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Crisis rocks Borno CAN as Chairman, officials accused of sellout

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Crisis rocks Borno CAN as Chairman, officials accused of sellout

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By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Christian Association of Nigeria ,(CAN), Borno State chapter chairman Rev. Dr. John Bogna Bakeni, and officials have been accused of commercialized Christian faith for personal gain and betrayal.

Rev. Kallamu Ali Dikwa of Ekklesiyar Yanuwa a Nigeria (EYN), Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (CBN), Borno state, made the allegations when reacting to the press conference addressed by Borno State CAN, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. John Bogna Bakeni, Monday 15th January 2024.

Rev. Dikwa, who had consistently been critical about the state Governor, Prof. Banagana Zullum, regime, over alleged discrimination and marginalization of Christian indigenes in IDPs and in areas of appointment, said he sat down with the CAN chairman in agreement before he released the first press statement.

He also revealed that Borno State chapter of CAN officials, are none indigenes, and accused them of money minded officials who “do not care about justice and spiritual well being of the Christians in Borno State.

Borno CAN Chairman, according to the statement signed and made available to newsmen in Kaduna Tuesday, by Rev. Dikwa, debunked the media reports that Christians are facing challenges, in press conference they addressed, despite the marginalizations against CAN members by Governor Babagana Umara Zullum regime.

“My attention has been drawn to the press conference granted by the CAN Chairman Borno State chapter dated 15TH January, 2024 pointing out that Christians in the state have no challenges and were never marginalized by the Governor of the State Prof. Babagana Umara Zullum.

“Therefore, this has clearly shown us that some Clergies amongst us are truly the problems of our country Nigeria. And a typical example is the CAN Chairman Borno State chapter, Rev. Dr. John Bogna Bakeni.

“I am writing this with great shock when a cleric of high reputation like him will lie on a broad daylight, this means Nigeria is in a state of disarray”, Rev. Dikwa lamented.

He said “To begin with, some of the functions of the Association is to unite the Church, so that they all may be one; Link up Christians to proffer solutions to impending issues, to enable churches consult together and, when necessary.

“Make common statements and take common action, to cater for the spiritual and moral welfare of Christians” here, all Christians irrespective of denomination, tribe or location are one and the same.

“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Borno State chapter officials are none indigenes and are money minded officials and do not care about justice, and spiritual well being of the Christians in Borno State”, he added.

He also stated that “In my recent press released, I drew the attention of the whole world to the type of appointment of Governor Babagana Umara Zullum”, adding that “Of all the 29 appointees, only one of them is a Christian and he is an Igbo from the Eastern part of Nigeria.

“I don’t have a problem with that but are there no qualified Christians in the State?. Yet, with all this to show, the CAN Chairman Borno State chapter is backing him as if everything is going well.

“Yes, to them it is normal since they are after what they will get in Borno State after which they will go back home richer at the detriment of the poor Christian indigenes on whose back they are riding.

“We the clerics should lead by example as the scripture rightly says let your yes be yes and your no, no. Anything short of this is from the devil.

“I tend to believe that Rev. Dr. John Bogna Bakeni the CAN chairman Borno State chapter is so economical with the truth hence he couldn’t mentioned my name when he was telling the Christian indigenes in his press release of 15th January, 2024.

“I was the only person that talked to the press in regards to the reckless attitudes of the Borno State Governor Prof. Babagana Umara Zullum. Therefore, I am also to be the one to answer him.

“But can you, Rev. Dr. John Bogna look at your calling as the servant of the most High God Almighty and answer the below question to the world?

“Can you deny the fact that I, Rev. Musa Kallamu Dikwa and you Rev. Dr. John Bogna, Borno State CAN chairman have sat down and discussed all the allegations I released to the press in which Governor Zullum did not debunked?

“Can you deny the fact that you told me that Governor Zullum can pick your calls, reply your SMS but denied you access to have audience with him and the CAN officials? Can you deny that you were the one who asked me to write a press release on the Governor about the facts we discussed?

Can you deny the fact that I brought the press release to you first and you said I should not release it but you will use it to catch the Governor since he denied you access to him and I told you no, that the press statement is for release and not for a business?

“Can you deny that you and the CAN officials called me after the press release to thank me for saving the Christians but ended up handing me to DSS to show that we are not fighting the injustice together?”, he asked CAN chairman.

He tells CAN chairman that “You can do well to tell the world that your press release was under duress and to cover the money you collected for this ugly game. You should also know that we shall give account of our stewardship hereafter.

“Also know that all our communications via phone calls are in the servers and there are also some records of our personal discussion with me Sir. Please don’t aid in the already existing plight of the Christian indigenes, because their blood will be in your head. Looking forward for any media interview with you on this crucial topic”, the statement noted.

The title of the statement read in parts: CAN Borno state chapter under the leadership of Rev. Dr. John Bogna Bakeni has commercialized the system for personal gain: national CAN should step in”, 16-01-2024.