….Calls on Buhari to Suspend Implementation Until NASS Amends Controversial Sections
By Ogechi Okorie
Abuja (Precise Post) – Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to the signing into law of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the government cannot control the Church because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.
“This is why we are calling on the Federal government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the National Assembly exempts religious institutions from it.”&
The President of the Christian body, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, in a statement on Thursday, described the new law as ‘ungodly.’
Precise Post recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the CAMA 2020 into law. And so, repealed the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.
However, various religious bodies and leaders have not accepted it because of its provisions in Section 839 (1) & (2).
The controversial section empowers the Corporate Affairs Commission to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church).
Above all, the Commission can appoint interim managers to run the affairs of the association for some reason.
But the umbrella Christian body has alleged that the Federal Government is waging war against the Church through the new law.
Against that backdrop, the CAN President wants President Buhari to stop the implementation of the law until the National Assembly amended it to exempt religious institutions.
Ayokunle said, “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) rejects out rightly the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 that was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
The law, to say the least, is unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode.
We recall that during the President’s First Tenure, the National Assembly conducted a public hearing on the Non-Governmental Organisations Bill. CAN and many NGOs attended.
“At the meeting, we rejected the Bill that sought to bring religious organizations and NGOs under the government’s control and influence.
“We argued that it would snuff life out of the church. In addition, it would rank the church as an institution under secular control.
“We thought CAN won the argument until we heard of the CAMA that the President assented to, making the rejected bill a law.
“The satanic section of the controversial and ungodly law is Section 839 (1) &(2) which empowers the Commission to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint the interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons.
“We are not against the government fighting corruption. But we completely reject the idea of bringing the Church, under the government’s control.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently return the law to the National Assembly for immediate amendment.
Nigeria should not be compared with other nations in the relationship between religious institutions and the government.
In Nigeria, people’s religions are tied to their humanity and of course, their life. How can the government sack the trustee of a church which it contributed no dime to establish?
How can a political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of an institution which is apolitical? For example, how can a non-Christian head of Government Ministry be the one to determine the running of the church?
“It is an invitation to the trouble that the government does not have the power to manage. Let the government face the business of providing infrastructure for the people.
“Let them focus on better health provision, food, education, adequate security employment, etc. The government should not be a busy body in a matter that does not belong to it.
“The government does not have the technical expertise to run the church of God because of its spiritual nature.
“If the government is bent on imposing a law on us which the entire Church in Nigeria is against, then, they have declared war on Christianity and the agenda to destroy the Church which we have spoken against before now is coming to the open more clearly.
“If you cannot give us good amenities of life, we would not allow you to take away our liberty to worship our Maker. What good thing again will you not take away from the people in the name of being in power?
“Are we not running a democracy which is a government of the people by the people and for the people? Is this not gradually becoming a dictatorship or what was the essence of the Public Hearing you called us to when you had made up your mind not to consider the position of Christians at all which we presented during the Public Hearing?
“We call on all well-meaning Nigerians to ask the Federal Government to suspend the law because we do not need it in this nation.