Don’t Lose Hope In Tinubu’s Govt – CAN Urges Nigerians
The Christian Association of Nigeria on Monday urged Nigerians not to despair over the effects of the economic reforms undertaken by President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
This was as it urged the President to “continue on the path” he has taken since assuming office nearly eight months ago, pledging its support for the regime.
“We see the effort he is making towards securing this nation. So we ask Nigerians… who seem to have lost hope to not lose hope, but to have patience and persevere,” the CAN President, Daniel Okoh, told State House Correspondents after the audience with the President at the Council Chamber of the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
Monday’s meeting is the association’s first encounter with Tinubu since he was sworn in on May 29, 2023.
CAN harshly criticised Tinubu’s predecessor, former President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing the previous regime of poorly handling the episodes of killings and attacks on churches and communities in the Northeast, Northwest, Southwest and the Middle Belt.
Of particular note was the killing of over 40 worshipers at the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State, on June 5, 2022.
The Christian body had knocked Buhari, calling for an end to what it called the recycling of criminals and terrorists in the name of a de-radicalision programme.
It also criticised Tinubu, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress, for championing a Muslim-Muslim ticket, which it said potentially marginalised Christian interest.
But emerging from closed-door talks with the President on Monday, the CAN leadership described the administration as “inclusive” saying it had observed the composition of appointments he had made so far.
“Sincerely, what we found out is that the President is actually sensitive to all the challenges that we have. He’s aware, and we see him making very positive steps, even from the beginning of his administration.
“By the way he has made appointments so far, he has come with a great sense of inclusiveness. And Nigerians have a sense of belonging.
“I tell you that his pronouncements so far and his body language have increased the confidence of Nigerians and we believe that, given the chance, he will do a lot more. We are praying that the Lord will strengthen his hand to be able to do more and turn around the fortunes of this country.”
Okoh called for understanding from Nigerians, arguing that the challenge rocking the country predates the nascent administration.
He noted, “We know that there are a lot of challenges. But what we tell our people is that this is just the beginning of this administration, and Nigeria is big.
“What we face now started many years back, and it will take a while to turn around these things.
“But the important thing is that there is an intentional step that the President has taken and is taking to reverse the trend of events, especially in the area of governance; we see it very clearly.”
Therefore, CAN urged the President to continue on the path on which he had begun, declaring its support for him.
“The advice we have for the President is for him to continue on the path that he is now determined to follow.
“He is determined to run a government that is for all, an all-inclusive government, that listens to the people, just like he made a pledge to us that he will continue to listen to us and he has opened the channels for us that anything that we see or any concern that we have, we should always come back to let him know.
“So we believe that now we have a listening president. And we urge him to continue on that path. And to continue to always look out for those who mean well for this nation and put them to good use,” Okoh advised.
The Christian body said it was at the seat of power to felicitate with the President on his electoral victory.
It said with the general elections of 2023 in the past, “the leadership of CAN decided to come to pay a courtesy visit to congratulate him (Tinubu) on his election and to pledge our support for his administration.”