The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday , made its position known on the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
The association rejected the act which it said is “unacceptable, ungodly and a declaration of war on the church.”
It also described the law as: “a time bomb’’ whose explosion would not only ”snuff life out of the church’’ but rank it (church) as “a secular institution under secular control.”
The Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) however welcomed the law but with a proviso: the spiritual roles of mosques and churches should not be tampered with.
CAN made it position known yesterday in a statement issued by Bayo Oladeji, special assistant (Media and Communications) to its President, Rev Samson Ayokunle.
It called on the government to steer clear off church matters because it lacked the technical expertise to handle things of the spirit.
CAN specifically criticised Section 839 (1) and (2) of the law as “satanic.” The section empowers the supervising minister: “to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint interim managers to run its affairs for some given reasons.”
The statement titled: ‘Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) rejects CAMA Completely,’ reads in part: “The leadership of CAN rejects outrightly, the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 that was assented to by the President recently.
“The law, to say the least, is unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode.
“We recall that during the first term of the President, there was a public hearing conducted by the National Assembly on the Non- Governmental Organisations Bill tagged ‘Bill for an Act To Provide For The Establishment Of The Non-Governmental Organizations Regulatory Commission For The Supervision, Co-ordination And Monitoring Of Non-Governmental Organisations’ which was attended by CAN and many NGOs.
“At the public hearing, the bill that sought to bring the religious organisations and NGOs under the control and influence of the government was totally rejected because it would snuff life out of the church and rank the church as a secular institution under secular control.
“We thought it was all over until we heard of the CAMA that was assented to by the President, making the rejected bill a law.
“The satanic section of the controversial and ungodly law is Section 839 (1) &(2) which empowers the commission to suspend trustees of an association (in this case, the church) and appoint interim managers to manage the affairs of the association for some given reasons.
“While we are not against the government fighting corruption wherever it may be found, yet we completely reject the idea of bringing the church, which is technically grouped among the NGOs, under control of the government.
“The church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations. This is why we are calling on the Federal Government to stop the implementation of the obnoxious and ungodly law until the religious institutions are exempted from it.”
Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Dr. David Oyedepo, also kicked against the law and called on the Federal Government to expunge the section.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on August 7 signed into law, the Companies and Allied Matters bill . The new law replaces the 1990 CAMA.