The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has been informed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar that he fully supports the paper outlining the organisation’s strategy.
During his interaction with the Christian leadership’s interactive session with presidential aspirants on Tuesday in Abuja, the former vice president of Nigeria made this known.
According to Atiku, there is no difference between his perspective as expressed in his policy paper and the several books he has written and CAN’s Policy Roadmap for a Future Nigeria.
“I had listened to the presentation of the CAN document, and I can tell you the CAN document is totally in conformity with my thoughts in a book which I published when I was the Vice President, and this led to a fundamental disagreement with my boss as well as my constituents. There is no difference between my book and CAN’s presentation,” Atiku said while responding to CAN’s message.
Atiku’s delegation was received by CAN’s President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, the association’s secretary and other executive members.
Speaking further, the PDP presidential candidate said,” I stand before you not to campaign but to tell you the truth. What you have presented is what I have always believed in. And if I have the opportunity, I swear to God I will do it.
“Oil didn’t send me to school, my parents paid cattle tax, market tax, radio tax, and these were the taxes that sent me school from primary to university. If God has given you gold or oil, take your oil or gold, but I will tax you.
“Why should we be fighting over resources endowed to whoever it is endowed to”.
Presenting CAN’s strategy document entitled “Policy Roadmap for a Future Nigeria,” the national secretary of the association said, “For the avoidance of doubt, we present the policies that we believe will address the crises of development in Nigeria;
“State police or fully decentralised police authority; clear and unambiguous religious neutrality of the Nigerian state through the removal of constructional references to religion and the use of religious symbols in all national legal materials and symbols, like the currency, etc., Enforcement of fundamental rights of all Nigerians, including economic and social rights.”
“Restructuring to decentralise governance; Equitable and enforceable sharing of executive and legislative positions in Nigeria; Ethnic and religious representation in military and security agencies, Self-determination for all Nigerian people through the inclusion of the right of a referendum in the constitution
“No to Ruga, yes to ranching, Education and free healthcare to all Nigerians (including Almajiri); No open grazing (rather modernisation of animal husbandry) and Local control of the local economy, including waters, rivers, and forest”.