…Denies knowing NW Christian leader.
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, has expressed dismay over the desperation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s presidential candidate in getting the support in whatever guise of whomever, in the name of Christians as the 2023 general elections draw closer in the country.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, the state chairman of CAN, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, said that a recent publication of an alleged group of Christians, named, “Progressive Christian Clerics, North-West Zone,” has shown how the APC presidential candidates are so desperate in getting the support of Christians in the country, not minding the genuineness of the person, group or organisation.
Recalled that, some persons under the auspices of the Progressive Christian Clerics, North-West Zone said they have thrown their weight behind the Muslim-Muslim ticket fielded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) party presidential flag-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and encouraged Christian faith to ensure ‘brotherliness;’ hence their decision to support the Tinubu/Shettima ticket.
The group – with membership across 19 northern states, including Federal Capital Territory, Abuja – said that, “Nigerians should be more concerned about electing leaders with capacity to tackle daring security challenges and economic problems militating against the country’s progress rather than issues of religious and ethnic sentiments,” according to a statement issued by its zonal chairman, Rev. Moses Bitrus, of Arise and Shine Prophetic Ministry Kaduna.
But Rev. Hayab, while denying the presence of the zonal chairman and group, said, “I have all my life in Kaduna and, as a Minister of the Gospel, I have been opportune to interact and know most of the Pastors in Kaduna.
“To the best of my ability, I don’t know the name of the zonal chairman nor the existence of a group like that. It is a pity that, with the desperation of the APC presidential candidates to convince Nigerians that they are being supported by the Christians in the country will definitely attract non-existence group of people in the name of Christians claiming to support their candidacy, in order to milk them.
“If the Christians were important, I strongly believe they would have been consulted and carried along in the struggle of the presidency by the APC in nominating the running mate to its presidential candidate.
“Using names, groups, organizations that are alleged to be ‘Christians’ will not change the reality of what CAN is talking about. The Christians in the country know the difference between their genuine leaders from opportunist parading as ‘Christian groups,’” he said.
“Christians’ genuine leaders would continue to speak out against divisive actions in the polity of the nation so that the generations yet unborn will have a peaceful and united country,” Rev Hayab noted.
He added that, “Anything that is not in the interest of all Nigerians, irrespective of any difference, CAN would not support it but will completely distance itself from such things that are meant to separate and cause suspicion, disharmony and hatred among the good people of Nigeria that desired the best from the leadership of the country.”
According to Rev. Hayab, “Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, would continue to preach peace, love and unity among its followers, believing that, that is the only way they could live in peace without any form of suspicion but togetherness among Nigerians.”