern Nigeria that over 13,000 Church buildings have been destroyed in northern Nigeria by Islamic insurgents. Christian schools and hospitals have also been affected. The Nigerian Church needs to join hands to rebuild these Christian structures. If they are not rebuilt, Christianity would be permanently eradicated in those areas.
The Nigerian Church has to reinforce Christianity in the Middle Belt as well as in North East. It would negatively impact Christianity in the entire country if the Church is wiped out in those areas.
The National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) has developed a strategy document for the Nigerian Church. Funding is required to implement it.
We live in an information age and the Church needs to establish a viable information platform to tell its story to the world as well as expose the manipulations of the Islamists. For example, information was manipulated against the Church and the pattern should not be repeated.
Christian victims of the Islamic insurgency require help. Our brethren have been devastated and for some, all their means of livelihood have been destroyed. God expects us to help them.
We need to coordinate a gospel penetration program for northern Nigeria which will enable the gospel to remain rooted in the region. This cannot be done by an individual denomination.
24/7 prayers are required for Nigeria.
CAN offices nationwide should be strengthened for greater effectiveness.
Who Is Going To Manage The Money?To ensure transparency and accountability, the CAN Trust Fund has a board of Trustees made up as follows:
The President of CAN - Chairman
Heads of the 5 Blocs of CAN - Members
5 Laity Trustees - Members
General Secretary of CAN - Member
Coordinator of Trust Fund - Secretary
How Am I Sure It Will Not Be Embezzled?That is why adequate care was taken to ensure that the Laity Trustees are reputable men and women of integrity. While the Church leaders would exercise oversight functions over the funds, the Laity Trustees would be the managers. They would ensure that money is only disbursed when necessary and whatever is disbursed would be accounted for.
The Laity Trustees are like you, members of the Church, they would ensure that your contribution is judiciously managed.
Would We Get A Report Of How The Money Is Spent?It is part of the plans to provide statement of account online for donors to have regular report of the funds.
Who Are The Signatories To The Account?All the contributions shall go into designated accounts of which 5 signatories have been appointed by the Trustees. So far, accounts have been opened in GTBank and Zenith Bank. Arrangements would also be made to open more bank accounts for the ease of donors.
The Chairman of the Trustees - Signatory A
Head of TEKAN/ECWA Bloc - Signatory A (To be rotated amongst the Blocs)
Justice K. Anigbogu - Signatory B
Dame Priscilla Kuye - Signatory B
Secretary of Trustees - Signatory B
The mandate is A + B
All disbursements are to be authorized by the Trustees before payment would be made.
The Honorary Treasurer of the Funds is Mr. Tunde Lemo, the ex-Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He would also arrange for regular auditing of the Funds.
Anyway, The Only Thing They Do In Can Is To Play Politics
What do they do in most denominations? Where is the term “church politics” most commonly used? In CAN or in the denominations?
It is those who specialize in playing politics in denominations and ministries that carried their “church politics” into CAN. The only reason that of CAN is pronounced is because everyone sees CAN, but not everyone sees the denominations.
Let us talk to Christians to stop taking politics into CAN from their denominations and ministries.
I Was Not Happy That Can Was Not Neutral During The Last Elections
Nobody was neutral during the last elections.
Was the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs neutral? Were the Emirs, Sheiks and the Sultan neutral?
Individuals and organizations defined their interests and identified the parties that could best protect those interests.
Is It Only In The North That The Money Would Be Spent?
Money is being raised to strengthen and sustain Christianity nationwide. Even though the bulk of the devastation is in the North East and Middle Belt, there have been incursions by the Islamists into the South also, particularly in the South East.
Who Should Donate?
Every Christian is expected to participate.
Families are at liberty to donate on behalf of the children.
Is There Any Limit To The Donation?
There is no limit. While the standard donation is N500, Christians can donate more or less. What is important that we maintain monthly donation, except of course, we choose to pay for one year in advance.
How Can One Donate?
Set up a Standing Order in the Bank for monthly transfer.
Donate quarterly or annually, as one is able.
Donate through Mobile Phone: We are working on a platform that would enable donors to donate directly through the mobile telephone without going to the bank. All the donor needs to do is to charge the phone.
When Could One Start?
Please start right away.
Do not simply donate, in addition spread the word and join in persuading other Christians to participate.
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