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CAN rejects new regulation on churches

By Ibe Wada,

The Christian Association of Nigeria has rejected the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, saying churches could not be run like secular institutions because of the religious centers’ spiritual responsibilities and obligations.

The highest Christian body in the country argued that the law was intended to declare war on the country’s Christian faithful to allegedly frustrate religious movement and take total control of church like a secular institution under secular control.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 7 signed the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 into law,  The bill which was passed by the National Assembly replaced the 1990 CAMA.

But, reacting to the new regulation, CAN President, Rev Samson Ayokunle, alleged that section 839 (1) and (2) of the law which empowers the supervising minister “to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons,” was to snuff life out the church.

Through a statement released on Thursday by his Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Adebayo Oladeji, Ayokunle clarified that though the Christian body was not against the administration’s anti-corruption fight, forceful imposition of the regulation on the entire Church in Nigeria would amount to invitation to chaos.

“The law, to say the least, is unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode. While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, yet we completely reject the idea of bringing the church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government. The Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.

“How can the government sack the trustee of a church which it contributed no dime to establish? How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of another institution which is not political? How can a non-Christian head of government ministry be the one to determine the running of the church? It is an invitation to trouble that the government does not have power to manage.

“The government is advised to face the business of providing infrastructure for the people. Let them focus on better health provision, food, education, adequate security employment, etc. The government should not be a busy body in a matter that does not belong to it. The government does not have the technical expertise to run the church of God because of its spiritual nature.

“If the government is bent on imposing a law on us which the entire Church in Nigeria is against, then, they have declared war on Christianity and the agenda to destroy the Church which we have spoken against before now is coming to the open more clearly. If you cannot give us good amenities of life, we would not allow you to take away our liberty to worship our Maker,” the statement said.

 

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