Abduction Of Official: CAN Convenes Emergency Meeting

Abduction Of Official: CAN Convenes Emergency Meeting

Chris Steven, Abuja

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has convened an emergency meeting to unravel the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the President of TEKAN/ECWA, one of its Blocs, Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Dziggau, by unknown gunmen in Kaduna.

The General Secretary of CAN, Dr. Musa Asake, said on Tuesday that the meeting would take place on Thursday in Abuja with a view to ensuring that “all hands remain on deck to make sure that those who do not wish the Church well do not succeed.”

When contacted, the spokesperson of Kaduna State Police Command, Mr. Abdullahi Zubairu, said he had yet to be briefed. 

But wife of the abducted cleric, Helen Dziggau, confirmed the abduction in an interview with journalists from Abuja, but said no ransom has been demanded.

The Secretary of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja), Yerima Danladi, also told journalists in Abuja that Dziggau, was kidnapped on Monday
evening ‎”along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway in Dutse, a few kilometres from Kaduna town at a site where he was inc over in the building of a branch of his church.”

A source in CAN said, “It is believed that the kidnap is not unconnected with subterranean moves being made by some forces in the country to influence the election of the next President of CAN because the incumbent President of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, is expected to leave office in July 2016.

“Dziggau has consistently resisted pressures to support undue interference in the election process to produce the next President of CAN, a stand which has drawn the anger of some influential Christians in government.

He has been heard to express his neutrality openly. Please pray for the safety and release of Rev. Dr. Dzzigau. The Church is facing perilous times.”

It was reported that with few months to its forthcoming election, tension is mounting within CAN following alleged plots by President Muhammadu Buhari to install a successor to its current President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, whose tenure expires in July 2016.

A group of Christians under the aegis of Christ Redeemers Union, had claimed that the Presidency was interested in CAN election for some selfish reasons.
The National Director of Christ Redeemers Union , Dr. Abednego Olusola, had told journalists that Christians would resist any plan by the Presidency to instal a puppet in CAN Presidency
He had said, “A top official in the Presidency, who is spearheading the campaign, has started deploying resources for logistics towards ensuring the emergence of a church leader in the Northern part of the country believed to be friendly to Buhari.
“The government official funding some religious leaders in the North who have been recruited as foot soldiers to perfect the strategy. There is tension now in CAN and the action of the Presidency has polarised the association along North – South dichotomy as Northern religious are being lobbied to support the plot.”
Olusola explained that the APC government was desperate to ensure the emergence of its candidate in CAN who will lead the Nigerian Christians community.
“We have it on good authority that any leader being installed by the Presidency in CAN would avoid any virulent criticism of the Buhari government and this has informed their desperate to install a leadership that will not be critical.
“But we are vehemently opposed to government meddling into a purely religious affairs and should the Presidency succeed in installing an All Progressives Congress Buhari stooge in CAN, we will pull out”, he stated.
But when contacted, the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Communications), Mr. Femi Adesina, had dismissed the allegation saying that Buhari does not interfere in the internal affairs of any organisation.
He had said, “It means that some Nigerians don’t know their President; Your President, Muhammadu Buhari does not interfere in things like that; so they need to know the person who is their President.
“The people making the allegation can’t insist that they are correct because that is the man for you and Buhari doesn’t interfere in anything. If he doesn’t interfere in State elections where his own party, APC is having candidates, how will he interfere in CAN elections? They don’t know their President.”