The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Monday, denied media reports that the Christian body received bribe from Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections.
Reports had stated that CAN, after a meeting with Tinubu, denounced its earlier position on Tinubu’s choice of Kazim Shettima, a co-Muslim, as his running mate. CAN had protested Tinubu’s choice, citing Nigeria’s Christian-Muslim chemistry.
However, CAN reportedly accepted Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim ticket after meeting with him weekend, prompting insinuations that the Christian body had been bribed.
CAN made its position known in a statement by Luminous Jannamike, special assistant on media to the CAN president.
The body stated that, “For the umpteenth time, CAN reiterates that it is non-partisan, but remains willing to partner with all leaders and other relevant stakeholders towards achieving unity, peace and progress in our nation.
“Consequently, the umbrella Christian organisation cannot be antagonistic to any well-meaning political party or group as the nation warms up for a fresh round of elections in 2023 as claimed in the said report.”
CAN expressed sadness over reports linking it with the donation made by Tinubu during the 70th birthday of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah, in Abuja.
According to CAN, “The event was public and the friends of the celebrant and other good-spirited Nigerians donated to the building of The Kukah Centre, which is designed to be a veritable platform to propagate and promote the ideals of democracy and responsible leadership through research and intellectualism.
“It is therefore mischievous to insinuate it was a sort of bribe money for Christian leaders to make a u-turn on its stance against same-faith ticket.
“As a faith-based organisation, CAN maintains that its conscience cannot be bought and its prophetic voice cannot be silenced with money.”