The Catholic Bishop ’ s Conference of Nigeria had , in a letter to CAN dated September 24 , 2012, announced its withdrawal from the organisation.
The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria ’s delegation participated fully in all the discourse while the two – day meeting lasted.
The President of CAN , Dr . Samson Ayokunle , according to a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Assistant (Media & Communications ) , Adebayo Oladeji, expressed delights about the new development .
He said , “Their return is one of the best things that have been happening since I was given the mandate to become the President of CAN .
“ One of my visions for CAN is to bring our Catholic brothers and sisters back to the fold; and I must acknowledge the support and understanding of my brother in Christ, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama , President, Catholic Bishops ’ Conference of Nigeria and his team .
“ I give kudos to all the principal officers, the directors and some Christian leaders in the country for their support and understanding while the dialogue lasted.
“ My joy knows no bound with the presence of the CSN at the constitution amendment meeting of CAN held on Thursday and at the NEC meeting on Friday .
“ It is our prayers that the Body of Christ in the country will remain one forever in Jesus’ name .
“ At a time like this when Christians are almost becoming endangered species in Nigeria, when churches are being denied the Certificate of Occupancy especially in the core North , when Christians are being denied key public offices and when the Church is expected to speak for the voiceless , especially over the economic and social hardship in our country , we cannot afford to be at war with one another .
“ CAN is united in diversity . Jesus Christ prayed for the Church shortly before He returned to heaven in John chapter 17 . ”
CAN ’ s Director of Legal issues, Kwankur Samuel , said the organisation was working on the new constitution to ensure that “CAN has an effective internal mechanism to address any misunderstanding among its members .
“ We are all happy with the return of the CSN . Our strength lies in our unity . ”
The CAN chairman ( North Central Zone ), Rev . Israel Akanji, said the return of the Catholics was a sign of good omen to the Body of Christ in Nigeria .
“ We are all happy with this new development. Now , the Body of Christ in Nigeria is one , virile and strong . We can now speak with one voice.
“ With their return , CAN is even now stronger and greater . We have learnt one lesson or two from the challenges that led to their withdrawal . “Never again will any of the blocks withdraw its membership ,” he stated .