Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has denied endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.
In a statement issued by the Special Assistant in charge of Media and Communications to the CAN President, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Christian body described as fake, the report that President Buhari has been chosen after CAN had met with some 14 presidential candidates in Abuja.
The statement noted that the CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle did not say that any of the candidates had been endorsed when he spoke to journalists after the meeting with the presidential flagbearers.
His words: “The motive is not to take for granted the 2019 elections. 2019 Nigeria will depend on next year’s presidential election. That is, how free and fair it is going to be.
“The church cannot take the back seat in this situation because it can only prosper when Nigeria prospers. If the election is not free and fair, then, all Nigerians, including the church, will be in trouble,” he said.
CAN said it decided to reach out to the presidential candidates to ask them their credentials for aspiring to the highest office in the land and to interrogate their plans for all, including the church.
It also said the aim of bringing them together was to speak to their conscience so that they don’t set the country on fire.
On the outcome of the parley, Ayokunle said the CAN is going to draw conclusion when it finalises the interviews.
CAN also reacted to President Buhari’s decline of assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Ayokunle advised that the executive and the legislature should join hands, whenever there is this kind of disagreement or a stalemate, as partners in progress to mutually find a way forward.
It said no one can afford to play with the future of the country through the forthcoming 2019 general elections, adding that everything must be done to ensure that the polls are free and fair.
“So, where did His Eminence inform these liars and mischief makers that CAN has endorsed President Buhari for a second term? We appeal to members of the public to beware of those who are fabricating this fake news for whatever reasons,” the statement added.