The Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN) is the largest Ecumenical Body ever establised in Nigeria and in deed Africa.
ON 27th August 1976 the (then) Federal Military Government, under Gen. Obasanjo invited several Church Leaders of diverse denominations to Dodan Barracks, Lagos. the Government's sole purpose was to hold a discussion with the Church Leaders, on the National Pledge and the salutation of the National Flag, which the Government intended to introduce into the Nation's Primary and Secondary Schools. The Church Leaders did not object to the introduction of the two items provided and on the condition that reading and reciting the National Pledge and saluting the National Flag would be preceded by the usual Morning Devotions, during which the Staff and the Students of each school worship their Creator and offer Praises and Prayers to Him. Immediately after the meeting the Church Leaders spontaneously decided to go to a place, not too far from Dodan Barraks where they could hold another meeting. the Catholic Secretariat opposite the race course bus stop was unanimously chosen.
At the meeting, the Church Leaders arrived at a momumental decision that they should from an organisation which would provide a forum where they could regularly meet together and take joint actions on vital matters, especoally on issues which affect the Christian Faith and the welfare of the generality of Nigerians. That was the origin and the beginning of the Christian Association of Nigera (CAN).
Those Church Leaders who met at Dodan Barracks and later at the Catholic Secretariat on the histroic August day, were right in their conviction that the Omnipotent God Himself through the Holy Spirit gave them a special ecumenical assignment. It wa this conviction which prompted them to select out of the several names suggested for their coming together the name Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). They strongly felt that with the help of the Holy Spirit, the Church in Nigeria can and will achieve unprecedented feats, to Christ.
That mustard seed planted on that eventful day has now grown to cover all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria with the Head Office at the National Christan Centre Abuja.
The Association was registerd under the perpetual Act cap 98 (now CAC).
DEFINITION OF CAN
CAN is an Association of Christian Churches with distinct identies, recognizable Church structures and system of worship of one God in the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Association makes Christ the centre of all its works and shall promote the glory of God, by encouraging the growth and unity of the Churches and helping them to lead the nation and her people to partake of Christ Salvation and all its fruits. the motto is - that they all may be one - John 17: 21.
The Mission of the Association is to meet regularly and take joint action on vital matters, especially on those issue which affect the Christian Faith and the welfare of the generality of Nigerians.
SHORT HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (CAN) SOUTH SOUTH ZONE.
At the end of the meetings, a consensus was reached on a number of issues relating to the zonal CAN formation, among which were the zoning of offices and the location of the administrative headquarters. It was finally agreed that the six states CAN nominate two persons each to fill twelve offices to man the offices and Directorate cadre of the zonal CAN and to run the new body in the interim pending when appropriate structures would be put in place.
Consequent upon the nomination, presentation and ratification of the twelve officers as well as a sixty-member Executive Committee representative, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) South South Zone was officially inauguration ceremony, was held at the Alfred Diete Spiff Civic Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State precisely on the 8th July 2006 at a colorful ceremony largely characterized by pomp and pageantry.
The event, which had the then Executive Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Dr. Peter Odili as the chief host, was well attended by a mammoth audience of richly adorned church leaders and Christians from the five church groups of the six states that constitute the South South geo political zone of the country.
Also in attendance were representatives of some state governors representatives of the Executive of CAN in the Northern States and the National Headquarters ably led by the out gone Vice President, Bishop Mike Okonkwo as well as several distinguished personalities from all walks of life.
At the historic ceremony, the twelve zonal officers of two from each state of the zone and a sixty member zonal executives of twelve each from the five church groups of CAN were inaugurated to run the affairs of the young body.
The officers of the zone, who were inaugurated and were saddled with the onerous responsibility of steering the affairs of the young body, are:
It is important to add that the Women and Youth Wings of the body were also inaugurated on the same day. Hon. (Mrs.) Julie Nuka Wika and Dr. Emmanuel Martins are the present Chairmen of WOWICAN and YOWUCAN respectively.
B. ACTIVITIES OF THE CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION NIGERIA (CAN) SOUTH SOUTH ZONE.
Since after the inauguration of the body, serious efforts have been primarily directed towards the establishment of a solid and enduring administrative structure while at the same time executing other activities some of these are highlighted hereunder.
1. THE SECRETARIAT
The positions to which the staffs were recruited included:
It is also envisaged that on completion of the renovation work a guest house would be in place to cater for the accommodation needs of visitors to the zone and other guests.
2. FAMILIARISATION VISITS TO THE STATES
The visits, which are still ongoing, have been very successful and rewarding in the states so far visited and it is hoped that all states would be covered before the end of the year.
3. EMPOWERMENT OF STATES IN THE ZONE
While the buses have long been presented to the states, a few states are however yet to receive their grants and it is hoped that they would do so very soon.
Prior to the elections, Christians in the zone and largely through the states were massively sensitized on expediency of showing greater interest in the voters’ registration exercise and were strongly encouraged to show genuine interest in elective offices and turn out massively to vote for credible candidates of their choice vying for the positions of governance at all levels.
This was done in the six states through aggressive media campaign and publicity, rallies and series of meetings with the leadership of CAN.
It is important to state that the result of Christian efforts in the states in all of
The CAN South South, being strongly convinced of the power and benefits of investments has embarked on two major investments so far.
These are in the areas of commercial transportation and the capital market.
C. CAN MEMBERSHIP SPREAD
Membership spread of CAN South South Zone comprises Christians from the five Church Groups in the six states of the South South geopolitical zone namely: Edo, Delta Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River.
The Church Groups are:
APOSTLE G.I. UKHUEDOBAH
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