Clerics who attended the formal unveiling of former Borno State governor, Senator Kashim Shetiima, as the running mate to the All Progressives Congress’ presidential candidate, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, on Monday, insisted that they were ordained clerics and founders of Christian ministries.
The clerics also cleared the widespread misunderstanding that they represented the Christian Association of Nigeria at the event.
The Christian clerics’ attendance at the event had sparked controversies and insinuations in the media that they were sponsored to impersonate CAN members.
CAN has consistently opposed the decision by Tinubu to pick a Muslim running mate.
But the clerics who addressed a press conference on Monday in Abuja, under the aegis of Muslim-Christian Love Foundation, said they never presented themselves as CAN representatives at the event.
Secretary of the clerics’ umbrella body, Bishop Adams Abel King, who read a statement on behalf of the others, also stated that they identified with Senator Shettima and the APC because of his transformation of Borno State, including the protection of rights for all regardless of religion, during his tenure as the governor of the state.
The clerics said, “Although Senator Kashim Shettima took the mantle of the state at a difficult time marked by terror attacks and deadly insurgency, his mature, cautious, and decisive management of the state’s affairs helped preserved the social fabric that held several communities together and reassured members of the Christian faith that the government remained committed to their freedoms and wellbeing.”
They added that these contributions and sincere commitment to the constitutional obligation to uphold the rights of all without prejudice or bias qualified Shettima as a brother and an ally in their quest to promote peaceful inter-faith relations in the country.
The clerics, therefore, dismissed claims of being sponsored to impersonate leaders of the CAN at the event.
Presenting proofs of their authenticity as church leaders, the clerics made public the names of their respective churches and ministries.
They include the Christian Revival Evangelical Mission Worldwide of Apostle Godwin Livinus; the Divine Prophetic End Time Gospel Faith in Kubwa, Abuja of Bishop Dr Emeka Theodore; the Light House of all Nation Ministry of Bishop Emmanuel Sunday Jayeola, among others.
The clerics, who also condemned the attacks and harassment they endured following their participation at Shettima’s official presentation, said they had the democratic right to make a political choice.