CAN: What is all these nonsense all about? By Tolu Obamuroh

Published:31 Jan, 2013

A few days ago, I tweeted: “I am a Christian but I am not a member of CAN and CAN does not represent or speak for me in any way”. You must have thought I crucified our Jesus Christ from the manner in which some “pastors” jumped on my Twitter timeline as well as mobile to denounce what they called “youthful exuberance”. Why did I say that, those who are more intuitively endowed will ask before jumping into the ignominy of name-calling without the slightest understanding of my basis for my position. I made that statement because of the reaction of CAN to the well-reasoned withdrawal of the Catholic Church from the organization that has proven to be intricately woven into the corrupt fabric of the worst civilian administration in the history of independent Nigeria.

CAN is simply (or has become) a political pressure group. There is nothing bad in Christians forming a political pressure group but it is the height of hypocrisy to call it a Christian body (denoting spirituality) when in every sense and most especially judging by the careless utterances of its leaders, it is nothing but a political group and I dare to say, a department of religious affairs of President Jonathan’s administration. So, to those who feel alarmed at what CAN has become, you need not despair, membership of CAN is not a requirement for going to heaven – to God be the glory!

That brings me to the trust of this article, an apparently innocent tweet from Ogunyemi Bukola (@zeebook) to the effect that: “if Jesus Christ should criticize President Goodluck Jonathan, his aides would accuse Him of sleeping with Mary Magdalene”. This tweet was re-tweeted by Mallam El-Rufai with the addition of LWKMD. I wasn’t surprised that it made Thisday Newspaper’s headline; that is what the spin-master publisher of Thisday does best, it is all about 2015. Exploiting religious sentiments for political gain, after all they used it well against General Buhari in previous elections but that is for another day.

To those who see clearly and whose minds are not clouded by sheer religiosity, there is nothing insulting about this tweet. However, those who are ignorant need enlightenment and therefore, I dare to explain that the strength of that tweet rested on the perfection of Jesus. The tweet apparently held as a universal truth that our Lord Jesus Christ is beyond reproach and incapable of sinning. The writer of the tweet believes as his tweet suggest to the discerning that it would be inconceivable to even begin to imagine that Jesus could sin and it was in that light that he made the analogy. My question is this, how has that insulted the holy grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Does English language mean anything in this part of the world or are we so blinded by religion that we can’t even read clearly and place facts in context – what is all these deliberate and mischievous nonsense all about? No wonder Karl Marx said religion is the opium of the people.

I read with shock the reaction of CAN through its General Secretary General Secretary, wherein the supposedly religiously body went ballistic attacking Mallam El-Rufai for attempting to inflame religious tension between Christians and Muslims. Hear them:

“if he persists in such matters and making such divisive commentaries, he must prepare himself for a very forceful and vigorous reaction from the Church and the Christian community in Nigeria”.

They are not done yet:

“Had it not been for the maturity, fortitude, patience, decency, forgiving nature and deep sense of restraint that the majority of Christians have in our country, El-Rufai would not have been safe anywhere in Nigeria today after cracking such an expensive joke.”

First of all, CAN must possess the power of clairvoyance to know as their press release suggests that Bukola’s tweet was the handiwork of and prompted by Mallam El-Rufai. Bukola is an adult and educated too and that is why he can read between the lines and has been demanding accountability from this directionless and careless government.

I consider it an extreme insult and misrepresentation of facts for CAN to think they speak for all Christians in Nigeria. I am a Nigerian and by the grace of God, a Christian but I am not a member of CAN because I don’t believe in their ideals and I can’t follow their examples. Apostle Paul in said 1Corinthians 11:1 that we should follow him as he followed Christ – which of the reactions of CAN, whether to the withdrawal of Catholic Church or to the innocuous tweet of Bukola can I sincerely follow as a Christian? I dare say none!

I don’t think these jesus (I deliberately used a small cap because CAN’s reaction does not represent the character of our Lord Jesus Christ – they must be speaking and fighting for another jesus) voltrons read their Bibles, they would have easily seen that they are the ones misrepresenting Christianity. The book of Isaiah 53v7 prophesying of Jesus’ crucifixion says “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not is mouth”.

