As the Christian Association of Nigeria holds elections into its national executive offices on Tuesday (today), a leading youth body, Coalition Group of Christian Youths, has said the exercise was an “integrity test” for the umbrella Christian body.
“The elections scheduled to hold in Abuja on Tuesday, June 18, is a litmus test for Christian leaders; it is an integrity test for the body and what it represents,” the group said in a statement on Monday in Jos.
The statement was signed by Daniel Kadzai, immediate past National President, Youth Wing of CAN.
The statement added: “All Nigerian Christians are keenly watching events as they unfold at the Ecumenical Centre, Abuja, venue of the elections.
“Nigerians want to see a fair contest. Nigerians want to see the emergence of leaders that will unite the Christendom so that it can speak with one voice.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that all offices are up for grabs but with the presidential race, where the incumbent, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, is being challenged by Rev. Caleb Ahima, President of TEKAN, attracting wider interest.
Gadzima added in the statement: “This is a very delicate time for CAN. A spider’s web seems to have greater strength than whatever is holding the CAN blocs together.
“Everything must be done to strengthen this thread holding the Christians together. The handlers of the elections must avoid anything that will damage it. They can do that by being transparent, sincere, truthful and committed to the cause.
“CAN is confronted with a make-or-mar election; the association needs the confidence of all blocs. So, everyone must be carried along.
“The association appears to have battered its image; it is necessary to try and redeem that image so that we do not make a caricature of the Christian faith.”
The coalition said Christians in Nigeria were anxious to have a “vibrant CAN leadership that everyone will be proud of”.
According to the statement, the outcome of the CAN election “is not as important as the lesson the association must strive to teach the nation and Nigerians”.
It said: “Every candidate must refrain from showing any act of desperation just to win or keep a seat.
“The reference to the Church as the ‘light of the the world’ must be golden to all. That is the real spirit of Christendom.
“The chairman of the Electoral College and his members must be exemplary; they must live above board. They must avoid any action capable of embarrassing Christians and Christianity.”