The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 northern states has said that it did not endorse the presidential aspiration of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the extraordinary meeting of the association held at Excel Hotel and Resort in Abuja on Sunday, January 30, the association said CAN has never adopted any individual for any elective position in the history of elections in Nigeria.
The communiqué, signed by the Public Relations Officer, Northern CAN, Chaplain Jechonia Gilbert, said: “We also want to clarify the recent report in some online papers that Northern CAN had adopted Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as its presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.
“Northern CAN, from history, has never adopted any individual for any elective position in the history of elections in Nigeria and neither will it do so this time. Our duty to the Nigerian nation as a religious body, is to pray for the peace of the nation and encourage our members to participate in every constitutional process towards nation building.”
It said the meeting x-rayed certain developments in the country including the release of election timetable by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“We are here to make our contributions towards nation building by directing our leaders from the three zones in the North to go back and mobilize their members to come out en masse to register so as to enable them participate in the forthcoming 2023 general election,” it said.
The communiqué also stated that the strategic meeting was meant to collate report from the various zones concerning the security situation in various states that make up the zone with the aim of helping the leadership of Northern CAN in making a bold statement to the nation concerning the worrisome security challenges in the North.
On the issue of endorsements of politicians, CAN said: “As an organisation with large followership and its members belonging to different political persuasions, it is unthinkable to assume that we have adopted a particular individual who is not even a flag bearer of any political party as our candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
“We call on the public to disregard such reportage as it is never the thought or imagination of Northern CAN. There has NEVER been any meeting of the leadership of Northern CAN where such a decision was ever taken.”
The association urged Nigerians to close ranks for the purpose of defeating their common enemies, especially those killing in the name of religion, those kidnapping for ransom and those raping women across the country.
“We must unite and stand together to stamp out this evil from our nation,” it said.