Pantami: Suspended Gombe CAN Chairman Writes Handover Note

On Thursday, the Gombe State chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Rev. Sunday Congo was suspended for writing a congratulatory letter to the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, on behalf of the religious body without approval of its National Executive Committee.

The Christian body stated that Congo acted without clearance and authorization. The congratulatory letter was written by Senior Apostle John Adedigba, the secretary of CAN Gombe State. In the letter, Pantami was congratulated on his promotion as a Professor of Cyber Security.

However, the General Secretary of CAN, Joseph Daramola, sent a letter titled, ‘Letter of Suspension’ to Congo adding that the congratulatory letter was uncalled for. Likewise, it weakened the CAN National Executive Council. Daramola’s letter read:

“Following the recent publications of your congratulatory message to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, we write to inform you that your action has generated a lot of concerns among members of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

“This action of yours made on behalf of the association is tantamount to unilateral decision of you and overzealousness on your part, which was done without authorisation and clearance.

“It is not only provocative but undermines the CAN NEC executive. It does not in any way represent their position. In view of the above, you are hereby directed to relinquish your position in Gombe CAN executive with immediate effect and hand over all CAN’s property to your next in line in your bloc.

“In future, you are advised to consult and get approval from the authority of CAN national level so we all may speak with one voice.”

Meanwhile, Congo said he has written his handover note on Friday as requested by the national body of the Christian association. He added that he would not make further comments on the issue for personal reasons.

Congo said: “I’m going to do it (hand over) with immediate effect. I’m going to do it physically. I have written the letter but I want to go to CAN centre and do an official handing over. I don’t know the time yet, I’m arranging with my close leaders but it will be tomorrow (Saturday). I want to reserve all comments for now.”

Part of his letter read, “I have received a letter from the national office through the Chairman of the North East suspending me from office because I congratulated Minister Pantami. I receive the decision with all gratitude. In all things, the Bible says we should be thankful. God is my judge. I didn’t do that with any evil intention of spoiling the church. I am a child of God and I will never do such a thing. I, therefore, hand over the office today as instructed.”

It will be recalled that Pantami has been linked with sponsoring the activities of terrorist group, Boko Haram. Therefore, CAN feels any association with him could be a stain on the Christian body.

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