Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno State has debunked the rumours making the rounds that it has adopted the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the gubernatorial election in the state on Saturday.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Maiduguri, the state CAN chairman, Most Rev Dr John Bogna Bakeni called on those propagating and peddling the rumours to desist from doing so, saying that it is a campaign of calumny against CAN as a body.
The CAN boss called on all politicians and the government to be wary of some fraudulent people masquerading as pastors and Christian religious leaders or groups who go about operating under the guise of CAN, urging them to verify and deal with the authentic body of CAN, which has the youth wing or women wing, as any other Christian group or associations outside these bodies are acting on their own.
“My dear good people of Borno State, I am Most Rev. Dr. John Bogna Bakeni, the chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN ) , Borno State Chapter. I choose to address you this day in order to defuse and to clarify the rumour going round that the Borno State CAN has adopted the political candidate of the PDP for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.
“Let me say categorically that CAN is not a political party and will never be. The State CAN has not endorsed any candidate in her interactions with candidates who sought an audience with her, and will not do so. CAN has not received money from any politician as a form of voter inducement. All CAN in Borno State has done from the presidential elections to date is to encourage Christians to participate in the political processes by voting candidates of their choice.
“It might interest you to know that there are Christians who belong to different political parties and ideologies, so for CAN to line up behind a particular candidate is to be divisive and is not part of our mandate. CAN commands respect and enjoys cordiality with the current government of Borno State and we will not want some unscrupulous people to destroy that for their selfish ends.
“CAN remains a religious association that is apolitical, non-partisan and law abiding. We encourage all people of Borno State who are eligible to vote to come out and perform their civic duty and responsibility of electing their next set of leaders. Our hope and prayer are that whoever emerges as governor should carry everybody along, Muslims and Christians alike without discrimination based on tribe, religion, gender or status. I pray that we have a free, fair, credible and violent free elections,” Bakeni who is the auxiliary bishop of Maiduguri Catholic Dioceses said.
He however vowed that CAN will investigate its members and anyone found wanting will be surely sanctioned.