A Nigerian journalist based in New York has been appointed by Nigerian Christians in the US to lead the newly formed Christian Association of Nigerian-Americas, CANAN and spearhead the group’s advocacy campaign against Boko Haram violence in Nigeria.
In a release from the Association, Mr. Laolu Akande, who is also a Pastor in New York was named as the Executive Director of CANAN, and given the responsibility to steer the ship of the newly formed association and lead its National Secretariat based in New York, and oversee its day to day activities and operations.
He will also serve as the Spokesperson of the Nigerian Christians in America and design programs and activities to implement that vision and mission statements of CANAN.
CANAN’s vision is to be the leading voice for Nigeria Christians and their immigrant communities in the US. Besides the New York headquarters, the association will set up regional operations and chapters across the US.
The association also has among its mission statements the objective “to pray for the upliftment of Nigerian-American Christians, their immigrant communities in the US, work to marshal their influence in a widely diverse nation and world for the purpose of promoting peaceful co-existence among all people regardless of religious convictions.”
Akande, who is regarded as the longest serving African correspondent at the United Nations, is the only Nigerian journalist so far to have interviewed a sitting American president in White House when he interviewed former President George W. Bush.
Akande started his journalism career as a Reporter in 1989 writing for the Guardian titles and later moved over to the founding team of The News Magazine in 1993, where he became that magazine’s Senior Writer. In 1995 he joined Nigerian Tribune titles first as Special Projects Editor and became the Editor of Tribune on Saturday in 1997, before he relocated to the US in 1998.
In the US where he is also a college professor, Akande is the founder of Empowered Newswire, and has continuously reported about Nigerians and Nigerian issues especially in the US, Canada in the last 13 years.
He had earlier worked with the Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Newsday, and the United Nations as journalist, a Press Officer and later UN Advocacy Consultant between 2002-2004.
He became a pastor in 2007 at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Jesus Friends Assembly in Long Island, New York.