Anambra State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused Governor Willie Obiano of sidelining churches in the sharing of COVID-19 palliatives and sponsorship of Christians to pilgrimage in the last four years.
Its Chairman, Reverend John Ndubuisi, stated this at the weekend, when he led senior members of CAN to distribute 100 bags of rice and 10 cartons of indomie to some less privileged homes, persons with disability and a special needs school.
He expressed surprise that Obiano sponsored pilgrimage for the first two years of his administration after taking over from Peter Obi, but stopped since 2017.
Ndubuisi also condemned the state government’s slighting of CAN and preference for the Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) to the Church during the distribution of palliatives in the state.
“I called Governor Obiano at the peak of the pandemic and he said he was not doing anything with the Church and that he was working with the leaders of town unions. I was even accused of having collected the palliatives on behalf of the Church and kept them. It is a pity that Obiano sidelined CAN during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“In Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and other states, their governments worked through CAN, but it was different in Anambra State. He has forgotten that the Church supported him and prayed for the good of the state and nation,” he stated.
While stressing that the state government had not done anything for the Church in the provision of palliatives, Ndubuisi appreciated some good-spirited individuals and the Church leaders including different chapters of CAN for contributing and helping to put together some relief materials to distribute to less privileged groups.
The recipients are the Red Cross, Onitsha Orphanage Home, School of Psychiatric Hospital, Nawfia, National Association of the Blind, Nigerian National Association of the Deaf (NNAD), Joint National Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities (JONAPwD), Rehabilitation Centre, Nteje and God’s Care School for Persons with Special Needs.
At the Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka, where disabled persons gathered to receive their relief materials, Ndubuisi pointed out that the gesture was a way of showing love to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vice Chairman of CAN, Moses Echefu, Secretary and Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Reverend Moses Ezedebego, among other members of the Christian community, accompanied Ndubuisi to distribute the palliatives.
He said CAN’s gesture was in line with the call on the Church to support vulnerable members of society, adding that the five blocs of CAN contributed towards the procurement of relief materials.
The CAN boss assured that the association would do more, saying, “We are here to complement the state government efforts to alleviate the sufferings of the people.”