THE Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described as “satanic”, section 839 (1) and (2) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop its implementation.
CAN in a statement signed by its President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji on Thursday, said, “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, and the President should stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.”
President, Buhari, had on August 7 signed into law, the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020, which was passed by the National Assembly to replace the 1990 CAMA.
“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.
“The satanic section of the controversial and ungodly law is Section 839 (1) and (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.
“While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, yet we completely reject the idea of bringing the Church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government.
“The church cannot be controlled by the government 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 religious institutions are exempted from it.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently return the law to the National Assembly for immediate amendment. Nigeria should not be compared with any other nation when it comes to 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 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.”
CAN, therefore, urged government to face the business of providing infrastructure for the people, focus on better health provision, food, education, adequate security employment, among others. Oladejo continued:
“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,” CAN said.