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Controversy at the weekend trailed the choice of who represents Christians at the proposed national conference, as the Association of Christian Theologians (ACTS) claimed that Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), as it was currently composed, could not be trusted to present the views of Nigerian Christians at the conference.
In a press statement by the ACTS, signed by its National President, Professor Kunle Macaulay, the theologians contended that CAN under the leadership of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was doctrinally biased and selfish. Claiming that only the theologians were detached from doctrinal sentiments, the theologians also argued that the CAN leadership has been compromised by the country’s leadership.
“It is unfortunate that the present Christian leadership cannot represent the interest of all Christians in Nigeria; they are doctrinally biased, selfish and they do not have a common voice. Who will represent the interest of Christianity-Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal, Gospel, Evangelical or Aladura-white garment church?
“CAN or any other sectional group like Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) is not qualified to represent the interest of Christian religion in Nigeria. Non-denominational Christian scholars and theologians are the only qualified experts that understand the human situation of Nigerians and how Christian religion can speak to all facets of human life.
They have the knowledge and skills that will bring the Word of God to improve humanity.
“In Christianity, who are the people to represent Christian religion? Definitely, not people who have shared in the stolen national cake.
The people we need are not just famous, charismatic leaders-the magic type, miracle-performing giants, but men and women filled with the power of Holy Spirit who have intellectual ability to understand the importance of this dialogue, and the relevance of Christian religion in human development,” the body explained.
It noted that to represent Christian religion at the conference, people who have clean hands and a pure heart, who have not lifted their souls to idols and sworn falsely, are needed.
The ACTS, however, stressed that if the result of the conference was to provide a constitution that will promote good governance, welfare for all people in Nigeria, based on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, then, Christians must participate.
On the secularity of the Nigerian state, the ACTS stated that the all arms of government in the country have been observing the rule in the breach, citing the building of almajiri schools, mosques and sponsoring of Muslim teachers on training as clear evidence of bias.
“While Muslim clerics and teachers are offered teaching appointment in government schools, certified and licensed theological teachers are denied the same,” the theologians complained.