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CAN rejects CAMA, says govt cannot control churches

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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria has rejected the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 recently signed into law in Nigeria on the ground that it would stifle the life of the church and place it on the same pedestal as a secular institution under secular control.

The new CAMA was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 7 after its passage by the National Assembly to replace the 1990 CAMA.

Specifically, the Christian association is against Section 839 (1) and (2) which empowers the supervising minister “to suspend trustees of an association and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons”.

In a statement on Thursday by CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle titled “Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) rejects CAMA completely” released by his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Adebayo Oladeji, he said any insistence by the federal government to go ahead with the implementation of the law amounts to a declaration of war on the church.

The statement reads: “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria rejects outrightly the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 that was assented to by President Buhari recently.

“The law, to say the least, is unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It’s a time bomb waiting to explode.

“While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, yet, we completely reject the idea of bringing the church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under the control of the government. The Church cannot be controlled by the government by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.

“How can the government sack the trustees of a church which it contributed no dime to establish? How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on affairs and management of another institution which is not political? How can a non-Christian head of government ministry be the one to determine the running of the church? It’s an invitation to trouble that the government does not have the power to manage.

“The government should face the business of providing infrastructure for the people. Let them focus on better health provision, food, education, adequate security and employment. The government should not be a busy body on a matter that does not belong to it. The government does not have the technical expertise to run the church of God because it’s spiritual in nature.

“If the government is bent on imposing a law on us which the entire Church in Nigeria is against, then, they have declared war on Christianity and the agenda to destroy the church which we have spoken against before now is coming to the open more clearly. if you cannot give us good amenities of life, we would not allow you to take away our liberty to worship our maker,”, the statement said.

It, therefore, called on President Buhari “to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until religious institutions are exempted from it” and “return the law to the National Assembly for immediate amendment.”

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