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21st May, 2019

Rev. Ayo Oladapo,
CAN Chairman,
Ondo State.

Dear Ondo State CAN Chairman,


I am compelled to make my rejoinder to you public since I first read your piece reproaching the Chairman of NCEF on a public Whatsapp platform. It grieves me that despite all the afflictions that have befallen Christians and the country in general, we still lack seriousness and soberness amongst the current CAN Officials. As I pointed out in a Conference Paper in June 2018, CAN should be reorganized and restructured to respond to current challenges since the Clergy seem incapable of providing purposeful leadership for the Church.

I mentioned in that paper that 42 years after CAN was handed over to the Clergy to manage as a central Christian body, death, sorrow and tears is the result for the Church. In 1976, when CAN was established, Christianity was not in the dismal condition it presently is. Every attempt to make CAN responsible and responsive to current challenges was resisted by this current set of CAN Officials. The Christian community should pay close attention to CAN since it is Christian Association of Nigeria and not Clergy Association of Nigeria. If it is left for the Clergy alone to manage or mismanage, it is the Christians that will bear the brunt of the consequence as it is currently going on.

I read your response to the paper of NCEF titled CAN: TIME TO HALT THE DRIFT. In your response, you focused your tirade against the Chairman of NCEF, Baba Asemota, SAN. It is therefore necessary to issue clarifications on your write up because of its potential to lead many people astray as well as compound the crisis that is facing the Nigerian Church. It is rather sad that with all the evils that have befallen Christians in Nigeria, CAN Officials still believe that they can continue with business as usual. By the acts of omission and commission of many current CAN leaders they give the impression that on the Day of Judgment they will stand before their Bank Manager.

I will itemize my response for clarity as follows:

1.      Who ordained Baba Asemota “elder”? You queried. Ondo State CAN Chairman, don’t you think that question is bigger than your mouth? Does an 81 year old man require ordination anywhere, whether in the Church or outside the Church, before he can be recognized as Elder? Besides, if you are interested in Church procedure, would you say you are unaware that the NCEF was inaugurated by former President of CAN? The inauguration of NCEF by a CAN President supersedes any Denominational recognition or ordination. Besides, those called Elders in the Bible, which Denomination ordained them?

2.      I noticed in your response that you did not address any issue raised in the paper of the NCEF. I think you should have. You were unable to engage any issue and prove NCEF wrong or biased in its submission. Even the report which NCEF made reference to on FACTORS HINDERING CHRISTIAN POLITICAL CONSENSUS FOR 2019 ELECTIONS which proved that Rev. Ayokunle is skillful in deception, you could not engage.

3.      I am glad you stated that your culture taught you how to respect Elders. What I do not understand is why then are you holding brief for a man who has no respect or regard for Elders? I am aware of the various overture made to Rev. Ayokunle by the NCEF in 2016, 2017, and the early part of 2018 that he should not handle the Office of the CAN President the way he was doing. It was when all the appeals fell on deaf ears that the Elders decided to make their findings public so that Nigerian Christians would not claim ignorance of the issues since the consequences would fall on them.

Rev. Ayokunle described those old enough to be his father as “insubordinate” and in a recorded interview described them as “terrorists” because they admonished and corrected him. On Monday 19th November, 2018, Rev. Ayokunle instructed that the National Christian Center should be locked to prevent Christian Elders from holding a routine meeting inside the Cathedral.

The NCEF was inaugurated inside the Cathedral and has been meeting there since January 2015. The Elders decided to sit outside the Cathedral and hold their meeting. Rev. Ayokunle called the Commissioner of Police in FCT, to arrest them. The Police Commissioner sent some Policemen led by DSP Usman Abini to effect the arrest. When the Police Officers arrived and saw the caliber of people sitting outside the Cathedral, they apologized profusely and left. This is the man you are holding brief for and you say you respect Elders.

4.      Your submission gave the impression that Baba Asemota and some people seeking “relevance” drew attention of the Christians to the fact that CAN is drifting without purposeful leadership. For your information, NCEF convened a formal meeting on Friday 17th May, 2019 in Lagos to deliberate on these issues and agreed to write the paper titled CAN: TIME TO HALT THE DRIFT. Amongst those present at the meeting was Evangelist Matthew Owojaiye whom you know very well. Also present was 88 years old Elder Nat Okoro, the first indigenous Managing Director of Nigeria Railways. As a matter of fact, Elder Okoro stayed up overnight to work on the draft and presented a final paper which was sent out. Your claim is absolutely faulty and baseless.

