With few months to its forthcoming election, tension is mounting within the Christian Association of Nigeria following an alleged plot by President Muhammadu Buhari to install a successor to its current President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, whose tenure expires in July 2016.
The All Progressives Congress is said to be interested in sponsoring a pro-Buhari clergy from the North so as to avoid any radical opposition to his administration from the Christian community.
But when contacted, the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Communications), Mr. Femi Adesina, dismissed the allegation and told The PUNCH that “Buhari does not interfere in the internal affairs of any organisation.”
He said, “It means that some Nigerians don’t know their President. Your President, Muhammadu Buhari, does not interfere in things like that; so, they need to know the person who is their President.
“The people making the allegation can’t insist that they are correct because that is the man for you and Buhari doesn’t interfere in anything. If he doesn’t interfere in state elections where his own party, the APC, is having candidates, how will he interfere in CAN elections? They don’t know their President.”
A group of Christians, under the aegis of Christ’s Redeemers’ Union, claimed that the Presidency was interested in CAN election for some selfish reasons.
The National Director of CRU, Dr. Abednego Olusola, in a statement obtained by journalists on Sunday in Abuja, said Christians would resist any plan by the Presidency to install a puppet as CAN President.
He said, “A top official in the Presidency, who is spearheading the campaign, has started deploying resources for logistics towards ensuring the emergence of a church leader in the northern part of the country believed to be friendly with Buhari.
“The government officials funding some religious leaders in the North have been recruited as foot soldiers to perfect the strategy. There is tension now in CAN and the action of the Presidency has polarised the association along North-South dichotomy, as northern religious members are being lobbied to support the plot.”
Olusola explained that the APC government was desperate to ensure the emergence of its candidate in CAN who would lead the Nigerian Christians community.
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