Wilson Okereke, Afikpo
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared that its partnership with the Ebonyi State Government under the leadership of Governor David Umahi as mutually beneficial.
General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake who disclosed this in Abakaliki, the state capital described the governor as a “foremost Christian in Nigeria”, also praised him for giving the executive members of CAN in the state an enabling environment in all ramifications.
Represented by his deputy, Joseph Daramola, at the inauguration of a new executive committee of the Ebonyi chapter of the association, the scribe advised that the leaders not to allow their positions overwhelm their focus so that they would be able to leave legacies behind. He urged the Chairman, Rev. Fr Abraham Nwali to work towards seamless succession by prepare a suitable person successor ahead of the expiration of their tenure.
Following the belief that the Fr. Nwali-led executive had performed outstandingly; the cleric was unanimously re-elected for a second term of three years by Ebonyi CAN members, recently.
In his account of stewardship during the inauguration ceremony held at the Pastoral Centre, Mile 50, Abakaliki, Nwali told newsmen that upon assumption of office in May 2017, that he and his executive members attracted the construction of a non-denominational worship edifice popularly known as “Ecumenical Centre”.
Also, they had tremendously assisted members of the state school evangelism in teachings and supervision of moral instructions in public schools and encouraged the State Government towards handing over three technical colleges to mission.
According to him, they had produced directory (calendarium) containing the five component blocs of the association and the ministers in the State that would be launched soon.
The priest further said that CAN under his leadership with the help of the governor, has also been actively involved in the welfare of the ministers: “Since the past three years, the State Government has been giving monthly allowances through our offices to these set of persons; ministers for their apostolate, sick ministers in the state, indigent persons and others”.
He added that Governor Umahi’s administration did not only enhance the spread of the gospel but also made the spiritual assignment easier for the servants of God by providing some of them with brand new Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs).
Still counting the goodies, Nwali said that Umahi appointed over 20 CAN members into various positions ranging from Senior Special Assistants, Executive Assistants, Senior Technical Assistants and Technical Assistants; empowered no fewer than 2,500 ministers and secured landed properties for all the bloc leaders and bishops.
The chairman, who is also SSA to the governor on Religious and Welfare Matters, further disclosed that the government via his office and CAN had been settling bills of some indigent patients at the Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki; Mile 4 Hospital, EFFATTA, Ugbodo, Mater Misericordiae Afikpo, St Vincent Hospital, Ndubia and the Presbyterian Joint Hospital, Uburu.
He said: “CAN as vanguard and peace ambassador, we, the members, have been entrusted with special peace mission assignment since 2017 by which we had engaged in the settlement of land disputes and communal crises and by the grace of God, peace had returned to many of those communities”.
However, Nwali had earlier in an acceptance speech, paid glowing tribute to the elders of CAN whom he said God used to make their first tenure remarkable: “It was in His grace that we were able to act as a mere human instrument, it was in blessings of the elders and their counsel that we were able to carry out the little assignment in humility, it was for their awesome support that we were able to build the body of Christ as one and above all, our mandate is for the unity of the church and the glory of God”.
Former Chairman of the chapter, Rev. Emmanuel Nshii of the Assemblies of God Church; expressed the optimism that the present executives would take the interdependent association to an enviable height while he also applauded the peaceful conduct of the election, thanked the organizers and prayed for divine strength of the leaders.