5.      You boasted that NEC will vote “overwhelmingly” Rev. Ayokunle for a second term. The signals are already emerging that “CAN Adrift” is preparing to return one of its own so that the party can continue for the Clergy at the expense of Christian BLOOD and Christian LIVES. After developing an unhealthy appetite for the crumbs from Aso Villa, who wants to stop the tap from flowing? Rock ‘n Roll, Clergy baby, life is good.
Since Ondo State CAN Chairman already knows the result of the election for the next CAN President, which is yet to take place in June, it is good to remind Nigerian Christians what is waiting for them should Rev. Ayokunle be re-elected as the President of CAN. In doing this, no other testimony would be adequate, but the testimony of an “insider” who saw the rot in CAN and separated himself from CAN Adrift. I refer to the Vice President of CAN, Prof. Joseph Otubu who raised alarm at the misconducts and irregularities going on in CAN. I would quote excerpts from his many petitions and protests which of course, CAN Adrift ignored, but they are testimonies that the Lord will not leave Himself without a witness.

Salient points as enunciated in the petitions of Prof. Otubu are as follows:

i.                  “Purchase of four second hand vehicles in Cotonou at a cost of N45 million.

ii.                  One of the vehicles a TOYOTA Highlander SUV was purportedly bought for N11 million in Cotonou while   the actual cost in  Nigeria is N5  million.

iii.                What happened to N6 million on one vehicle alone?

iv.                 Appointment of an Auditor in violation of Article 19 of CAN Constitution. NEC is empowered to appoint Auditor but Dr. Ayokunle usurped function of NEC to appoint an Auditor to Audit himself and used N350,000 of CAN money to pay the Auditor.

v.                   By what authority did he appoint the Auditor?

vi.                 The Audited account (January – September 2017) presented by Dr. Ayokunle and the Treasurer did not include the N45 million spent on vehicles in Cotonou yet the account was balanced. Is this possible?

vii.               The routine collection of money from series of State Governors as President of CAN without accounting for and remitting same to CAN. All the funds were meant for CAN yet not a dime was paid into CAN account.

viii.             The donation from Benue   State Governor was under declared. In my presence, Benue State gave CAN N4 million but President of CAN declared N1 million instead.

ix.                 Instead of paying this N1m into the CAN account it was shared amongst CAN Officials.  The President of CAN informed me that my share was N200,000. I promptly rejected and refused to collect   the money. I insisted that it should be paid into CAN account. Till today, I am not sure   that was done.

x.                  Various violations of CAN Constitution by the CAN President.

xi.                 Compromise of the office of the late General Secretary of CAN and use of unauthorized persons to perform official functions of CAN.

xii.               Collection and sharing of N25 million from President Buhari.   The President   of CAN had denied publicly in Vanguard Newspaper that he didn’t receive any money from President Buhari. Meanwhile, the Chaplain to the Vice President confirmed that the money was collected.

xiii.             Why would the President of CAN lie trenbolone price assessment to the Nigerian Church and the public? Those who collected the money are well known and confirmed that they received the money.

The Ag General Secretary of CAN who had earlier been queried for receiving a gratification of N500,000.00 during the questionable Cotonou car purchase deal, admitted that he received N500,000.00 from the Buhari windfall. Rev Akanji boasted openly that they collected the money and shared it in the usual manner.”

Concerning the Committee that was purportedly set up to investigate and reported a “no case” submission for Rev. Ayokunle, the Vice President of CAN, Prof. Otubu commented thus:

“There are pertinent questions for Nigerian Christians to ask;

i.                    Who nominated Apostle Bamgbola as the Chairman of the Committee? It should not surprise anybody that Apostle Bamgbola was chosen to do this hatchet job. He seems to be an expert after clearing Gov. Ambode  in May 2017 that he did nothing wrong in throwing the property of Venerable Femi Taiwo to the street. Even non-Christians acknowledge that what the Governor and his wife did was wrong. Apostle Bamgbola cleared them of any wrong doing.

ii.                  When the Committee was approved to be constituted, who was Chairman of the meeting of NEC?

iii.                Should Dr. Ayokunle who was directly indicted in the petition chairman the meeting that approved a Committee to Reconcile or Investigate him?

iv.                 When the Committee submitted its Report, who was Chairman of the meeting of NEC?

v.                   Should not Dr. Ayokunle have stepped aside and permitted someone else to receive the Report, for whatever it is worth?

vi.                 Should Dr Ayokunle, in a civilized Christian organization, be a judge in his own cause?”

Ondo State CAN Chairman, is this the man you boasted NEC will re-elect as President of CAN? Is this the man you are defending and you resorted to insult Christian Elders for speaking the truth to the Church? Like Apostle Paul told the Galatians, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Gal. 4: 16

For many years, Mrs. Victoria Adekoya has been writing series of articles to Nigerian Christians titled WHITHER THE NIGERIAN CHURCH? The question is yet to be answered, either by the Christians or Church leaders.

The one thing that bothers me is that since Nigerian Christians are aware of these issues in CAN yet they do nothing, why are they complaining about President Buhari? If Christians can tolerate this leadership failure in the Church, why bother with the way President Buhari is running the country. You cannot approbate and reprobate. You cannot accept one and condemn another. You either accept both or reject both.

Ondo State CAN Chairman, this is PART ONE.

PART TWO: The spiritual dimension of CAN ADRIFT. (To be continued.)

Bosun Emmanuel
National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF)
21st May, 2019

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