The Chairman, Delta State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria {CAN), Senior Apostle Sylvanus Okorote has confirmed that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration is constructing a 2000 capacity auditorium at the CAN secretariat complex in Asaba.

Apostle Okorote made the confirmation in a text message sent to Our Correspondent in Warri saying, “2000 capacity auditorium at the CAN secretariat complex, Asaba.”

Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Olisa Ifejika had earlier denied that the governor was constructing such an auditorium for the religious body in a telephone chat with Our Correspondent.

He said, ” It is not true. The Government is not building anything.”

Also in a telephone chat with Our Correspondent, the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu did not admit neither did he denied the claims.

Instead the Information Commissioner who spoke with Our Correspondent in pidgin language on Saturday to clarify the true position of the matter said, “If you say have it on good authority, why you dey ask me na?

“Since you say the authority is true, there is no point asking me na. My own na bad authority.

“I nor know where you hear that one. Na weytin I know nai, I done tell you “.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Olukunle Edun said, “I have heard about this from some quarters and I want to believe that it is not true.”

Edun spoke with Our Correspondent at one a day interactive session of the future of the disruptive realities of the COVID-19 pandemic held in Warri.

The legal practitioner also said, “However, if it is really true what we are hearing that the Delta State Government is constructing a State Secretariat for the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN then, I will say that it is most unfortunate ” stressing that it is unprofessional.

He explained that Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution As Amended prohibits any sane Governments including the Federal to Local Governments from veering into religious activities including expending public funds for the construction of Secretariat for a religious body.

While noting that he is also christian, Edun said, “There are Muslims in Delta State, there are other traditional worshippers in Delta State, Nigeria.

“By virtue of Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution, Nigeria is a secular State. It is not a religious State and apart from that, the COVID-19 predicament we are facing right now, this should not be our major concern. They have to empower the people of Delta State not constructing a Secretariat for a religious body. I there say, it is a betrayal of the trust of the people”

Edun also pointed out that the Delta State House of Assembly would have appropriated the funds for the Construction of the Secretariat.

According to him,”If the House did not appropriate the funds, then, that’s another criminality we need to look at. If the House appropriated the sum and the sum is being expended on constructing a Secretariat, then the members of the House of Assembly in Delta State are a disgrace to their Constituencies.

“It is so unfortunate because they went there to represent members of their constituencies not to go and represent a religious body.”

Edun also threatened to institute legal actions against the Delta State Government if the rumors milling the round is true if the Government did not come out debunk same.

“I will personally take it up but I expect the Delta State Government to confirm that this is not true. In the absence of that, we will take it up so that the Court will look at it whether this is another criminality, illegality and if we can tolerate it.”

It was aired on Radio Delta Melody FM on Sunday morning that Governor Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa recently inspected as some of his projects, an Ecumenical Centre which is under construction for the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN.


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