PRESIDENT of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) and candidate of the Christian Council of Nigeria, CCN, Rev. Samson Olasupo Adeniyi Ayokunle, yesterday emerged the new president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). Ayokunle defeated Elder Joseph Otubu of the Motailatu Church Cherubim and Seraphim Movement (MCCSW) who represented the Organization of African Instituted Churches, OAIC, with 57 votes to 28.
The outgoing president of the body, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, announced the result of the election at about 2:30 p.m. to rousing applause of National Executive Council delegates from different parts of the country who had converged at the National Christian Center in Central Business District of Abuja. By the CAN constitution, Prof. Joseph Otubu, who emerged runner-up in the elections automatically becomes the Vice President of the Association for the next three years of the soon to be sworn in administration. According to the schedule, yesterday and today were set aside for the conduct of the election and the ratification of the new CAN constitution which had been completed by a committee set up by the National Advisory Council of CAN about two years ago. The CAN General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake told Vanguard that the successor of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor would be elected by a total of 101 NEC delegates made up of 10 members representing each of the five confederating blocs, all the state chairmen plus the Federal Capital making 37, the six zonal leaders, five national directors, the president, vice president, the general secretary and the Treasurer. “We are on target and we are praying that everything will go as planned because this is an issue about Christians and we hope to finish the entire exercise without any rancour,” he said. In his acceptance speech yesterday, the president-elect of CAN acknowledged that the task ahead is enormous and therefore urged the Christian gathering to bury their hatchets and team up with his soon-to-be sworn in administration to ensure the peace and progress of Christianity in the country. Sueing for unity in an acceptance speech titled, “My Vision for CAN”, Rev. Ayokunle said: “I am aspiring to lead Christian Association of Nigeria so as to be able to facilitate an atmosphere where the member churches of CAN can have a more effective fellowship and dialogue on Christian faith, its defence in Nigeria and all over the world. ‘’I intend to facilitate a fellowship where love flows and peace prevails in all the member churches. ”To this end, all would be done to see that CAN is a united body and all wrangling within the body would be addressed for unity of purpose. This would be priority number one.’’
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