The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Supo Ayokunle, has lamented that Christian members of the National Assembly rejected request by the association to raise a bill for the amendment of the controversial Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, saying they needed to lobby which could be interpreted as requesting bribe.
Ayokunle, who was also the President of Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), disclosed this while handing over to Rev. Israel Akanji, who emerged as the new NBC president.
The handover ceremony was part of the inaugural service in honour of both Akanji and Prof. (Emeritus) Adewale Akinsola, who is the President and Director of Medical and Health Services of the NBC. It held at the Baptist Building, Oke-Bola, Ibadan.
Ayokunle, who handed over after spending 10 years on the position, was advising his successor against putting his trust in man during his tenure when he recalled his experience in the hands of Christian National Assembly members over CAN’s efforts to get CAMA amended.
He said the executive raised a committee to meet with Christian members of the Assembly but pointed out that they refused to help. He said they pointedly told the committee members that they were elected into the Assembly through their political parties who presented them and those who sponsored their campaigns, not their churches or CAN.
“When we wanted the National Assembly members who are Christians to assist us in sponsoring a bill of amendment to CAMA, we set up a committee to go and meet them.
“When they got to them, they told the committee that they are not in the National Assembly because of CAN. They accepted that they are Christians but they said CAN didn’t send them there. They said ‘we were nominated by our parties, and our sponsors were the ones who gave us money to campaign and win elections, not CAN.’
“Which means their loyalty is to their political parties and those who sponsored them. And they said again if you want us to help you, we can still help you, we have to lobby and what does lobby means? They said, ‘only Christians cannot give you what you want, we have to go to those who are not Christians also and before they can support us, there must be an answer in your hand.’
“That is how politics is done but not in the house of faith, it will not work. There are some people who will never yield because of the Lord they have placed before them,”Ayokunle said.
Deploring the worsening security situation in the country, the new NBC president urged government to step up in securing lives and property in all parts of the country. He emphasised that Nigerian constitution recognises all religions, stressing that no religion should be imposed.