By Iliya Kure
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, says it is in full support of the Easter Message delivered by Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Hassan Kukah, where he criticised the administration of President Muhamadu Buhari.
According to CAN, Kukah’s message delivered to his church congregation was a declaration of the harsh realities impacting the everyday life of members of the church, which was devoid of political affinity.
Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of CAN, Rev John Joseph Hayab, was reacting to position of Northern Christians Forum (NCFN), which dissociated itself from Bishop Kukah’s message.
In a statement to journalists, Hayab says their attention was drawn to the statement alleged to emanate from a group of unfamiliar individuals to CAN, claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Northern Christians Forum of Nigeria.
CAN also disowned one Rev. Josiah Nabut of the Northern Christians Forum.
He said: “That there exists a clergyman by the name Rev Dr Josiah Nabut who belongs to NCFN, he is dubious in the first place.
‘’Moreover, that CAN does not know of the existence of a presumed clergy further makes the statement a cynical attempt at discrediting the Revered Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto who is not only a member of CAN but a renowned priest.”
Consequently, CAN called on the person said to be Rev Dr Josiah Nabut, claiming to be the President of NCFN, to come out clean and tell the world the name of the church he pastors, or where he is a member and the list of membership of the proclaimed NCFN.
“CAN, Kaduna State chapter, is the body that coordinates the fellowship of clerics and the entire Christendom in the state but cannot verify the fact that the said Rev Dr Josiah Nabut was a pastor of any church in Kaduna State.
“Accordingly, CAN calls on the preposterous group parading itself as NCFN to observe that Bishop Kukah’s homily was for the congregation of his diocese, hence, is devoid of political affinity but a declaration of the harsh realities impacting the everyday life of the members of the church.
“As the group submits that Kukah has ‘deep knowledge of the Bible, … blessed with the power to dissect socio-political happenings around the world and analyse the same for better understanding’ is a testimony that Bishop Kukah is in the best position to speak truth to power and that is what his Easter homily did.”
“CAN, therefore, admonishes the mischief-makers under the guise of NCFN, dubiously led by the untraceable Rev Dr Josiah Nabut, to desist from employing the name of the Church for personal profits and scoring cheap popularity with the current leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, who under his watch, Nigerians cannot sleep with their eyes closed or travel freely due to heightening insecurity across the country.”