A viral message affirming the above subject recently went viral causing needless apprehension in the Body of Christ in Nigeria, no thanks to what the experience of Christians have been under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari in the past 8 years. Many thanks however to the new leadership of Christian Association Nigeria, led by His Eminence, Most Rev’d Dr Daniel C. Okoh, which witnessed a Two-Day National Christian Education Stakeholders Summit, under the theme: Redeeming The Mandate of Educational System Through Christian Education For National Transformation.
Hosted by the Christian Association of Nigeria, through the office of His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Daniel C Okoh (Chief Host).
Apostle Prof. Samson A Fatokun being the General Secretary of CAN served as the Host.
The event took place at the Royal Choice Inn Hall of the National Christian Centre, Abuja on the 22nd and 23rd, June 2023.
In attendance were the heads or representatives of the 5 Blocs that make up CAN which is: the Catholics Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN). Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria/Conference of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN/CPFN), Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), TEKAN/ECWA. Others were proprietors of Christian schools.
The early intervention of Senator Binos Yaroe, Adamawa Central makes him my hero, through all the public contestation on the bill, in his humility, he reached out to me on behalf of the Apostolic Round Table. Your honour before men shall not be trampled.
From the National Assembly as sponsors of the Christian Education bill were Honourables and Senators, church leaders, professors representing the Academia, Christian traditional Rulers, government officials and Christian organisations were not left behind. Talking about representation, Christian denominations and organisations were well represented.
The main focus of the very robust engagement was the Reading and Discourse on the National Christian Education Bill.
His Eminence, Most Rev. Dr. Daniel C Okoh, the CAN President & Chief Host gave his Opening Remarks after the usual preambles.
In his opening remarks, the CAN President expressed that the Christian Association of Nigeria is making a clarion call for Christian educators, religious leaders, traditional Rulers and indeed all men and women of good conscience to rise up and join CAN in waging an asymmetric war against the invasion of the educational system by forces that are alien to our faith and culture. He went further to express his disappointment and worry over the level of corrupt materials and immoral lessons that have been smuggled into the educational curriculum which he described as nauseating!
In his words “we are very perturbed about the moral level of children we are preparing for leadership of tomorrow. Therefore, it is time to engage state and non-state Actors to redeem the future of our children and nation in general. It is a serious business and rightly deserves all our time and urgent attention.”
The Lead Speaker, Bro. Gbile Akanni took time to define each word that formed the theme for better understanding of the essence of the Summit. According to Bro. Gbile, Christian Education is not about teaching Christian Religious Knowledge or Bible knowledge but it is about teaching Christian Values.
Other speakers were Hon. Beni Lar, Hon. Benjamin Mzondu, Dr. Mrs. Ekaete Ettang, the sponsors of the Christian Education Bill, Prof. Andrew Haruna, and leaders of the different Blocs as well as the President of the Christian Traditional Rulers.
A major feature of the event was the Reading and Discussing of the National Christian Education Bill. This segment entailed the participation of everyone present to make contributions to the bill for a robust outlook that would enable it to scale through the National Assembly.
Though the media report on the bill was mischievous, I must, however, commend the application of Biblical administration by a cross-section of the Church who stood watch on the bill in the strength of; 1Th 5:21: Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
I personally must commend the contribution of members of ART–Kingdom Committee on Education, whose engagements were fierce and frank. A big thank you to Mrs Folusho Oyenuga Framo, National Chairperson, the walk project of Project Victory Call Initiative, tagged; iWalk, who supported the sponsorship of ART participants to the event. May time and eternity reward Dr Jennifer Nakpodia, ART Director of Communication, who in spite of her tight schedule, due to research made herself available to represent ART.
For clarity, the bill is not to regulate the church as some speculations in some quarters suggest but to institute Christian Education in our educational system. Secondly, the bill did not emanate from the Government but came from the Christian community.
It should also be noted that the proposed bill is not to determine or regulate the doctrines of the different denominations.
The summit came to a conclusion with a tour of the Ecumenical Centre.
Apostolic Round Table, ART, therefore, views the bill as a work in progress and here encourages Christians to be interested in the bill and make contributions to make it worthy of upholding the values of our faith in Christ through many generations. Towards a better and greater nation through kingdom principles, continue to influence our commitment.
Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi is an Apostle and Nation Builder, Convener of Apostolic Round Table and BOT Chairman Project Victory Call Initiative AKA PVC-Naija.