The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the implementation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020.
On August 7, President Muhammadu Buhari signed CAMA into law.
The law stipulates that religious bodies and charity organisations will be regulated by the registrar-general of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a minister.
CAMA 2020 provides that the commission may by order, suspend the trustees of an association or a religious body and appoint an interim manager or managers to coordinate its affairs where it reasonably believes that there has been any misconduct or mismanagement, or where the affairs of the association are being run fraudulently or where it is necessary or desirable for the purpose of public interest.
CAN made its position on the matter known in a letter signed by Samson Ayokunle, its president, and presented to Ita Enang, an aide of the president on national assembly matters, at a ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday.
The Christian association said the Act did not receive input from affected stakeholders before it was passed.
“We consider the Act, as indeed, a complex of statecraft compendium, laden with issues that are grossly inimical to national interest, security (peace and stability), and overall wellbeing of the Nigerian-state,” CAN said.
“From the reactions of stakeholders and a cross-section of the Nigerian-state, it is apparent that the Act either did not receive input from the respective various interest groups or failed to accommodate their views, sundry concerns and varying interests of the Nigerian people.
“Mr President, from the foregoing, we are of the opinion that you should kindly issue the appropriate directives to suspend the implementation of CAMA 2020 and affirm a thorough reappraisal of the legislation that is in correlation with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), other extant legal and policy frameworks, the national economy, national security, national interest and the wellbeing of the Nigerian-state.”
While receiving the letter from the leaders of CAN, Enang said it is wrong to suggest that CAMA 2020 is targeted at religious bodies.
Many religious leaders, particularly pastors, have kicked against the law saying it is a declaration of war on the church.
David Oyedepo, presiding bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, said the law was born out of the government’s jealousy for the church.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo earlier counselled church leaders who are aggrieved over CAMA 2020 to approach the national assembly.