A group of Christians under the auspices of National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, spearheaded by a former Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Y. Danjuma (retd.), and Solomon Asemota SAN, has warned that the present generation of Christians in Nigeria may cease to exist in 25 years from now (2043), beginning from 2018.
While pointing out that the present generation of Christians faces the risk of being the last set of Christians in Nigeria, they demanded the restructuring of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, before the 2019 general elections.
While pointing out that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is openly pursuing an anti-Christian agenda, the organisation warned that if the current faulty structure of CAN is carried into 2019, it might be too late to preserve Christianity in Nigeria.
The Secretary of NCEF, Bosun Emmanuel, expressed these fears in his paper entitled: “Impact of lack of unity in CAN as threat to Christian faith”, delivered during the annual conference of Catholic Men’s Guild, held at the Catholic Church of Assumption, Ikoyi in Lagos.
In the paper, a copy of which was emailed to reporters, Emmanuel said the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria “is openly pursuing an anti-Christian agenda that has resulted in countless murders of Christians all over the nation and destruction of vulnerable Christian communities.”
He said, “Due to the inability of CAN to forge Christians into one indivisible army of the Lord, the Church has been weakened and unable to stand before its enemies. Realistically speaking, Christianity is on the brink of extinction in Nigeria. The ascendancy of Sharia ideology in Nigeria rings the death toll for the Nigerian Church.
“It is therefore imperative that CAN must be restructured, as a matter of urgency, if Christianity is to survive. CAN belongs to every Christian in Nigeria and there is nothing wrong with the association. It is the management that should be revisited and restructured.”
Apart from Danjuma and Asemota, other members of the NCEF include Prof. Joseph Otubu, Gen. Joshua Dogonyaro (retd.), Archbishop Magnus Atilade, Dr. Kate Okpareke, Dr. Ayo Abifarin, Gen. Zamani Lekwot (retd.), Elder Moses Ihonde, Elder Nat Okoro and Elder Matthew Owojaiye.
Other members are Justice Kalajine Anigbogu (retd.), Elder Shyngle Wigwe, P. L. Dabup, Sir John W. Bagu, Dr. Saleh Hussaini, Elder Mike Orobator, Justice James Ogebe (retd.), Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Chief Debo Omotosho, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Dr. S. D. Gani, Mrs. Osaretin Demuren, Prof. Yussuf Turaki, and Pastor Bosun Emmanuel (Secretary).
According to Emmanuel, disunity has crept into Christendom in Nigeria because of the deviation from the norms for which CAN was founded in 1976.
He said, “The Catholic Church should be prepared to return completely into the fold of CAN and participate fully in providing leadership in these troublous times. God warned in 2013 that we were not careful, in 30 to 40 years, Nigeria would be like Turkey.
“In 2018, we can say in 25 years from now, we are facing the risk of being the last Christians in Nigeria. Therefore, Christians should be in the frontline of defending democracy in Nigeria. The Church is the bastion of democracy. A divided CAN cannot defend democracy and promote justice, equity, and fairness. Consequently, Sharia will grow stronger. As Sharia grows stronger, democracy will become weaker and the Church will be emasculated out of existence.
“The current Federal Government in Nigeria is openly pursuing an anti-Christian agenda that has resulted in countless murders of Christians all over the nation and destruction of vulnerable Christian communities. Just recently, Elder Statesman, Gen. T. Y. Danjuma raised the alarm that Christians should take steps to defend themselves.”