The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN) on Friday, March 28, made five requests while congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.
The association leaders numbering about 30 had a closed door session with the president at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock.
Daily Trust reports that Samson Ayokunle, the national president of CAN who led the team met with the president said the association was not under pressure to congratulate Buhari, as widely reported.
Ayokunle said the leadership of the association on behalf of CAN were at the Villa to congratulate the president for his victory and for being declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the just concluded 2019 Presidential Election in our nation.
He said: "Our prayer for you is that God shall grant you everything it takes to perform hundred times better than your first term. We pray that your administration would lead Nigeria to become the glory and pride of the nations in Africa and a country many people would desire to be, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour."
"Please count on this organization as one that has the success of your administration at heart. In that respect, we would not cease in praying for you and speaking out about what is expected to be done from time to time in keeping with the Bible, the word of God,” he said.
Furthermore, the association made five major demand from President Buhari:
1. The association advised the president to take his leadership beyond party politics
”We were so happy listening to your speech after your re-election that you were going to run an all inclusive government. Having been re-elected President, you have become the President of all. In view of this, we urge you to see yourself as father to all by embracing all.
“We solicit for inclusiveness and fairness as you constitute your cabinet and appoint worthy Nigerians to the headship and membership of critical agencies, boards and parastatals.
”Your Excellency, there is no ethnic or religious group in Nigeria where you cannot find highly qualified men and women that you can engage to add value to your administration and help in moving the nation forward. This is the true and objective way in which you can give all in the country, a sense of belonging” Ayokunle said.
2. CAN also called on President Buhari to ensure ethnic and religious balance in the selection of National Assembly leadership
"We, from the Christian Association of Nigeria, recognize the importance of the National Assembly to the stability and growth of our polity. It is in this regard that we call for ethnic and religious balance with depth in picking the leadership of that great institution of democracy,” CAN said.
3. The president was also urged to ensure that the principle of separation of power prevails between the three arms of government
"Sir, to ensure that this happens is to remove any apprehension and suspicion harbored towards the leadership of this country. We equally solicit that the principle of separation of power as it is enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would be allowed to thrive as an intrinsic aspect of modern day democracy,” CAN said.
"We commend you specially for the revival of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) and the sincere efforts of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in ensuring that your passion to build peace through NIREC becomes a reality. We assure you of our determination to build peace, harmony and unity in our nation as we constantly dialogue with other religious groups in our nation," the clerics added.
4. The rescue of Leah Sharibu and other Chibok girls from Boko Haram captivity
“Each passing day inflicts anguish in the hearts of the parents of this young girl, the rest of us who are parents, all Nigerians and others all over the world who love freedom and regret that Leah’s life is being wasted in captivity for no sin of hers other than for her religion. Doing all within you to free Leah Sharibu and according it top priority, shall confer greater credibility on your government and on you as a person.
"Please and please, Mr. President, let Leah Sharibu and those in captivity of insurgents be freed to enjoy their lives,” the CAN leader said.
5. To task the security agents to be more alive to their responsibilities by putting an end to insurgency, herdsmen/farmers' crisis among many others
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"Today, the Northwest of Nigeria which used to be peaceful is also witnessing violent activities. The unnecessary killings in Kaduna and the detention of some leaders of Ajara Chiefdom in Kaduna State since January should be addressed without delay to douse all tensions. All efforts today by all of us should be geared towards forgiving one another and reconciling with one another,” CAN said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that President Buhari had on Friday, March 29, met with leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting between the president and the CAN leadership was held behind closed doors at the Council Chamber of the State House.
The president would also be meeting with Imams and Senior Islamic Scholars from across the country later, today.
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