The book of John 18 tells the story of the arrest of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Mathew’s version of the same incident as recorded in Mathew 26V51-54, one of Jesus’ disciple behaved like one of these voltrons and drew out his sword cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servants for daring to arrest Jesus Christ. Jesus rebuked him for such “unsolicited help”. Christians don’t fight for their God, their God fight for them! As a matter of fact, there is only one fight that Christians have been called to fight – the good fight of faith as written in 1Timothy 6:12. And it is a personal fight because the end-point of the fight is to lay-hold of eternal life. We are not to fight the unbelieving, we are to preach the gospel to them, we are not called to fight the devil, Jesus defeated him.

Assuming without conceding that these jesus voltrons are right and the tweet is in fact blasphemous of our Lord Jesus Christ, where is it written in the Bible that Christians can issue threats to fellow citizen as they have done to Mallam El-Rufai, can CAN leaders in all honesty go and preach the gospel to him now or they have sat in judgment over him and decided that he is not worthy of the faith which they profess? Our sole mandate is to love. I urge everyone to read Jesus’ admonition to the Scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day in Mathew 23:13 and think circumspectly of our own limitations. In what is known as the Beattitudes as contained in Mathew 5, Jesus taught us as Christians the attitude required of us in our relationship with others especially non Christians, we are not to avenge ourselves. Jesus said pointedly in verse 39 of that scripture that if they smite us on the right cheek, that we should turn the left – our faith requires of us to leave those calls and judgments to God – Paul said we shouldn’t avenge ourselves that we should leave all vengeance to God who will repay all men – Romans 12v18.

Nigerian leaders are pretty predictable (whether are they are CAN or CANT) and I know their reaction to my article will be to accuse me of being sponsored by Mallam El-Rufai. Such deliberate cynics are not deserving of my thought but to those who care to know, I do not write this article in defense of Bukola or Mallam El-Rufai both of who are well able to defend themselves. I would not have written this piece but for what I think is a misrepresentation of the character of my faith and for the fact that CAN purports to speak on my behalf when they have no such mandate or moral authority to do so. It is impersonation and CAN should desist from issuing statements on behalf of all Christians; they will do well to restrict themselves to speaking for their members.

I will share my own joke which I heard from a respected preacher and hopefully, it won’t trend. It is the story of a young boy who sat outside of a church crying and Jesus appeared to him asking why he was crying, the little boy told Him that they kicked him out of their church and won’t let him in, Jesus told him that that makes two of them, that they won’t let Him in either. So, take heart if CAN gives you the left foot of fellowship, you are in good company. The words of the true Jesus in John 16v2 resonate in my mind. He said “they shall put you out of synagogues and those who kill you will think they are doing God a service”.

Follow Tolu on twitter (@toluwabisi)

Ayo-Oritsejafor

Pictured: The private jet of the leader of CAN and associate of Nigeria’s President Jonathan

  • Awesome piece..finally somebody has stood up to those lions in sheep clothing!..

  • Great piece.

  • What @elrufai retweeted was too sensitive and raw. He should learn to be objective as a leader.
    He blocked me on Twitter this morning and called me bad mannered.
    He is not tolerant and rude.
    I do not expect @omojuwa to stand by him for dividing us.
    A leaders must be objective and sensitive not arrogant.

  • ekene uche

    A beautiful piece no doubt,says it all doesn’t it? But in the end,everything is calm and peaceful because christainity is a tolerant religion,forget those making death threats on twitter. They are probably being juvenile and enjoying the anonymity and overt confidence that twitter provides!
    Everyone is quick to want to analyse the implied meanings of the Jesus tweet. How many times have we(xtains and muslims) given anything this amount of attention when it comes to Mohammed!!! No,the reaction is instantaneous!
    I think that we should all be thankful that it was a Jesus tweet and not any other thing! If not,the tweeter and retweeter would have had themselves to blame! Not everyone in nigeria has the time to seriously analyse a tweet! Hell,some pple will not even laugh @ a joke,if they do not understand it or its got negative colouring

  • Mitchell

    Great piece. Thumbs up! My thoughts exactly, only more articulate. I don’t even know why el rufai had to apologize. I guess he was doing what he deemed to be the politically correct thing. My first reaction on seeing the tweet was laughter and I don’t think that makes me less a christian. We christians should not get to that point of developing the unreasonable sensibilities that some muslims have that have been the cause of many a religious crises in this country.

