The Christian Association of Nigeria yesterday talked tough on the same-faith presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress, emphasizing that its stands on the ticket remained the same.
It also stated that it had not reached an agreement with the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
There was a statement on Monday that Tinubu met with the leadership of CAN over the debate that arose from the party’s choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 polls.
Tinubu announced a former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima as his running mate, a decision which angered the Christian population in the nation.
Refuting the report of the agreement between Tinubu and CAN, the Christian body in a press release on Monday stressed that it had not changed its stance on the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The press release signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the leadership of the association, Luminous Jannamike, was titled, ‘Muslim-Muslim Ticket: CAN maintains its position.’
The association also cautioned that Tinubu’s presence and donation at last week’s 70th birthday of Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, should not be viewed as a financial inducement bribe to calm the Christian community.
The statement partly read, “The attention of the leadership of Christian Association of Nigeria has been drawn to a media report titled, ‘How Tinubu met, resolved Muslim-Muslim ticket with CAN’, which claimed that the apex Christian body had changed its position regarding the same faith ticket.
“To say the least, the story is ridiculous, malicious, untrue and should be disregarded in its entirety by all reasonable members of the society.
“For the records, CAN took a position against the same faith ticket imbroglio under the leadership of Rev. Dr Samson Ayokunle, its immediate past national president and as a matter of fact, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel Okoh, stands on that same position.”
CAN implores parties
While calling on political parties and their candidates to put the nation first in their considerations and prepare to serve with humility, CAN maintained that its conscience cannot be bought and its prophetic voice cannot be mum with money.
But the Director of Media and Publicity for APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, stated that it is easy for anybody reading the publication to know it was a figment of the writer’s imagination.
He said, “I read the report too. That paper was just speculating. If you read that story, you will discover we didn’t speak with them. Another publication has done a similar thing like that before where it claimed “Tinubu met with Adeboye at Redemption Camp’ when nothing like that happened.
“It is just mere speculation. I don’t know why CAN is even reacting to things like that. Anybody who read it will know it was fabrication.”
Reacting to CAN’s position that Tinubu’s presence and donation at Bishop Kukah’s birthday was not an endorsement of the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket, Onanuga debunked further comment.
“We don’t want to join issues with CAN. As far as we are concerned, we have put this issue behind us. We don’t want to be seen arguing with CAN on the pages of newspapers. All we know is a lot of people have explained our position to the Christian body.
“We have spent time explaining our ticket to everybody including CAN and the Muslim community. I think we have done enough and would like to join the issue with CAN,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson for Peter Obi Support Network, Onwuasoanya Jones, has debunked a statement by the spokesperson, Tinubu Campaign Organization, Mr Bayo Onanuga that the Labor Party presidential candidate is a social media creation.
Reacting to the characterisation of his principal in an interview with Journalist on Monday, Jones said Onanuga was accepting defeat too early.
He said, “Onanuga is conceding defeat too early. His statement is an admission of the obvious fact that Peter Obi is dominating the social media, and the truth is that the social media is where the majority of Nigerians, especially, the youths, who constitute a larger number of those who will be voting in 2023 vent their opinions.
“Fortunately for us in the Peter Obi camp, we are maintaining an unassailable lead on social media. This is the same way we are going to win the election.
“Peter Obi is a creation of Nigerians. He is popular because the people of Nigeria are convinced with the message of hope for a new Nigeria which he represents.
“The same way he is popular on social media is the same way he is popular across the streets in Nigeria. In the most rural parts of Borno, Niger, Adamawa, Osun and every part of the country, Peter Obi is the anthem that you will hear.’’
Debating further, Jones said, ‘’The social media is not in Mars, it is a communication platform used by Nigerians and these Nigerians are leaving no one in doubt about whom they wish to support as their President in 2023.”