The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the 19 Northern states and Abuja Thursday night disowned a band of pastors, who visited president Muhammadu Buhari, saying they lack the mandate to speak on behalf of the pastors in the 19 Northern states.
“ These folks are unknown to us, said Reverend John Hayap, CAN’s publicity secretary while speaking to Per Second News Thursday night.
He disclosed that the Arewa pastors Non denominational initiative for peace in Nigeria is not known to the Christian Association of Nigeria in the north and cannot be said to be representing Christians in the north.
“We have searched through all our chapters in the 19 Northern states and Abuja and we found out that the leader of the delegation and most of them resides in Port-Hacourt, Rivers State.
He alleged that the leader of the group is from Benue, according to findings with most of them from the South-South states.
Rev Hayap, said though the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association are among the most important human rights we possess, these rights protect peoples’ ability to come together and work for the common good.
Reverend Hayap wondered why the Christian leaders did not seize the opportunity of being with the president to draw attention to Leah Sharibu’s plight.
The calamitous terrorist group, Boko Haram retained the only Christian among more than 100 kidnapped girls who were freed recently, prompting the northern (CAN) to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to obtain her release.
Boko Haram refused to release Leah Nathan Sharibu, 15, because she would not renounce her faith and convert to Islam.
“The Northern Christian leaders are all busy praying for the safe return of Leah Sharibu, and would not engage in politics. “ We love the president and we pray for him daily.”
He said the group might have been sponsored by some politicians in the South South region for personal and political gains.
A Christian leader from Adamawa who spoke under the condition of anonymity said a former governor of a South-South state who three years ago accused some church leaders of taking N6 billion bribe from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to campaign against president Muhammadu Buhari, is fingered to have orchestrated the visit of the pastors.
Delighted with the president’s performance, the Arewa pastors had during the visit to president Buhari on Thursday vowed to expose those working against him within the Christain fold in the north.
“ We assure Your Excellency that we will co-operate in exposing any information that will be available to us as regard to the perpetrators.”
“ Your Excellency, we the 19 Northern States pastors under the New platform called the Arewa pastors Non-Denominational initiative for peace in Nigeria believe in your leadership and we are here to let you know that we are fully standing by you and your government to ensure that you succeed and peace is restored to every and corners of the country.
“And to counter those deceiving and poisoning Nigerians with fake news to destroy your good intentions for the country especially those giving the impression that you are against Christians and some ethnic groups in Nigeria which is a big lie for instance: Some Pastors using places of worship to preach hate. People using Church to preach violence. (If you preach war and war broke out who will go to Church for worship).
“The Islamization agenda. We believed that the Mr. President has no lslamization agenda in Nigeria, because if he cannot do it as Military Head of State with a Muslim Deputy Head of State, how can it be done under Democratic government.
“This is just an opposition propaganda, about the killings around the Country, we observed that it is not only Christian that are the victims, both Muslims and Christians are affected.”