The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged protesters to direct their anger to the government rather than attacking Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
CAN was reacting to a protest staged at the Redemption Camp on Monday. Charles Oputa, activist better known as Charly Boy, Eedris Abdulkareem, a musician, were among those who marched to the camp after accusing Adeboye of being silent on killings across the country.
Adeboye had also defended himself, explaining that during major programmes of the church, he leads his congregation to pray over the problems.
In a statement by Sanuel Vondip, its national director, legal and public affairs, CAN appreciated the concern of the protesters but said the protest was ill-motivated.
Accusing the protesters of being ignorant of the operations of the association, CAN said Adeboye “had addressed the press on several occasions explaining that as a man under authority, he cannot speak on issues that CAN or PFN have spoken about”.
He said that any protest against Adeboye would be viewed by CAN as a systematic insult against church leaders in Nigeria.
“While we appreciate the concern of the protesters over the issues they raised and the call for a better nation, we strongly believe that singling out one of our leaders and members, to say the least is unfair,” the statement read.
“The entire exercise, in our view, was ill-motivated. The people who staged this insulting protest against a highly revered Servant of God in the person of Pastor Adeboye are totally ignorant of the operations of CAN.
“Why should any group of people think that it is their right to protest and demand that Pastor Adeboye must speak on the issues they listed when CAN and PFN had spoken about them?”
The Christian body expressed its disappointment at the method adopted by the protesters against an “innocent man”, saying Adeboye will never support oppression.
“While we understand the frustration of those who organised the protest, we are against the method they adopted by directing their anger against an innocent man,” CAN said.
“Adeboye will never support oppression and he has been speaking against these evils in the land through CAN and, on several occasions, in his sermons.
“We further urge those who protested to direct their future protests at those in government who should do more to free those who have been in captivity for no sins of theirs. They should direct their protest against the people in power to make the nation safer from the attacks of herdsmen, kidnappers, ritual killers, armed robbers, armed bandits, and Boko Haram terrorists.
“We have no gun to fight our battles except to speak out as we have been doing and never at the same time give up praying to God who can do all things.”