Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the protest by some circular musicians against the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, over his purported silence on some “unpleasant national issues” as “unfair, embarrassing, and an affront on the Christian body in Nigeria.”
In a statement signed by the National Director, Legal and Public Affairs of CAN, Kwamkur Samuel Vondip, the association expressed shock that the group called for Adeboye’s suspension from the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).
“While we appreciate the concern of the protesters over the issues they raised and the call for a better nation, we strongly believe, as the umbrella body for Christians and churches in Nigeria, to which the Redeemed Christian Church of God and Pastor E. A. Adeboye belong, that to single out one of our leaders and members, to say the least, is unfair. The entire exercise, in our view, was ill-motivated.
“The people who staged this insulting protest against a highly revered servant of God in the person of Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye are totally ignorant of the operations of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).”
The association explained that Pastor Adeboye had on more than one occasions addressed the press and said that “as a man under authority, he cannot speak over issues that CAN or PFN have spoken about, unless by the express permission of these two bodies.”
CAN added, “Our highly respected worldwide Pastor Adeboye is an unusually humble man and a man of the spirit, who has learnt to operate under authority in line with Scriptural injunctions as a Servant of God. He has said more than once that he cannot say anything again after CAN and PFN have spoken about issues.
“Any protest against Pastor Adeboye will be seen by us as a systematic insult against the leaders of the church in Nigeria. Why should any group of people think that it is their right to protest and demand that Pastor Adeboye should speak over the issues they listed when CAN and PFN have spoken on them?
“An attempt to demand that pastors that belong to our collective association should again be speaking one by one after the group has spoken is an attempt to divide the Christian body.
“For emphasis, if we go the memory lane, for not less than three occasions, CAN has taken many of the issues, which the protesters were mentioning to President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting the government to do more to get the people in captivity released such as the remaining Chibok Girls, Leah Sharibu, the captive of faith and El Zakzaki, the Islamic Preacher that is still kept in detention against the ruling of the court. CAN has spoken to those in government, especially the Christians among them, who belong to our Association, to speak for the oppressed like Esther of the Bible did, and defend the faith rather than explain away evils in order to protect their jobs and daily bread. On some occasions we have written the National Assembly for their intervention to no avail.”
CAN explained further, “While we understand the frustration of those who organised the protest, we are against the method they adopted by directing their anger against an innocent person. Pastor Adeboye will never support oppression and he has been speaking against these evils in the land through Christian Association of Nigeria, and on several occasions in his sermons.
“We urge those who protested to direct their future protest at those in government who should do more to free people in captivity for no sin of theirs. They should direct their protest against the people in power to make the nation safer from the attacks of herdsmen, kidnappers, ritual killers, armed robbers, armed bandits and Boko Haram terrorists. We have no gun to fight our battles except to speak out as we have been doing and never at the same time give up praying to God who can do all things.”