- Samson Omale
More Trouble For The APC And Tinubu Over Bishops' Attendance At Shettima’s Unveiling
The appearance of some men and women dressed in cassocks and priestly gowns at the unveiling of the running mate of the APC presidential candidate is unsettling the party and the Presidential candidate
The Tinubu Support Organisation on Thursday described the attack on the clergy persons who attended the unveiling of the Vice-Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima, as “unwarranted”.
The group also clarified that the clergymen who attended the event were not known in Christendom yet and were still building their missions.
At the official presentation of former Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as the running mate of the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, journalists watched in amusement as persons dressed as pastors and bishops showed up at the venue.
In a statement by the group’s Director of Media and Public relations, Bayo Onanuga, the group maintained that the “clergymen were not fake, not mechanics or yam sellers” as been rumoured online.
The Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday dissociated itself from Bishops who attended the unveiling of the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Kashim Shettima, saying they were desperados who went there for themselves.
The organisation said that although the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was free to “hire mechanics and other artisans and sew clerical garments for them”, that effort would only add to their many ropes but would not change the need for fairness and justice.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and its chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, said this in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
Nigerians have reacted to this as knocks have greeted the APC and its flagbearer, Tinubu, on social media.
Popular #EndSARS activist, Rinu Oduala, joined others in reaction on Twitter via her handle, @SavvyRinu, saying, “The APC is fielding a Muslim-Muslim ticket but went to rent fake bishops. What sort of ridicule is this? What message do they think this will send?”
Another tweep, @ejykmykel1, said, “Dear @OfficialAPCNg, We have only four female bishops in Nigeria: Bishop Oluremi, Ayotunde Obembe, Bishop Bola Odeleke, Bishop Peace Okonkwo, Archbishop Margaret Idahosa.
The tweep went further to ask the APC to publish the name of the female bishop seen in one of the pictures. “Can you help to publish the name of the female bishop at your occasion today? Nigerians are curious,” the tweep posted.
Popular social activist, Aisha Yesufu, also joined the trend, via @AishaYesufu, she posted, “Why do you think fake bishops need to be used at the unveiling of Shettima? That is waste of time. There are many that will be honoured to be invited. Most religious rulers need bad governance to sell cheap miracles whether pastors or Mallams. Know this and have peace.”
Popular Nigerian music artiste, Peter Okoye, tweeted in a funny way via @PeterPsquare, saying, “Fake bishops and even fake Peter Okoye! Naija!”
The Conference of Concerned Christians of Nigeria also joined Nigerians and critics of the ruling party in condemning the appearance of some alleged clerics, which it said masqueraded as bishops and pastors at Wednesday’s unveiling of Senator Kashim Shettima as Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
In a statement jointly signed by CCCN National President, Rev Bitrus Chollom and National Secretary, Pastor James Alkali, the Christian organisation challenged the APC to disclose the names of the ‘Bishops, and their respective denominations, to allow for scrutiny.
The APC and it's Presidential candidate are now having to do damage control in a turbulent week for the party as it prepares for the 2023 general elections.