The Christian Association of Nigeria has described as ridiculous, malicious and untrue a media report claiming that it received money from the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the 2023 elections, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The association spoke in reaction to the report, titled: “How Tinubu met, resolved Muslim-Muslim ticket with CAN.”
The reaction by the Christian apex body was contained in a statement by Luminous Jannamike, Special Assistant on Media to the CAN President, on Monday in Abuja.
CAN said it had not changed its earlier stand on the Muslim-Muslim ticket, adding, however, that it respected the decision of political parties on issues that affect their electoral fortunes so long as it was in accord with Nigeria’s Constitution and Electoral Act.
The statement said: “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.”
It condemned the attempt in the report to link it with the donation made by Tinubu during the 70th birthday of the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, in Abuja.
The CAN said: “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.”
CAN explained that the donations went directly to The Kukah Centre and has nothing to do with it, adding: “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 tickets.
“As a faith-based organisation, CAN maintains that its conscience cannot be bought and its prophetic voice cannot be silenced with money.”
It called on political parties and their candidates to put the nation first in their considerations and prepare to serve the people earnestly with humility.