The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has suspended some clergymen in the Niger Delta region over claims that they have been dialoguing and mediating between the Federal Government and the group of seven aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The suspension came a day after CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, disassociated the umbrella Christian body from a group of clergymen said to have been parading themselves under the aegis of the Niger Delta Bishops and Christian Forum.
The forum, as gathered, had met with former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Adamawa State Governor, Alhaji Muritala Nyako on the grounds that they would broker a peace deal between the G7 governors and the presidency.
The CAN Chairman, South-South zone and head of bishops in
the Niger Delta region, Archbishop God-Dowell Avwomakpa, according to his media adviser, Mr. Ovie Edomi, gave the suspension order after a meeting with Bishops from the zone yesterday.
The Niger Delta Bishops and Christian Forum, Daily Sun, learnt, is being led by Prophet Jones Erue and comprises bishops such as Julius Ediwe, Bob Manuel, Abhulemen Josiah, Konel Offiong, Innocent Chiedozie, Alex Okubo, Felix Ezebunwo, Charles Okoh, Peter Abingon and Archbishop Eddy Ogbonda.
Meanwhile, clerics from the Niger Delta on the platform of Global Peace Relief Initiative led by Prophet Jones Ode Erue, yesterday took on CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor over his comment in which he disparaged them in the media for attempting to reconcile the G-7 Governors with the PDP.
In a statement signed by their leader, Prophet Erue, they described Oritsejafor’s statement to the effect that CAN was apolitical as laughable, accusing the CAN President of getting involved in politics of calumny and name dropping.
They said they might not own private jets but they were people of unquestionable characters, dependable leaders and steward of peace. “We are disappointed that a leader could sit and watch his two children fight while the rest of us suffer only to come and blackmail those who take their time to seek solutions to the crisis,” the statement said and warned that no amount of blackmail or intimidation would deter them from the noble mission to rescue the country from imminent collapse.
Archbishop Avwomakpa said: “There is nothing wrong with clergymen initiating or brokering peace process between two factions but for some bishops to do so in the name of a body that I head and the head and other executives are not consulted gives a wrong signal and suggests a dangerous trend in the body of Christ.
“It means there are people with political interest or ambition in our fold.”
-From The Sun