Nigerians to CAN’s new president: Don’t romance govt, politicians


As torrents of encomiums continue to pour in for Reverend (Dr.) Samson Adeniyi Ayokunle, the newly elected President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, many Nigerians have called on him to make a clean break from the style of the past leadership of the association.
Ayokunle, who is the president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention and was the candidate of the Christian Council of Nigeria, defeated Elder Joseph Otubu, a university professor from the Moitalatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide, who was the standard bearer of the Organisation of African Instituted Churches bloc of the association, by 57 votes to 28.
On his timeline on Facebook, although Nigerians, family members and well-wishers couldn’t help but shower praises on the cleric, they have also tasked him on his new appointment.
Many of them described him as Godsent. They viewed his election as the dawn of a new era in a religious body whose leadership was, not too long ago, left with a bloodied nose for dabbling in the intriguing and murky waters of Nigerian politics.
The new CAN president’s wellwishers expressed the views that taking the baton of leadership of the association at such a critical period would change things for the better.
Adebayo Afolaranmi, who joined thousands of Christians and Nigerian Baptists to congratulate the amiable leader on his election, expressed the hope that Ayokunle’s tenure would bring about a great revival and renewal to the Church, Christians and Nigerians in general.
For Oladele Isaac, God has given CAN and Christians in the country the best leader.
Oladele, however, prayed that God would grant him the wisdom, knowledge and understanding with which to run the affairs of Nigerian Christians throughout his tenure.
He said, “I rejoice with Rev. Ayokunle for the grace God bestowed on him to be the President of CAN. Our prayer is that the Almighty God will give him understanding.” In Oladiran Peter’s view, the biggest task before the new CAN president is how to unite all Christians in Nigeria.
“I celebrate our spiritual father, the Bishop of our domination, the Convention President, Rev Ayokunle, on his election as the new CAN president. May God strengthen him and help him to bring positive change into Nigeria and unite the Christians in order to stand against all forces of darkness tormenting the nation,” he said.
Adeegbe Adeola, a member of the Baptist Church, however, challenged the new CAN boss to eschew politics by distancing himself from the corridors of mundane power and corruption so as not to soil his reputation as the leader of all Christians in Nigeria.
Adeola advised him to strive to remain a good ambassador of God and his denomination, the Baptist Church, while in office as CAN president, praying for more grace for him to serve God and humanity in his new capacity.
“CAN should not be turned into the religious arm of any political party like in the time of his predecessor and it is not good for a pastor to be implicated in any corruption scam,” he said.
Similarly, Adewale Adesope urged the new CAN president to be bold, outspoken and stand against anything that could threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria.
Oluwaseun Ajayi in his own reaction, said, “Congratulations to the man of God. My advice for him is to unite all the members that constitute CAN and stay away from politics. But we should be careful in judging his predecessor based on the reports we see or hear in the media. You know the media organisations in Nigeria have a particular interest they are serving.”
Ruth Adeyemi is, however, optimistic that the new CAN president will make a good impact throughout his tenure.
SPOUSE Q“I congratulate you my daddy in the Lord. You will make good impact in Jesus name. Continue to move forward in this era of moving forward in the Baptist,” Adeyemi said.
For Olaronke Adun, all the new CAN boss needs are prayers that God should strengthen him the more on this great task and guide his ways.
“God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will continue to give you wisdom, knowledge, understanding throughout your tenure and beyond,” she prayed.
Yinka Ayanleye, however, has some harsh words for the immediate past president of the association, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
Ayanleye said, “God is fixing the broken pieces of CAN, restoration is actually on the way. I will build my Church, thus says the lord, the gate of hell shall not prevail against it. The headquarters of CAN will no longer be Aso Rock Villa.
“There is spiritual cleansing from the pollution of politics into the body of Christ. In the last eight years, the Church lost direction and integrity, fumbled by dabbling into worldly things. Thank God. The Church has been redeemed, there is new leadership now.”
Showering further praises on the new CAN president, Akere Sunday, said, “Let me join the entire Christian community in Nigeria in congratulating Rev. Ayokunle on his election as the CAN president. Your life has been a revelation to all and the milk of human kindness in you has manifested in the humble, pious and divine manner in which you have been directing the affairs as National President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention before this elevation.
“My prayer is that the almighty God will guard, guide and direct you as you take up this onerous assignment.”
Also, Olagunju Emmanuel from Akure noted, “The pastors and the entire members of Zion Baptist Church, Akure rejoice with our president, Rev. Ayokunle, on the occasion of his election as the CAN president. We believe that this victory is not just for him alone as an individual, but also for the entire Baptist. It therefore behoves all of us to rise as a congregation in prayers and moral support. As for us in Zion Baptist Church, Akure, we pledge our prayer and moral support. The Lord who has chosen you in such a time like this, will equip you with needed wisdom and courage to move His agenda for the Church forward.”
For Fadairo Seyi, what has been prophesied by the scriptures has come to pass. “The last has become the first, the stone rejected has become the chief corner stone, the “Orthodox Baptist” denomination has taken the lead and centre stage of the revival in the Christian body in Nigeria. To God be the Glory! I join the Baptist family to celebrate the amiable Convention President, Rev. Ayokunle, on his new appointment.”
The new CAN boss was the sixth indigenous General Secretary of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), before becoming its president. Ayokunle was formerly the deputy to the immediate past CAN president, Ayo Oritsejafor.
The outgoing president of the Christian body, Oritsejafor, announced the result of his successor’s election at about 2:30 p.m. last Tuesday to a rousing applause of the National Executive Council delegates from different parts of the country, who had converged on the National Christian Centre in the Central Business District of Abuja.
By the constitution of CAN, Prof. Otubu, who emerged runner-up in the elections, automatically becomes the vice-president of the association for the next three years.
“I intend to facilitate a fellowship where love flows and peace prevails in all the member-churches. To this end, all will be done to see that CAN is a united body and all wrangling within the body will be addressed for unity of purpose. This will be priority number one,’’ Ayokunle said in his acceptance speech.