The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the move by a delegation of Abuja-based pastors and bishops who came out to express their support for the Presidential Candidate of All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who they described as having the right frame of mind to rule the country.
Hours after the endorsement on Sunday, CAN condemned the move, while reiterating its earlier stance on ‘No to same faith ticket.’
Sunday’s endorsement of the former Lagos State governor, by clerics under the aegis of Nigerian Coalition of Pastors for Good Leadership, took place after a town hall meeting with some party chieftains of Tinubu’s support group, City Boy Movement.
The delegation, in a statement jointly signed by the coalition president, Babatunde Oguntimehin and secretary, Friday Obi, had said that it would be unfair for Nigerians to sacrifice the capacity of the APC candidate on the altar of the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The coalition said in the statement that “For a start, we are fully in support of the power shift to South after President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, would have ruled for eight years. This is for equity and fairness as well as in the spirit of the existing unwritten rule to have power rotate between the North and the South.”
“We were left to choose between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Peter Gregory Obi, who are the frontline candidates from the South. After consideration of so many critical factors and wide consultation, we have decided to settle for the candidacy of Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.”
Oguntimehin, who noted that their decision to endorse Tinubu based on a number of factors, described Nigeria as a complex nation that can only be governed by someone with demonstrable experience, capacity, ability and capability, which were evident in the Tinubu/Shettima ticket.
He added that Tinubu has remained loyal to the Nigerian cause, which was demonstrated through his involvement in National Democratic Coalition activities that subdued the military and ushered in the current democracy in 1999.
“We have since noted that making religion or faith the top factor in choosing a candidate for the nation has never helped and will never help this nation. We cannot therefore sacrifice quality leadership on the altar of religion or tribe”.
His position was also confirmed by the Head of Mobilisation for the City Boy Movement, Francis Shoga, who urged Nigerians to look beyond religion and ethnicity to choose its leaders.
However, CAN President, Daniel Okoh, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Luminous Jannamike, kicked against the endorsement, while describing the group of clerics as a faceless one.
CAN stated that although the body cannot prevent individuals and self-acclaimed ministers from carrying out their activities, they cannot be seen joining issues with religious blocs not affiliated with CAN.