Pastors in Abuja support Tinubu, and the CAN gets the boot


Pastors in Abuja support Tinubu, and the CAN gets the boot
On Sunday, a group of Abuja-based pastors and bishops endorsed Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, saying that he possesses the "right frame of mind" to lead the country.

However, just hours after the endorsement, the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) reacted negatively, saying that they were sticking to their original position of "No to same-faith ticket."

At a town hall with some party chieftains of Tinubu's support group, City Boy Movement, religious leaders under the aegis of the Nigerian Coalition of Pastors for Good Leadership endorsed the former Lagos State Governor.

It would be unfair for Nigerians to sacrifice the capacity of the APC candidate on the altar of the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket, the ministers said in a statement co-signed by the coalition's president, Apostle Babatunde Oguntimehin, and secretary, Revd Friday Obi.

As power-shift advocates, they noted that Tinubu and Peter Obi of the Labour Party were their only real options, and ultimately, they chose Tinubu due to his established reputation.

"It is with a deep sense of duty that we members of the Nigerian Coalition of Pastors for Good Leadership decide this morning to make known our position on the forthcoming national election, especially as it concerns the vexed issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket as adopted by the ruling APC," the statement read.

A more manageable primary responsibility will be the result of a well-functioning nation and government. As such, we see it as not only our civic duty, but also a high calling, to advocate for and elect those who will work in the best interest of our country to bring her hopes and aspirations to fruition.

After President Muhammadu Buhari, a northerner, would have ruled for eight years, we are in favor of a power shift to the South. This is in keeping with the unspoken tradition of North and South trading places at the helm of government.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Peter Gregory Obi are the two leading candidates in the South, and we had to choose between them. We have settled on Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima as our candidates after careful deliberation and extensive consultation.

Oguntimehin claimed that several factors influenced the pastors' endorsement of Tinubu.

The president of the coalition went on to say that Nigeria was a complex country that could only be led by a team with proven experience, capacity, ability, and capability, all of which were present in the Tinubu/Shettima ticket.

He continued, saying that the national leader of the APC had remained loyal to the cause of Nigeria by participating in NADECO activities that ultimately brought down the military and ushered in the current democracy in 1999.

We have since learned that putting one's religious or spiritual beliefs ahead of all others when voting for a national leader is counterproductive. Thus, we must not let our devotion to our faith or our ethnicity force us to put ethnicity or religion ahead of good leadership.

Since both Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima are Muslims, it's sad to see all the fuss made over their decision to work together.

The NCPGL's dismissal of concerns from some quarters over the Muslim-Muslim ticket would be pompous and ridiculous. However, he emphasized the need to encourage Nigerians to consider factors other than religion when making decisions about who should lead the country.

Head of Mobilization for the City Boy Movement Francis Shoga agreed with him, saying that Nigerians should not let religion and ethnicity determine who leads the country.

He said, "Our conversation here today has proven that politics transcends religion." In modern Nigeria, we need to consider capabilities and who is capable of completing tasks. We need to give our full attention to our abilities and our professionalism. We would lose the necessary openness for effective governance if we brought in considerations of race and religion.

"Asiwaju has proven to us that he is capable of performing the duties of the office, especially in his role as governor of Lagos. Hopefully, with his background, he can make Nigeria a better place for future generations.

However, CAN's Special Assistant on Media Luminous Jannamike argued that the group of clerics is anonymous and therefore should not be trusted, so they did not endorse.

Jannamike revealed that while the organization couldn't stop individuals or self-proclaimed ministers from doing their own thing, they also couldn't be seen as siding with religious groups that weren't part of CAN.

He remarked, "The message couldn't be more straightforward. Previous position of "No to same-faith ticket" remains unchanged. To us, they are just another nameless organization. The last thing we want is for people to see us working together with them on a problem. They are free to act in any way they see fit.

It's important to keep in mind that people can gather and express their opinions under any banner they choose. These folks aren't connected to CAN in any way, and we don't even know them. It's important to note that the Abuja pastors are voluntary backers of Tinubu. I hope they succeed!

The association could respond if the perpetrators were, say, the Catholic Church, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, or any of the CAN blocs. The honest truth is that we have no idea who they are.

You said they wrote the CAN president appealing to the body, but I have my doubts. They might have only used the media to make their case.

We have made our position clear, and CAN will not be shifting course now that it has been established. And the current head of the CAN has already stated, "Where my predecessor left off is where I will pick up."


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