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ECWA Cautions Kaduna Over Religion Bill.

The Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) on Friday rose from its 63rd General Church Council (GCC) cautioning the Kaduna State government against the passage of the proposed Religion Bill.

The church’s caution was premised on the fact that the bill not only contains flaws but raises fears, concerns and contradiction that negates Sections 38 and 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on citizen’s right to freedom of worship.

It, however, endorsed the ECWA President, Dr. Jeremiah Gado, as the church’s candidate for the presidency of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

The council, also in a communiqué at the end of the meeting, also commended the efforts of the Federal Government to recover stolen funds, but warning that such recovered funds should not be “re-looted.”

The communiqué, which was signed by ECWA President, Jeremiah Gado and the General Secretary, Prof. Samuel Kunhiyop, said that the decision to endorse Gado for the presidency was because the ECWA-TEKAN bloc of the association has never occupied the position, adding that the endorsement was in line with CAN’s rotational principle among the blocs.

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The communique prayed for the success of the election.

It said: “The Council deliberated on the forthcoming Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN election for the Association’s President position. Considering the fact that ECWA/TEKAN bloc of the Association has never occupied the Presidency.

“In line with CAN’s rotational principle among the blocs, the Council endorsed the ECWA President, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Gado to vie for the position and prayed for his success.

“While commending the efforts of the Kaduna State  Government towards ensuring peaceful co-existence, Council however cautions against the passage of the proposed Religious Bill which ECWA viewed in the larger context as containing a lot of flaws.

“The Bill raises fears, concerns and contradiction that will in turn ultimately negate Sections 38 and 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to citizen’s right to worship.”

The communique added:  “The church notes the efforts of the Federal Government to recover stolen public funds and commends the courage behind it and cautioned that funds recovered are not re- looted.”

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While urging the government to respect the fundamental human rights of the suspects in the process, the communiqué asked the government to thoroughly investigate every corruption case and pursue it diligently to logical conclusion.

The communiqué also advised judges to be more circumspect in granting injunctions and be more painstaking in the adjudication of corrupt cases.