A group of protesting women yesterday urged the General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, to break his silence on alleged killings and persecution of Christians in the country.
The protesters stormed the National Christian Centre, venue of the 11th General Assembly of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Abuja, the nation’s capital, to register their displeasure over the cleric’s perceived silence on pressing national issues.
They described Adeboye’s voice as golden.
To ventilate their grievances, they also submitted a protest letter at CAN secretariat and wondered why the RCCG cleric would not like to speak on certain burning issues affecting Christians in Nigeria.
But CAN said it would peruse their grievances.
The umbrella Christian body exonerated Adeboye, saying said its President, Samson Ayokunle, speaks for all Christians.
The women carried placards with various inscriptions telling Adeboye to speak out on the state of the nation, particularly on alleged killing and persecution of Christians across the country.
The protesters were received by CAN Director (National Issues and Social Welfare), Bishop Stephen Adegbite and Vice Chairman (Northern Region), Rev. Joseph Hayab.
The women’s spokesperson Juliet Ibrahim, who claimed to be a congregant at RCCG in Nyanya Parish of Abuja, urged Adeboye to fight for Christians in Nigeria.
She said: “We are here fighting for the survival of our country. We are in pain; we are in sorrow over the killings, murders and devastating things happening to our children.
“We want Adeboye to speak out, we want him to fight for us. We want to hear from him. If we hear from him, we will be calm. We are happy that CAN has spoken and they have encouraged us and we appreciate their encouragement.”
Addressing the protesters, Adegbite said: “There is no division in CAN. We are one body standing together because united we stand, divided we fall. So, we are not going to be divided. Don’t allow anybody to deceive you because what we are doing today (CAN General Assembly) is to the glory of God, and you are part of that celebration. You can be assured that we are one family. We are going to do the right thing because you are part of the Christian community.”
Asked if CAN would investigate the issues raised about Adeboye, he said: “We are going to do everything. But we cannot suspend Adeboye.”
Also, Hayab said the CAN constitution did not confer on Adeboye the legitimacy to speak for Christians in Nigeria.
He said: “You see, we are trying to avoid the politicisation of the issue of religion. Adeboye is a leader of a denomination. Has he offended the denomination? There is no part of Nigeria’s constitution which says that Adeboye as the leader of a denomination should speak for Nigerians.
“The constitution of CAN says the President of CAN should speak for CAN. And the man, out of respect, has said each time the President of CAN speaks, he can’t speak again. If the President of Nigeria speaks, the SGF (Secretary to the Government of the Federation) will not speak again; the Chief of Staff will not speak again.
“So, if you think there is something strong, tell CAN, and we will speak. So, you must not be misled. CAN is a united body. We are learning and teaching people respect.”