Omololu Ogunmade and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari last night in Abuja warmly felicitated with Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle on his re-election as the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Buhari, according to a statement by presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, congratulated church leaders and the entire Christendom in general for the successful conduct of the CAN election, assuring Ayokunle that his administration will continue to strengthen existing cordial relationship with CAN, especially in tackling the challenges facing Nigeria.
The statement added: “Recalling his meetings with Rev. Ayokunle, who is also the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, the President believes the cleric’s maturity, humility and wise counsels to governments will go a long way in healing and putting the country on the right track for development.
“President Buhari prays that the almighty God will grant the leadership of CAN more wisdom and strength in running the affairs of the association.”
Ayokunle, who is the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), and incumbent President of CAN, was re-elected yesterday.
The result was announced by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Professor Matthew Kukah, at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.
Ayokunle got 59 votes to defeat the runner up, President, Fellowship of Christian Churches in Nigeria (TEKAN), Caleb Solomon-Ahima, who got 44 votes.
Ahima, according to the CAN constitution, becomes the vice president of the organisation.
Ayokunle was born on January 25, 1957 and hails from Isheke, Oyo in Oyo State.
He has his first degree in Sociology from the University of Ibadan in 1983.
He had a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) and a Master of Education (M.Ed) in Guidance and Counselling from the same university.
Ayokunle equally bagged a Master of Divinity in Theology (M.Div Th) from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso in 1995 before proceeding to the United Kingdom to obtain a Master of Arts (MA) in Theology and Religious Studies from Liverpool Hope University.
He also obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Theology with emphasis on liturgical studies.