The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has rejected the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, describing it as ungodly and a time bomb.
News Central recently reported that the Act was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement issued by the Special Assistant (Media and Communication), to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, on Thursday, the body referred to the new law as unacceptable, reprehensible and an ill-wind that blows no one no good.
According to CAN “… the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) rejects outrightly the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 that was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari. By implication, he has repealed the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 (1). The law, to say the least, is a time bomb waiting to explode.”
“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 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.
“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.
“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 law until the religious institutions are exempted from it. We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to 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.”
The association wants to know why the government should have the power to sack the trustee of a church which it contributed no dime to establish? It also wants to know why a secular and political minister can be appointed to be the final authority on the affairs and management of an institution which is not political?
CAN also asked how 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 the power to manage.
The religious body called on the Nigerian government to concentrate on the business of providing infrastructure for the people, and 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?
CAN in its public statement called out to Nigerians to advise the Federal Government to suspend the law because it is not needed in the nation.”