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

Nigerian Soldiers Repel 10 Boko Haram Attacks In 2 Weeks– Theatre Commander

Nigerian soldiers repelled at least 10 different attacks by Boko Haram in the past two weeks, a military commander has said. The commander of the ‘Lafiya Dole’ counterinsurgency operation in north-east Nigeria, Lucky Irabor, said on Thursday that scores of insurgents were killed in the attacks while a few soldiers also lost their lives. Mr. Irabor, a major general, however said troops under his command are prepared to bring an end to the Boko Haram insurgency. He called on Boko Haram members...

Desiigner Is Being Sued For $500k Over Allegedly Crashing A Rented Ferrari

Desiigner’ pockets are about to be a little lighter, because he’s being sued for damaging a rented Ferrari back in June. Two of his friends, who have also been named in the lawsuit, allegedly gave the rapper permission to drive the car, however, he crashed it and now the rental company is suing for $500,000! The 2014 Ferrari is valued at $220k, but they want $500k, because they claim that they’re losing out on as much as $1,599 per day...

Nigeria authority orders Arik Air to pay compensation to passengers

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Wednesday directed Arik Air to return all delayed baggage of its passengers from London to Lagos within the next 24 hours. The authority also directed the airline to compensate the affected passengers with $150 each for their troubles. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the directive was issued by Adamu Abdullahi, Director, Consumer Complaints Department, NCAA. Arik Air and no fewer than 40 passengers have been at loggerheads over the non-arrival of their...

Senate to pass Petroleum Industry Bill in tranches – Saraki

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, says Senate will pass the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, in tranches as a way out of its non-passage for the past eight years. Mr. Saraki made this known at a three-day Public Hearing on the PIGB organised by the Senate joint Committee on the bill on Wednesday in Abuja. He said the passage of the bill in tranches was necessitated by the need to unbundle its contents into manageable compartments that could be...

1,048 people killed in 11 months in tanker, trailer crashes across Nigeria

At least 1,048 people were killed in 770 road crashes involving 4,365 tankers and trailers from January to November 2016, an official has said. Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at an interactive session with stakeholders in the road transport sector. Mr. Oyeyemi said 4,365 people were also injured during the period of review. According to him, crashes involving tankers and trailers had been on the decrease since 2014 as...

Access Bank warns Customers – ‘Beware of MMM, you will Soon Lose all Your Money’

Access Bank Nigeria Plc has warned its customers to avoid dealing with Mavrodi Mondial Movement, a Ponzi scheme, which has been declared illegal by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bank in an emailed statement to its customers said it had come to its attention “that some customers are engaged in the Ponzi scheme called ‘MMM’”. “Please be advised that this scheme is not in line with any applicable or known investment product and...

$15.5 million Fraud: Court adjourns Patience Jonathan’s suit to 2017

Justice Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court Lagos, on Wednesday, further adjourned till January 18, 2017, hearing in a suit by ex-first lady, Patience Jonathan, seeking enforcement of her fundamental rights. Mrs. Jonathan had instituted the fundamental rights suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, claiming the sum of $200 million as damages for inconveniences suffered. In her suit, she also joined Skye bank Plc, and a former aide to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Warampo Dudafa, as respondents. Also joined...

Please, I don’t Accept Gifts – Aisha Buhari Tells Nigerians

Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has said that she has not received any gift from anyone since becoming the President’s wife. Mrs. Buhari, who spoke at the unveiling of a new campaign against graft tagged, “Women Against Corruption” in Abuja, today, said that she did not also intend to collect gifts as the wife of the president even in the future. “People have been trying to bring some gift items to me but I have not been collecting them....

Defamation: Court strikes out Buhari’s suit against AIT

The Federal High Court on Wednesday in Abuja struck out defamation suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari against DAAR Communications, operators of the African Independent Television, AIT. Justice John Tsoho held that the court was compelled to strike out the suit because it appeared abandoned. According to him, no representations from the parties have been entered since the matter was assigned to the court. “This is against the rules of court, all opportunities given for the plaintiff and the respondents to put...

JUST IN: Doris Leuthard elected Swiss president

Centre-right politician, Doris Leuthard, will serve as Swiss president next year, the parliament decided on Wednesday in Bern.   Report says the leadership post goes to a different cabinet minister every year.   Leuthard, a Christian Democratic People’s Party member, has served as minister for environment, transport, energy and communication.   A former proponent of nuclear power, Leuthard has become the architect of Switzerland’s plan to gradually shut down its reactors.   Referendum voters in November supported her view that a rapid phase-out would do more harm...

