CANAN, the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, has expressed satisfaction with the disbursement of the $50,000 humanitarian donation to victims of Boko Haram violence in Nigeria through the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
In a statement today by Pastor Laolu Akande, its Executive Director, the association detailed its interaction with CAN, as well as how its funds were distributed and accounts kept.
Pastor Kallamu Musa Dikwa, the leader of the Voice of Northern Christian Movement, has alleged that the CAN leadership did not fully disburse the funds donated by CANAN.
Dikwa’s CANAN claims are within his broader declaration that President Jonathan has bribed the leadership of CAN with N7 billion for its support as he tries to win next month’s election. He has said that CAN received the money on January 21 and gave N3 million to each of its state chapters. CAN has denied the claims.
CANAN said that while it was not unaware of the public perception of the ongoing political undercurrents in which some members of the CAN leadership are currently embroiled, CANAN believes that CAN as a body and a platform for all Christians in Nigeria is greater than its leadership at any given time in its history and will always be.
It said that while public questioning of an association such as CAN is not undesirable, whoever makes allegations publicly must be prepared to substantiate such claims, without which such persons should not be taken seriously by the media or the society.
“The onus is now on the claimant to show irrefutable proof of the allegations since CAN has denied them outrightly,” the statement said.
On that subject, CANAN challenged the Presidency “to come out and categorically deny the allegations of the bribery that [are] now making national and international news.
“The Nigerian government should not be silent in this matter and must come out clearly and promptly to deny the said allegations of bribery,” the group said, adding that state chapters of CAN must speak out promptly as they are alleged to have received part of the money.
Analysts say it is unclear why CANAN is specifically asking the government to “deny” the allegations, as if it is has been established as a fact that the leadership of CAN, which is often questioned by Nigerians as to its credibility, did not receive the money.
“CANAN knows well the government will deny the allegations. Will that prove it did not? Is CANAN satisfied with the credibility credentials of the Jonathan government? What has the CAN leadership done to bolster its credibility among Nigerians?”
CANAAN ended its statement with some gratuitous information that appears aimed as underlining its loyalty to the current CAN leadership. “CANAN must also put it on record that the same CAN leadership that is facing challenges today was very active and played a significant role in our campaign here in the US to get the American government to designate Boko Haram, a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO, especially at a time that several powerful interests in the US, including the State Department were strongly opposed to the idea.”