  • chidinma

    Its funny when people preach with the two sides of their mouth. I don’t like CAN neither do I believe in them. My problem is EL- Rufai, you see he calls himself a critic yet he cannot stand being criticised. Why did he block me on twitter? Why did he block most of us masses who bore d brunt of his tribalistic governance in FCT on twitter? Why does he not retweet the criticisms people dish out to him so that his voltrons can also read?So corruption in Nigeria started with Jonathan? Because he is no longer benefitting from the govt he suddenly becomes a critic *laughs bitterly* If this joke was with Mohammed be sincere to yourself Tolu will EL-Rufai retweet it? You know the truth, I don’t believe in any change in Nigeria with the crop of womanising,tribalistic and hypocritic el rufai and his crops. If you like defend him from today till tommorrow. The truth is valid for all to see. He is merely making noise and seeking relevance. If he likes let him retweet rubbish time after time,God will judge him. If you like post, if you like don’t post. One thing I surely know is that you will read my post. I regret being born in this woeful nation full of lying elders from an angry youth

  • Bunmi

    I honestly blive over 50% of d ppl *misreacting* neither read d original tweet or d retweet including dse CAN leaders, cos if dey did & still feel ds way den #drestroubleinformsix o, while d odaz just want to believe d worst .how we so easily pick issues as religious is amazing & also dangerous. If only Nigerians could react & create hashtags & PERSIST (really how long will ds stay on?) on real issues dt concern d way dey did ds…dre would have been a revolution in ds country. It would av been funny if it isn’t just so crazy. God help ds country. Great write up by the way.

  • iwalolaeni

    Most of the people that threatened to bring fire and Brimstone on Ogunyemi Bukola and Mallam Elrufai were not even following the thread of the conversation. They just flared up at the mention of Jesus’ name, matters were made worse when Mallam retweeted! We should learn to be open our minds, think and not just jump to conclusions.
    In the same vein, we should realise that we are living in Nigeria, where a lot of people are frustrated and very religious. Mallam was never supposed to have retweeted that tweet, No. He is an icon,Leader and a muslim in a nation fraught with a lot of religious sentiments. Let us not hide under the guise of “Jesus can fight for Himself”, would he have retweeted same if Bukola talked about intimacy betwwen Mohd and underaged Aisha? Would he? We should not take Christians for granted, if it were Muslims, we will not be talking about press release and all,that will be the beginning of another crisis, maybe Nigerians would have been banned from social media by now!
    Let us be sincere in our judgement,the tweet was not harmful but Nigeria is not the place for such tweets and retweets.
    I don’t know why CAN responded to this tweet, afterall Mallam and Bukola apologised. I am really sick of reading about this #Jesustweet on twitter, can we move to better things?

  • mofesola

    Zebbook’s tweets wasn’t blasphemous and am sure elrufai would never dare insult jesus or d christian community in nigeria,but as a nigerian with 50+yrs of experience as he claims he should know that religion is a sensitive issue in dis country…I hope he learnt his lesson because dis issue might undermine his chances @ d 2015 polls. @mofesola_ on twitter.

  • Funso

    All these people who lack integrity turning themselves to social critic, who abhor being criticised. Chief Femi Fani Kayode also blocked my comment on fb after i made effort to criticise him in one of his updates. I guess they became critics after losing out from d power game.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Revealed: How Dogara, Lasun, Others Stole Millions From House Budget – Jibrin

The former chairman of committee on appropriation, Abdulmimin Jibrin, today continued his series of revelations on the fraud and corruption perpetuated by Yakubu Dogara. In a statement made available to the press, the lawmaker alleged that Dogara frequently solicits for inappropriate favours from agencies and multinational companies.   According to Jibrin, Speaker Dogara forced an agency to grant loans and also blackmailed a construction company to do some work at his Asokoro 'plot'. Jibrin alsoo...

