BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Rev Dr Samson Olasupo Adeniyi Ayokunle on Tuesday retained his position as the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
He defeated Elder Dr Caleb Ahima of TEKAN/ECWA block. According to the report of the election conducted by the Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah-led electoral committee, Ayokunle scored 59, while Ahima scored 44.
Ayokunle is the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, while Ahima is the Chairman of the TEKAN/ECWA block in CAN.
Ahima, according to the Constitution of CAN is now the Vice President and replaces the immediate past Vice President, Elder Prof Joseph Otubu.
Kukah charged the new leadership of CAN to work for the unity of the Body of Christ in Nigeria and speak truth to power without necessarily being antagonistic towards the government.
“You should not be too close to the government at the expense of Church, but to speak for the church when the need arises. This does not mean you are to be confrontational or be engaged in fighting the government. You should also work with those who contested against you, those who voted for you, who worked for you and those who worked against you. God gives us the freedom of choice and it is that gift we have just demonstrated. I am so happy that the election was free and fair, as we can all see it.”
In his remarks, Ayokunle promised to continue carrying the leadership of CAN along in all his actions and to work together with his new deputy. He charged the Church leaders in the country to avoid contradicting the position of CAN on national issues.
“We are one, but our actions must show that we are one. I advised all our leaders to borrow a leaf from Pastor Enoch Adeboye who said he does not need to be speaking again on any issue, once the CAN President has spoken over it.”
In his conceding remarks, Elder Ahima pledged to work harmoniously with the CAN President for the unity of the Church.