The Christian Association of
Nigeria, CAN, of the 19 northern states and Abuja has noted with dismay a
statement credited to a presidential spokesperson, Lauretta Onochie, that CAN
is a “CAN of Worms.”

The association’s Public
Relations Officer, Rev. Joseph John Hayab in a statement said, “Never in the
history of Nigeria has a Presidential spokesperson displayed ignorance and
greed for opportunity by insulting an entire religion and its organised
association as demonstrated by the irresponsible remarks by presidential aide,
Lauretta Onochie that called the Christian Association of Nigeria a “CAN of
Worms”, simply because we insist that the Federal Government should rescue Leah
Sharibu and stop the killings of Nigerians.

” Sadly, this presidential aide
does not know that the example she gave, using Theresa May, is what many of us
have been doing for decades to promote religious understanding and reduce
tension in Northern Nigeria. 

“I can proudly tell her and her
sponsors that I have personally, as a leader in CAN, attended many Ramadan
lectures and Friday prayers in many mosques in and out of this country which
inspired Theresa May and many other Western leaders to emulate.
“This ignorant spokeswoman should
ask her boss and many of those working around him to confirm my claims. They
will surely attest to this fact.
“This same spokeswoman named
Lauretta Onochie was notorious for insulting a former Nigeria leader by posting
his picture while praying to God. She had described the prayers of the former
leader as “stupid” and “useless”! Who on earth does that, if not someone whose
belly is her God.
“CAN Northern States and Abuja
want her to know that power is transient and we have seen opportunist like her
who end with regrets. CAN Northern States in Nigeria preaches and practices
peace as well as call for justice which is the bedrock of true peace.
“We will never speak evil of
another religion and we have been engaged on calling on all true Christians in
position of authority to use good and godly words even when responding to
insults, no matter the provocation, not as this presidential spokeswoman has
done.
“CAN Northern States once again
remind President Muhammadu Buhari to caution his aides not to create further
religious tension with their unguarded speeches. They should learn from
. Nigeria leaders, both Christians and Muslims, whose aides did not
ever, publicly or privately, disparage people of other faiths. And if she has
done this foolish act to gain favors, then our Muslim brothers and friends
should know that Onochie is bereft of a good home training.”
CAN called on the international
community to take note of those promoting hate speeches and segregation in the
country through deliberate insult of people in other faith without knowledge of
the realities on ground.