CAN Extols Macaulay, Commends State Govt

BY KINGSLEY AZUH
THE Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is the largest Ecumenical Body ever established in Nigeria and indeed Africa. Technically speaking, CAN was born on 27th August, 1976, at the meeting held in the Catholic Secretariat by the Christian leaders which followed the meeting with the Military Government under General OlusegunObasanjo. That is, the far-reaching decision to form a national Christian association was made on that date.
Before then, there was lack of national unity among the Christian Churches in the 1960s, although there was some interaction among them. This, however, remained sectionalized into three main blocs: the Christian Council of Nigeria in the South, the Christian Movement in the North, and the more cohesive and united Roman Catholicism whose highest national authority, the Catholic Episcopal Conference, met at least once a year and spoke with one voice. There was, of course, the obviously serious attempt made by the CCN towards a nationally unified Christian presence during the colonial period. But this could not succeed for three reasons. First, there was the absence of a commonly perceived national threat. Next, there was no sufficiently politicized religious leadership with a nationalist vision in any of the three Christian blocs. Furthermore, there were limitations imposed by the colonial administration on socio-cultural interaction among Nigerians from the South and the North.
With the end of the Nigerian civil war in 1970, however, the climate was conducive for ecumenical interactions among the churches. Today, the Christian Association of Nigeria has its branches in all the states of the federation, and they are doing a lot in spreading the gospel and bringing Christians of all works of life together.
In Delta State, the association has been in the forefront to ensure a better and peaceful Delta State through its numerous advice and prayers for peace and progress in the state.
The association recently paid a courtesy call on the Secretary to the State Government, Comrade Ovouzourie Macaulay in his office, to thank him for the assistance he has given to various Christian bodies in the state.
The association was led on the visit by the state Chairman of CAN, Rev. Gideon Oyibo and the vice Chairman, Rev. Isaac Iroabuchi.
Speaking during the visit, Rev. Oyibo commended the State Government for the relative peace in the state, which he said was made possible by the determination of the state government to keep its three point agenda which peace and security formed a part.
Rev. Oyibo recalled the years when Delta State, particularly the Warri axis, was engulfed in ethnic crisis and commended the state government for ensuring that peace returned permanently to Warri.
The CAN Chairman commended the state government and all those who played prominent roles in resolving the Warri crisis and assured them posterity would not forget them.
Rev. Oyibo also recalled the positive part played by Comrade Macaulay during the crisis and commended him for being an instrument used by God to bring peace to Warri and environs at that critical period.
He said that Comrade Macaulay’s legacy as a church builder and supporter of things of God would continue to attract blessings to him and members of his family, stressing that God would diligently reward him.
The CAN Chairman stated that Christian activities in Isoko land; prayers and crusades are in their increase because of the various assistance received from Comrade Macaulay, and urged him not to relent in the noble effort.
In his response, the Secretary to the State Government, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, thanked members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Delta State chapter, for the visit and commended them for their fervent prayers which he said has helped the state to forge ahead with its developmental strides in the atmosphere of peace and unity.
Comrade Macaulay said that the state government attributes the relative peace in the state to the fervent prayers by the different religious groups in the state, and urged them to continue to pray for the State Government, especially the State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel EwetaUduaghan, as he rounds off his tenure as the state governor.
He recounted the parts played by Christian religious bodies during the Warri crisis, saying that their prayers and advice helped the regime at that time to tackle the problem which nearly tore the state into pieces.
Comrade Macaulay also narrated how the curfew imposed in Warri was relaxed for the sake of night vigil by Christians and how it eventually brought an end to the curfew, and the eventual peace that everybody is enjoying today.
The SSG said that the administration of Dr. Emmanuel EwetaUduaghan believes in creating the enabling environment for religious activities to thrive in the state, adding that Delta State remains one of the few states that religious activities go on unhindered by government policies.
He gave the assurance that he would continue to assist Christian groups and churches for the betterment of the society, explaining that his assistance to churches have helped him tremendously to weather the storms of life, and attributed his achievements to the favour of God in his life.
Macaulay vowed to continue to assist churches in his own little ways as is the only way to guarantee his life and future, noting that any work done to improve the work of God can never be in vain.
Highlight of the occasion was special prayers for the Secretary to the State Government, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay; his office, the State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan; the state and the nation as a whole.