NASS Should Expect 2017 Budget By October, Says Udo-Udoma

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udoma Udo-Udoma said the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework would be ready and submitted to the National Assembly for consideration by October Udo-Udoma said this in Abuja on Monday at a Stakeholders Consultative Forum with Civil Society Groups and organised private sector on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework. He also said the Federal Government had expended N2.1 trillion out of the N6.06 trillion approved budget for 2016...

Buhari Drops Shasore, Picks MIT Professor, Akinwande For NERC Chair.

President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated , a professor in the electrical engineering and computer science department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as the executive chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).   Akinwande (pictured) will succeed Sam Amadi whose tenure ended in 2015. Babatunde Fashola, minister of works, power and housing, had preferred Olasupo Shasore, who was once attorney-general under him as governor of Lagos. Shasore was one of the aspirants reportedly supported by Fashola for the APC governorship...

Turkey: 42 Journalists Under Probe Over Failed Coup

Dozens of journalists are under investigation for possible links to the attempted July 15 coup in Turkey report said on Monday. Among the 42 reporters is Nazli Ilicak, a prominent critic of the current regime. It is not clear if any of those being investigated have been detained. All the journalists being probed have links to media owned by Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based...

Olympics: FINA Bans Seven Russian Swimmers From Rio

Swimming’s world governing body on Monday banned seven Russians from competing at next month’s Rio Olympics in the fall-out from Russia’s state-run doping. FINA was the first sport to impose bans in light of Sunday’s IOC decision, which ruled against a blanket ban on all Russian competitors in Rio, instead leaving it up to each sports federation to decide whether to accept Russians. Vladimir Morozov and Nikita Lobintsev, both 4x100m freestyle bronze-medal winners with the...

Lawyer Urges Buhari To Grant Amnesty To Boko Haram Members

A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to grant amnesty to Boko Haram members in the wake of the defeat being inflicted on the insurgents by the Nigerian military. In a statement issued Sunday, Mr. Adegboruwa said one year after Mr. Buhari declared war on the group, it had become clear that they may not be totally defeated immediately. “It would seem, from all indications, that it will require a...

British PM Rules Out Return Of Hard Border In North Ireland

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday promised a “practical solution” on the Irish border after Britain leaves the European Union in a bid to allay fears about a return to tough checks. She spoke on her first visit since taking office to Northern Ireland, which has what would become the United Kingdom’s only border with the EU after Brexit. “Nobody wants a return to the borders of the past,” May said in Belfast, where...

Update: Ansbach Bomber ‘Pledged Allegiance To ISIL’

A Syrian man who detonated explosives outside a music festival in the German city of Ansbach, killing only himself and wounding at least 15 people, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant group before the attack, according to a senior government official.   The 27-year-old suspect, who was a refugee, blew himself up late on Sunday after being denied entry to the event.   Joachim Herrmann, the interior minister of Bavaria, said on Monday that video footage discovered...

Bear With Us, Saraki Pleads With Nigerians Over Recession

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki has lamented the current economic hardship being experienced by Nigerians, assuring that the Senate will collaborate with the presidency to find a quick and lasting solution to the economic crisis even as he pleaded with Nigerians to bear with the government. Saraki also identified dialogue as a solution to the vandalization of oil and gas installations by Niger Delta militants. He emphasised the need for government to engage...

Military Court Sentences Former Top Chinese General Guo Boxiong to Life in Prison for Taking Bribes

A Chinese military court on Monday sentenced a former top general to life in prison for taking bribes, concluding China's highest-level prosecution of a military figure in decades. Guo Boxiong was also stripped of his rank and forced to hand over all his assets to the Chinese government, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Guo, 74, is a former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission,...

FRSC Creates Data Bank For Road Traffic Accident– Report

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says the need to have a unified road accident data in the country informed the creation of the “National Crash Report Information System (NACRIS)’’. According to the corps 2015 annual report, the NACRIS is a committee responsible for the collation and harmonisation of road traffic accident data from all agencies generating data on accident. The report said the FRSC and Ministry of Health serve as Secretariat of the NACRIS...

