As the tenure of the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, comes to an end in July, reports have surfaced from within the Christian community that the Presidency is keenly interested in whom is chosen as his successor.
There are also rumours flying around, of alleged plans by President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress, to install a Northerner as the next CAN president.
The APC is reported to have plans of sponsoring a pro-Buhari clergy from the North in order to avoid a scenario where the next CAN president would spearhead a radical opposition against his administration.
A Christian group, under the aegis of Christ’s Redeemers’ Union, are at the forefront of the claim against the Presidency.
According to the National Director of CRU, Dr. Abednego Olusola, Christians would resist any plan by the Presidency to install a puppet as CAN President.
“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.”
“We have it on good authority that any leader being installed by the Presidency in CAN would avoid any virulent criticism of the Buhari government and this has informed their desperate to install a leadership that will not be critical.”
“But we are vehemently opposed to government meddling into a purely religious affairs and should the Presidency succeed in installing an APC/Buhari stooge in CAN, we will pull out of CAN. We are ready for them, we have it on good authority that some Muslim leaders from the North are behind the plot. But by the power in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, every knee shall bow and they won’t succeed.”
Reacting to the allegations on behalf of the presidency was the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Communications), Femi Adesina, who said Buhari is not in the habit of interfering in any organisation’s process of election.
“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, APC is having candidates, how will he interfere in CAN elections? They don’t know their President.”