Plans by some crisis entrepreneurs to set the Christian community against itself in Nigeria’s Gombe State have been uncovered.
In the new plot, it was gathered that government officials are allegedly sponsoring certain individuals to cause confusion within the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Gombe State Chapter, which, if not handled properly, may lead to serious crisis.
Recall that the relatively peaceful Nigeria’s Gombe State was recently turned into a war zone with the killings of several innocent Nigerians over the Choice of Mai Tangale (Traditional Ruler) in Billiri Local Government Area of the State.
Elanza News reports that after the officials of National body of CAN in Abuja travelled to Gombe State and supervise the election of officials that will take over the leadership at stipulated by law, a rebel group have emerged allegedly sponsored by government officials through the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Babadidi Babaji; former youth CAN President, who is from Adamawa State, Engr Daniel Kadzai; Rev JP Kauwa and Rev Joel Philip Wakili.
The officials that supervised the election conducted at the CAN Secretariat, Gombe State are: CAN Assistant General Secretary, Elder Biodun Sanyaolu; CAN National Director Legal and Public Affairs, Comfort Chigbue and CAN Zonal Chairman, North East, Rev Abare Kallah.
The other faction, it was gathered, held their election in a hotel in Gombe.
But while the authentic leadership is set to inaugurate the officials on Sunday, 30th January, 2022 at CAN Centre Dukku Road, Gombe State in an event tagged: Grand Reception And Instalment of New Executive, with the theme: “Politics Of Power And The Church In Perilous Times,” under the Chairmanship of the Catholic Bishop of Bauchi and Gombe State, Most Rev Hilary Naanman Dachelam CMF, with the governor of the State, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya as the special guest, a faction under Rev Joel Philip Wakili and others have also fixed their programme of inauguration the same day, the same venue but to start 30 minutes earlier than the scheduled time of the National CAN – recognised leadership.
While the authentic group which held the election that was supervise by the National CAN invited the Senator Representing Gombe South, Col Bulus K Amos (rtd); ECWA General Secretary, Rev Yunusa S. Madu Jnr.; Chairman, CAN North-East, Rev Abare Yunusa Kallah, Deputy Governor of Gombe State, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau; Member Representing Balanga/Billiri Federal Constituency, Rt Hon Victor Mela Danzaria; Gospel Singer Pam Monday and Autan Zaki; an event sponsored by Member Representing Kaltungo/Shongom Federal Constituency, Rt Hon Karu Simon Elisha, the other faction which held it purported election in a hotel, haven been allegedly given N12 million, have also invited ECWA President World-wide, Rev Steven Panya Baba as a special guest.
Other people invited for the programme tagged: “Peace Summit And Thanksgiving Of The New CAN Chairman Rev Joel Philip Wakili and other Exco,” with the Theme: “You Shall Know The Truth,” under the Distinguish Chairmanship of ECWA/TEKAN Bloc General Secretary, Rev Moses Ebuga; Chief host, Rev Sunday Congo; guest speaker, Bishop Simeon Ephron Yaldins, in an event also sponsored by all
Christian Government Appointees and ECWA 9 DCC’s Forum, Gombe State; analysts say without intervention by Christian leaders, a crisis may erupt at the venue.
To this end, the National body of CAN has written Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya urging him to recognise the authentic group.
CAN, which asks the Governor to steer clear of the activities of the faction and recognize the authentic group, listed their names and positions.
The letter obtained by Elanza News dated 24th January, 2022 was also copied to the North East Zonal Chairman and the Gombe State Chairman of CAN.
CAN, which slogan is: “That they all may be one,” is worried that the recent Gombe State CAN election held on the 14 day of December, 2021 in which the report of the election was written and endorsed by all concerned on the 15 December, 2021 is not recognised by the Government officials in Gombe State.
The letter to Governor Inuwa which was signed by CAN General Secretary, Barr Daramola Joseph Bade, reads: “I bring you calvary greetings from the leadership of CAN National.
“I hereby write to inform you that, the recent Gombe State CAN election held on the 14 day of December, 2021 in which the report of the election was written and endorsed by all concerned on the 15 December, 2021 which brought in the new Gombe State CAN Executives as follows: 1. Rev. Fr. Joseph Alphonsus Shinga -Chairman; 2. Pastor Chris Godobe – Vice Chairman; 3. Pastor Solomon Ayanwale -Secretary; 4. Ven. Nimya Rana – Assistant General Secretary; 5. Rev. Joel Philip Wakili -Treasurer.”
“Your Excellency, kindly note that these are the AUTHENTIC CAN newly elected Executives in Gombe State. Thanks, and remain blessed,” the letter reads.
Pundits have called on the Christian community to rise up in addressing the crisis.
Others say the Governor of Gombe State as the chief security officer of the State must work impartially to avert religious crisis.
Elanza News reports that some of the officials which have the support of the National CAN have been invited by security agents in the State in an attempt to intimate them and support the faction that held their meeting at a hotel.