The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday dismissed reports that the 2015 elections may have sown a seed of discord in the association, following alleged â€œblanket supportâ€ of President Goodluck Jonathan by the president of the association, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor.
There was also the alleged endorsement of former Vice President Abubakar Atiku of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the North-east chapter of the association to run for the presidency.
Spokesman of CAN in the 19 Northern states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr. Sunday Oibe, in a statement in Kaduna described the reports as false and a ploy by mischief makers to cause confusion and tarnish the image of the association.
Oibe, who is also a national official of CAN, debunked claims that the North-east chapter of the association had endorsed Atiku for the 2015 presidency; maintaining that one Jonathan, who claimed to be the Public Relations Officer of CAN in the zone and who was going about spreading the falsehood, is an impostor.
He stated further that the CAN President, Pastor Oritsejafor, had never at any point in time given â€œblanket supportâ€ to Jonathan, stressing that the association is a religious body and not a political party and should therefore not be dragged into politics.
Oibe said CAN was disturbed that desperate politicians were sponsoring people who are ready to smear the reputation of the association for their selfish interest and appealed to journalists to always cross-check the facts to avoid falsehood and presenting misleading information to the public.
â€œOur attention has been drawn to a report that CAN is divided along Jonathan and Atiku for the 2015 election. This is absolute falsehood and it is nothing but a ploy by some mischief makers. CAN is united, it is not divided.
â€œWe challenge those who claimed that the CAN President had given a blanket support to Jonathan to tell us at what forum this happened. Has Jonathan told Nigerians that he wants to become President in 2015? We are saying categorically that this is a campaign aimed at tarnishing the image of CAN.â€œ