The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has dismissed as false, claims by a Borno State-based pastor that President Goodluck Jonathan bribed its leadership with N7 billion to campaign for his re-election.
The allegation came on the heels of a similar allegation by Rivers State Governor and Director-General of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organization, Rotimi Amaechi, who last month alleged that some pastors were given N6 billion to work against the presidential ambition of the APC candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.
However, Musa Dikwa, the Executive Director of the Voice of Northern Christian Movement, told reporters in Kaduna, Thursday, that the sum given to CAN was actually N7billion, not N6billion.
In its reaction, the CAN, through its General Secretary, Musa Asake, said the body has no knowledge of “any N7 billion transaction as alleged by Musa Dikwa who claims to be the Executive Director of a non-existent group, Voice of Northern Christian Movement”.
Asake further explained that CAN was not a political party, let alone get involved in partisan politics.
“Christians who are members of CAN belong to different political parties. It is therefore surprising to hear that CAN is campaigning for one candidate”, Mr. Asake said.
The CAN leader said revered men of God including Ayo Oritsejafor, who is the national president of CAN; David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel and Bosun Emmanuel (Secretary-General of National Christian Elders Forum), are too upright to be linked with such deal.
“CAN is therefore not surprised to see Musa Dikwa doing a yeoman’s job the next day through his allegations. This is the hands of Esau but voice of Jacob”, he said.
He added that the allegation by Mr. Dikwa was masterminded by those who were not happy with a recent press statement in which CAN denounced the endorsement of Mr. Buhari by a group of people using the name of different Christian organizations to perpetrate fraud.
“We still insist that Buhari has fallen into wrong hands because his endorsement for the March 28 general election by Northern Christian Leaders Eagle-Eye Forum led by Aminchi Habu is fraudulent”, he said.
The CAN general secretary further called on security agencies to commence investigations into the activities of the Voice of Northern Christian Movement and Mr. Dikwa himself, to unravel the N7 billion mystery.
“We repeat for emphasis, that neither Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Bosun Emmanuel and CAN was given any money by the presidency, let alone N7 billion.
“The allegation is the height of mischief and desperation. Unfortunately, our psyche as a nation has been bastardized and abused by the institutionalized corruption introduced by successive military rulers (in uniform and out of uniform) that we no longer believe that anyone can speak the truth without financial inducement or gratification. Fortunately, there are still people in the nation who act without financial inducement.
“We are Christians and our candidate is Jesus Christ. So long as we believe that the Church is under threat, we will speak for Jesus Christ and maintain the Wake up Call to the Church,” he said.