FG Scraps Plan To Build N3bn Film Village In Kano Following Public Outcry

The federal government has cancelled its plan to build a massive film village in Kano state.   According to BBC, the government shelved the plan as a result of social media outcry and opposition from Muslim clerics. More than N3bn was reportedly budgeted for the project as part of the government’s efforts to improve the Hausa language film industry known as Kannywood.   The government argued the village would create thousands of job opportunities and promote cultural activities.But Muslim clerics argued it would...

Syrian Migrant Killed By Own Bomb In Germany

A Syrian migrant set off an explosive device near an open-air music festival in southern Germany that killed himself and wounded a dozen others, authorities said Monday, the third attack to hit the region in a week. The 27-year-old had spent time in a psychiatric facility, but the authorities said an Islamist motive for the attack on Sunday night in the city of Ansbach appeared “likely”. Germany is reeling after nine people died in a...

Brexit A Risk To Global Growth – World Leaders

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union heightens risks for the world economy, finance chiefs from the G20 group of leading countries said on Sunday, vowing to use “all policy tools” to boost growth. The outcome of June’s referendum “adds to the uncertainty in the global economy”, they said in a communique after a meeting of central bankers and ministers in the Chinese city of Chengdu.

Buhari, Obasanjo Meet Behind Closed Doors Again

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently meeting behind closed doors with former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Obasanjo, decked in a blue agbada and cap to match, arrived the Presidential Villa, Abuja for the meeting at about 12.54pm. He was driven to the forecourt of the President’s office in a black Sports Utility Vehicle marked ABJ425 PY. The former President was accompanied by one of his daughters. Details later.

Jigawa LGC Targets 13,104 Children For Polio Immunisation

The Dutse Local Government Council of Jigawa is targeting no fewer than 13,104 children to be immunised against polio virus in the ongoing polio immunisation in the area. The Health Educator of the council, Alhaji Sani Yusif, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse on Sunday. Yusif said the council had received enough doses of Oral Polio Vaccines (OPVs) to conduct the exercise. He explained that the...

MEND Confirms Talks With FG

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has confirmed there are on-going peace talks between its representatives and the Federal Government. MEND had set up a team of negotiators it called Aaron team 2 led by former minister Odein Ajumogbobia and other prominent Niger Delta leaders to discuss with the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the Niger Delta crisis. President Muhammadu Buhari had first disclosed the Federal Government participation...

Police Arrest Father Who Chained Son For Weeks

Pastor Francis Taiwo, who chained his nine-year-old boy for several weeks to a wood in the premises of a church he heads, has been arrested by the police. The news had earlier broken of the rescue of the nine-year-old by an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC from the Ajibawo area of Ado-Odo/Ota church where he was locked down. The father had reportedly chained him inside the premises of the...

Wizkid Shares New Pics Of His Lover, Justine Skye

Photos show Wizkid and his bae Justine Skye having a swell time at the One Africa Music Fest. All shared by Wizkid on his IG page.             Wizkid with Alicia...

At Least Two Dead In Florida Nightclub Shooting

At least two people were killed and 14 others wounded in a shooting early Monday at a Florida nightclub, US broadcaster NBC reported. Police confirmed that the incident occurred at Club Blu in Fort Myers, which US media said was holding a party for teenagers. A “person of interest” has been detained at another location, the station said. The Fort Myers Police Department reported that while two individuals were fatally shot, “at least 14-16”...

Breaking: Turkish Airlines Fire 250 Personnel Over Failed Coup

Turkey's state-run Turkish Airlines fired more than 100 employees, including management and cabin crew, as part of a purge at state institutions to root out supporters of an abortive coup, Turkish media reported on Monday.   The dismissals at the national carrier occurred late on Sunday after it was determined the employees were linked to a religious movement President Tayyip Erdogan has said attempted to overthrow the government on July 15, Sabah newspaper said.   An official at Turkish Airlines, Europe's fourth-biggest carrier,...