The Kogi chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says it has not endorsed any aspirant or party for the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.
Dr John Ibenu, its chairman, said this at the CAN Extra-Ordinary Extended Exco Meeting held at Chapel of Freedom Int’l, Lokoja, on Monday.
There have been rumours that CAN in Kogi have endorsed Gov. Yahaya Bello who is seeking re-election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ibenu said the meeting was a Consultative Plenary meeting of all the five blocks of CAN to consider few important issues and make their position known to the public regarding the 2019 governorship election in Kogi.
“CAN is a spiritual and religious organisation, and not a political organisation. All our members belong to as many political parties of their choice and they are free to do so.
“CAN is a father body to all political parties, and so cannot and should not adopt any political party in any election (unless it is compelled to do so and must be the decision of an emergency plenary).
“CAN have not adopted any candidate, every member is encouraged to join the political party of his or her choice. CAN is open to all,” he restated.
He stressed that any political party that needed and demanded the support of CAN members must be committed to the fear of God; ensure peace and unity of polity; justice, equity and fairness to all.
The chairman also said that such parties and aspirants must address issues of workers and general welfare of the people, ensure security of lives and property from evil men.
He emphasised that they must be aspirants that supported the interest of Christianity, equality and freedom of worship, address issues of job creation, youths and women empowerment.
“All parties’ flag bearers as they emerge must shun religious, ethnic, class and nepotic tendencies or bigotry, while urging all citizens to be law abiding as they go about their civic duties.
“We are open to pray for, counsel and receiving any political party that needs our attention.
“We call on INEC, politicians, security agencies and all stakeholders to ensure that the election is free, fair, and credible. Remember that God will bring all our actions to judgement sooner or later,” he said.
The bishop, therefore, enjoined all Christians to commence prayers in earnest on daily basis and during every public worship for a peaceful election.
Quoting from the Bible in the book of 1 Timothy 2: 1-4, he urged all Christians to pray for those in authority such as the president, governors, traditional and religious leaders and the society.
The bishop prayed that peace and prosperity should be upon all the people, CAN, Kogi and Nigeria.
Also speaking, Rev. Samuel Owolabi, the CAN Director of National Issues in Kogi, reiterated that CAN had not endorsed any party or aspirant for Kogi governorship election.
“CAN is the father of all, and our position is to pray and tell them what our demands are – good governance, infrastructure, welfare of the people and payment of salaries,” he said.
Owolabi, who doubles as the General Overseer of Christ-Life Word Assembly, Lokoja, advised Christians to pray and watch out for aspirants that have the fear of God.
On her part, Mrs Hannah Olanrewaju, the Chairperson, Women Wing of CAN in Kogi, urged the Christian community to be united and live in love, and not to do anything that would jeopardise their togetherness.