By Okereke Wilson Ogbonnaya
The Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ebonyi State chapter, Rev Fr. Abraham Chukwuma Nwali, penultimate weekend was unanimously re-elected for second term of three years by CAN members in Abakaliki.
In his account of stewardship during the inauguration ceremony held at Pastoral Center, he told Citizens’ Advocate that upon assumption of office on May 2017 that he and his cabinet members attracted the construction of a non-denominational worshipping edifice popularly known as “Ecumenical Center”
They had assisted tremendously members of State School Evangelism in teachings and supervision of Moral Instructions in public schools and encouraged the State government towards handing over three Technical Colleges to mission schools.
According to him, they had produced Directory (Calendarium) containing the five components blocs of the association and the ministers in the State that would be launched soon.
“CAN under my leadership with the help of our amiable governor, Engr. David Umahi has also been actively involved in the welfare of the ministers, since the past three years, the State government has been giving monthly allowances through our offices to these set of persons: ministers for their apostolate, sick ministers in the state, indigent persons and others”, he said.
He added that the same government through Governor Umahi did not only enhance the spread of the gospel but also made the spiritual assignment easier for the servants of God by providing some of them with brand new Sports Utility Vehicles (jeeps).
Appointed over twenty CAN members into various positions ranging from SSA, EAs, STAs and TAs, empowered no fewer than 2,500 ministers and secured landed properties for all the bloc leaders and bishops.
The chairman who is also Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Religious and Welfare Matters further disclosed that the government via his office and CAN had been settling bills of some indigent persons across the following hospitals: FETHA I & 2, Mile 4 hospital, EFFATTA at Ugbodo, Mater Misericordiae at Afikpo, St Vincent Hospital at Ndubia and Presbytarian hospital at Uburu.
“CAN as vanguard and Peace Ambassador, we the members have been entrusted with special peace mission assignment since 2017 by which we had engaged in the settlement of land disputes and communal crises and by grace of God, peace had returned to many of those communities”, he said.
Fr. Nwali added that before the inauguration of their first tenure on May 2017, the union had about N508, 0000 and as God would have it, presently they could boast of over N2.5m in the union’s account.
However, the chairman while making his acceptance speech said, “In His grace I served, it was in His grace that we were able to act as a mere human instrument, it was in blessings of the elders and their counsel that we were able to carry out the little assignment in humility, it was for their awesome support that we were able to build the body of Christ as one and above all our mandate is for the unity of the church and the glory of God.”
The General Secretary of CAN, Barrister J P Daramola thanked the State governor whom he described as the “Foremost Christian in Nigeria” for giving the executive members an enabling environment in all ramifications.
He advised that the leaders should not allow their positions to overwhelm their focus so that they would be able to leave legacies behind after their tenure and charged Fr Nwali to train in line of leadership a suitable person who would succeed him.
The former Chairman, Rev Emmanuel Nshii, on his part told Citizens’ Advocate that the members had enjoyed the recently concluded leadership and also expressed optimism that the present executives would take the inter-dependent association to an enviable height.
He further appreciated the peaceful conduct of the election, thanked the organizers and prayed for divine strength of the leaders.