Unwanted pregnancy mainly caused by wrong use of contraceptives – Health Minister

The major cause of unwanted pregnancy is improper use of contraceptives, Nigeria’s health minister has said. Isaac Adewole, disclosed this while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Wednesday in Abuja. Mr. Adewole,  a professor of  gynaecology, reacted to complaints over the high rate of unwanted pregnancies allegedly caused by contraceptives failure. He described contraceptives as methods, devices or drugs that could prevent conception. “Contraceptive-failure, if you use it well, rarely fails. Very rarely will an unwanted pregnancy come from contraceptive-failure;...

LASU approves 50 per cent rebate on fees payable for staff undergoing study

The Governing Council, Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, has approved 50 per cent rebate on all fees payable for its staff undergoing courses in the institution. ?According to the university’s official bulletin, the council took the decision at its meeting held on November 15 where the requests by some members of staff for an encompassing education rebate were considered. ?The council said that other sundry fees such as acceptance fee, medical fee, Identity Card, among others were included in the fees...

NCAA gives Arik Air 24-hour ultimatum over delayed Baggage

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on Wednesday directed Arik Air to return all delayed baggage of its passengers from London to Lagos within the next 24 hours. The directive was issued by the Director, Consumer Complaints Department, NCAA, Mr. Adamu Abdullahi, who also directed the airline to compensate the affected passengers with $150 each for their troubles. Arik Air and no fewer than 40 passengers have been at loggerheads over the non-arrival of their baggage, five days after their flight...

Python dance: Obiano Backs Army, disowns IPOB, MASSOB

The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willy Obiano, on Tuesday evening commended the operation Python Dance inaugurated by the Nigerian military in the south-east geo-political zone. He said those condemning the exercise had no reason to do so. The  Indigenous People of Biafra, Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra and some rights groups in the zone had condemned the military over Python dance. They argued that it would inflict hardship on the people. Obiano while receiving the Chief of Army...

Japan’s Sex Problem Is So Bad That People Are Quitting Dating & Marrying

The Japanese sex problem has become so desperate that its young population are giving up on dating and are just marrying their friends. A Government survey found 69 per cent of Japanese men and 59 per cent of Japanese women do not have a romantic partner. One Japanese aggregator website has since been awash with stories of how people have simply got married to life-long friends. The country has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, with just...

Patience Jonathan writes to House of Reps Over EFCC harassment

Former First Lady, Patience Jonathan has written a petition to the House of Representatives urging it to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from further “harassment”. The petition was read to the house on Wednesday by Lovette Idisi, a legislator from Delta state. “This petition is in line with section 36 where every citizen is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Idisi said “Mr. Speaker, here is a petition on the constant harassment of the former first lady. It was...

Brad Pitt Takes Angelina Jolie Back to Court

Brad Pitt is going to court to keep his custody war with Angelina Jolie private, and sources connected with Brad say his motivation is to thwart her from further damaging their children by airing their dirty laundry in public. Sources connected to the case tell TMZ ... Brad filed docs Tuesday in family court, requesting an emergency hearing. We're told he intends to ask the judge to seal all documents and proceedings related to his and Angelina's ongoing battle...

Why FG’s Ban on Land Border-Importation of Vehicles Makes NO Sense – Adeeko Ademola

BusinessDay search shows that before the implementation of the new auto policy, which raised duty paid on imported vehicles from 20 to 70 percent to encourage the upcoming assembling plants in the country, about 30,000 new cars and trucks used to arrive Nigeria every month across all the Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) terminals, but the volume has now dropped to about 10,000 monthly.    Most times, I can't help but chuckle at the sheer incompetence and shallow reasoning...

Nigeria Reps to separate AGF’s office from Minister of Justice

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, moved to separate the office of Attorney-General of the Federal (AGF) from that of Minister of Justice. The move followed the second reading of a Bill for an Act to alter the 1999 Constitution to introduce the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation separate from the Minister of Justice. Presenting the Bill, Rep Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno), said that if passed, it would emphasise the independence of the AGF’s office and ensure it was...

Photo: Gov. El-Rufai in Ghana as An Election Observer

Kaduna state governor, Nasir El-Rufai is currently in Ghana to observe the country’s presidential election. The governor declared the Islamic group Shiites ‘insurgents’ on Monday, a move that has been greeted by criticisms from Nigerians home and abroad. Many advised the governor to tread with caution to avoid a Boko Haram-like experience. However, despite the home challenges, the war of words with Senator Shehu Sani inclusive, Governor El-Rufai has flown to Ghana to observe...

We Will Pay Super Falcons, But We Don’t Have Cash Now – NFF

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have promised to pay the victorious Super Falcons, but that will be when they have the cash to pay them. NFF general secretary Mohammed Sanusi, who met with the players and officials of the African champions at the Agura Hotel on Tuesday, said the federation are not happy owing players and coaches, but present severe economic challenges inform that it can only continue to seek the understanding of these persons, as well as hoteliers,...