Paul Obi in Abuja
The Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) on Saturday raised the alarm over the electoral process in the forthcoming elections for the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) president.
Addressing journalists in Abuja on the crisis, ECWA representative at CAN, Pastor Wakili Kadima said the process leading to the June elections has been marred by some ‘illegality’ and ‘impunity’ with the aim to exclude some persons from participating in the elections.
The allegation came amid controversy trailing the exclusion of Tarayya Ekklesiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria (TECAN) ECWA nominee, Rev. Jeremiah Gado as the consensus candidate of the TECAN ECWA block in CAN.
Gado’s emergence at the thick of the kidnapping of Dr. Emmanuel Dziggau has been perceived as a grand plan to exclude Dziggau from the TECAN ECWA nomination process.
Contrary, the National Director of Christ Redeemers Union, Dr. Ebenezer Olusola Abednego, dismissed the allegation describing it as lies from the pit of hell.
But speaking to journalists, Kadima said: “We have called you to really let you know that the process is flawed with irregularity, the exclusion of a candidate who was duly nominated has been blocked by so much impunity, so much violation of very clear constitutional provisions.
“And we not only reject what has happened but will certainly use every legal constitutional means within CAN and if possibly outside of CAN to challenge the illegality and urge that the right thing be done to save CAN from embarrassment and the perpetuation of impunity and illegality that is threatening to tear CAN into pieces.”
He explained that ECWA decided to kick against the exclusion “because the process came out with a minority report of members of the electoral college that didn’t agree with what went on and have even suggested that the present national officials of CAN should hand over to a caretaker team for a body that is impartial to conduct election for the new leadership of CAN to emerge.”
On the allegations that the kidnapping of Dr. Emmanuel Dziggau was a premeditated move to exclude him from participating in the TECAN ECWA selection process of a candidate for CAN presidential elections, Kadima said: “The person who made that allegation we wonder of he still maintains it today having had audience with the security forces whom he should have helped in providing information for the unraveling of his kidnap.
“so I am sure he must have adequately answered those questions and I am sure that in that way whether his allegations are maintained or not, he is no more left in the realm of speculations because the man has been released,
He stated that “his alleged kidnappers have been arrested and the person who made that allegation should be able and we think that he has been able to possibly discuss with the security forces on that allegation and what were the premise”? He asked.
Also, Pastor Divine Eches said the group is calling for the inclusion of all interested contestants in the elections.
Eches said the support for Gado is a right, adding that, “we didn’t vote him to represent himself we voted him to go to CAN and contest election, if there is any infringement on his way we should be able to say to him no you must continue because we have others but we selected him to go that is why we are speaking today.”
Responding, Abednego explained that the people making such allegation were being sponsored by those with vested interests, who also want to plant a puppet as CAN President, stressing that “when that happens Christians are doomed.”
He said, “That is another lie from the pit of hell; nobody should take them serious because we know their antecedents and sponsors. The leadership of CAN does not interfere in the election of its President because such actions are ungodly.
“But Nigerians, especially Christians must know that those who are interested in planting their stooge as CAN President have not rested. They are the people behind these spurious allegations. But our determination to resist them is a battle of no retreat, no surrender. We say to imposition of CAN President who will be loyal to the establishment.”