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Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has released
a statement, applauding controversial clergyman
and Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle
Johnson Suleman, for being vocal in the face of the
repeated killing of Christians by some herdsmen in
some parts of the country.
In a statement signed by its special assistant on
media and communication to the CAN President,
Bayo Oladeji, the religious body kicked against last
Wednesday's attempted arrest of Suleman in Ekiti
state, arguing that his recent comments on the
religious crisis in the country is permitted by the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
They argue that Suleman is entitled to Freedom of
Speech.
CAN's Statement
"Apostle Suleman has become a refugee in Ekiti
state as security operatives are said to be searching
every nook and cranny of the state with a view to
arresting him. If there is an urgent need to
interrogate Apostle Suleman on any issue, it would
only have been proper to extend a formal or informal
invitation to him from the SSS rather than Gestapo
approach used in the attempt to arrest him.
It should be noted that under Nigerian Laws, he is
presumed innocent until a court of law proves
otherwise. Or have they extended the proposed
obnoxious law that forbids religious preaching
without the permission of the state governor down
south too? Treating Ministers of God and our
members as common criminals is unacceptable to
the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). Enough
is enough. The last time we checked, Sections
38-41 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) states
clearly that every Nigerian is “entitled to freedom of
thought, conscience and religion, including freedom
to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either
alone or in community with others, and in public or
in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or
belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
The Constitution states unambiguously that ‘Every
person shall be entitled to freedom of expression,
including freedom to hold opinions and to receive
and impart ideas and information without
interference’. Every person shall be entitled to
assemble freely and associate with other persons,
and in particular he may form or belong to any
political party, trade union or any other association
for the protection of his interests:
Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely
throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof,
and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from
Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit there".
The group called on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo,
who is a Christian, to speak against the repeated
attacks on Christians, stating that his silence on the
matter is deafening
“It is high time the overzealous security agencies
knew that Nigeria remains a secular state and any
attempt to turn the country into a refugee camp for
Christians will not be acceptable and will be
resisted with every lawful means.
We call on the acting President, Professor Yemi
Osinbajo, to intervene in all the clampdown on the
Church in Nigeria after all, he is in the office
primarily to represent the interest of the Christians
and his studied silence is no longer golden"he said.

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