By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 that was recently assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
CAN described the act as unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible and an ill-wind that blows no one any good.
The Association called on the Federal Government to stop the implementation of the law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.
They urged Buhari to urgently return the law to the National Assembly for immediate amendment.
CAN in a statement by Special Assistant to CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, stated that the CAMA Act is a time bomb waiting to explode.
CAN said it is not against the government fighting corruption but it completely rejects the idea of bringing the Church , which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government.
Oladeji argued that Nigeria should not be compared with any other nation when it comes to the relationship between the religious institutions and the government.
“In Nigeria, people’s religions are tied to their humanity and of course, their life adding that 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.
“The Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilitie
s and obligations. We recall that during the First Term of the President, there was a Public Hearing conducted by the National Assembly on the Non- Governmental Organisations Bill tagged ‘Bill for an Act To Provide For The Establishment Of The Non-Governmental Organizations Regulatory Commission For The Supervision, Co-ordination And Monitoring Of Non Governmental Organizations’ which was attended by CAN and many NGOs.
“At the Public Hearing, the Bill that sought to bring the religious organizations and NGOs under the control and influence of the government was totally rejected because it would snuff life out of the Church and rank the Church as a secular institution under secular control. We thought it was all over until we heard of the CAMA that was assented to by the President, making the rejected bill a law.
“How can the government sack the trustee of a Church which it contributed no dime to establish?
How can a secular and political minister be the final authority on the affairs and management of another institution which is not political?
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 trouble that the government does not have 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.”
Oladeji warned that if the government insists on imposing the law on the Church, 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.
“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.”
Courtesy: Guardian Newspapers.