Govt houses now CAN’s ATM – Cleric

The Bishop of the Wusasa Diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Zaria, Kaduna State, Reverend Ali Lamido, on Saturday lamented that the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria at the state and national levels have turned government houses into automated teller machines of the association.

This, he said, had made the association an appendages of successive administrations and had reduced itself to mere campaign platforms for Nigerian politicians during elections.
The Bishop stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Kaduna.

Lamido, who frowned at the development, cautioned delegates ahead of the forthcoming CAN election in July to vote for men of proven integrity that could move the association to the next level.

The bishop also decried the thirst for power, material gain and opulence by the leadership of the association, describing such as unquenchable. He noted that the development had made government the association’s constituency.

“This has reduced the association to campaign platforms for politicians. Leadership of the body at different levels are now an avenue for some avaricious few to make money,” he said.

The cleric also accused the leadership of turning to lovers of money and power instead of being men of God as they claim to be. He urged the association to seek financial autonomy rather than depending on government.

Lamido said, “Member churches should be made to pay their dues and also contribute generously so as to run the association effectively.

“Making government houses look like ATM machines is unacceptable. I feel very strongly that part of the reason why CAN will always find it difficult to challenge the government of the day is hinged on the saying: ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune.”

On the forthcoming election, Lamido warned that any attempt to zone the leadership of CAN to any part of the country would be resisted.

The bishop said he was shocked to hear that some clerics were clamouring for the zoning of the leadership of the Christian body to a particular geo-political zone. He described as unfortunate the development whereby the clerics descended so low and jettisoned the unity of the country on the altar of playing the ethnic card.

Lamido said, “We supposed to be the ones to deemphasise tribal or regional sentiments.

“I think what the CAN needs are men of integrity who are ready to go to any length to see that the churches in this country are united. We cannot continue this way; we cannot kill this association in our time. I pray we will put our sentiments behind us and join hands to build CAN.”

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