The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has challenged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to name the Christian leaders who attended the unveiling of Kashim Shettima, the party’s vice presidential candidate.
On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the APC officially unveiled Shettima as his running mate in Abuja.
The Backstory: Christian leaders had opposed the nomination of the former governor of Borno State as Tinubu’s running mate because both of them are Muslims.
But during Shettima’s unveiling, some Christian clerics were seen at the event to solidarise with Shettima.
The presence of the clerics all of whom dressed in clerical garments stirred controversy on social media as many Nigerians believe they are fake bishops.
CAN’s Reaction: Shortly after the photos and videos of the bishops surfaced on social media, CAN distanced itself from the cleric that attended the event, saying the APC hired artisans, sew clerical garments for them, and paraded them as CAN members at the political event.
Also reacting, Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant on Media and Communication to the President of CAN, Samson Ayokunle said CAN was not part of the unveiling of Shettima.
He dared the APC to mention the names of the clerics that attended the event.
“Let them name the CAN officials at the programme and their offices. If they could use 2017 photos to claim that some Pastors visited Shettima and lied that Pastor E. A Adeboye has endorsed them, they could do anything.
“Our position on Muslim-Muslim ticket is irreversible. Anybody can claim anything but one thing is clear, CAN was not part of the unveiling programme of Shettima,” he said.
In an earlier reaction, the Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja), Rev. Joseph John Hayab said the ‘cleric’ the ruling party paraded as Bishops are “people who did not have enough time to learn how to wear Bishop garments.”
The religious body said the APC is free to “hire mechanics and other artisans and sew clerical garments for them”, that effort would only add to their many ropes but would not change the need for fairness and justice.
“The people we saw at the unveiling of Shettima paraded as Bishops are people who did not have enough time to learn how to wear Bishop garments. Take a closer look at their photo and you will see another Nollywood movie”.
“CAN wonders why the desperation. First, a story was out claiming to have come from the Chairman of CAN Borno state only to be refuted. Secondly, there was another lie that BAT (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) and his running mate were on their way to meet CAN President one night. A meeting that was not true and was on a night that the CAN President was in Alabama USA attending the Baptist World Alliance Conference of which he is the Vice President.
“Another desperation story was that they met Papa Adeboye which the RCCG later refuted. If Christians are not important, why the desperation?
“BAT is free to hire mechanics and other artisans and sew clerical garments for them. An effort that will only add to their many ropes when the political exercise is over but will not change the need for fairness and justice that CAN is calling for.
CAN, therefore, called on the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu to do what is right and stop doing any funny things to prove a point.