Tinubu Support Organization has denied hiring ‘fake bishops’ to attend the unveiling of former governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima as the vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Tinubu Defends ‘Bishops’ At Shettima’s Unveiling
During the unveiling of Shettima in Abuja on Wednesday, some people were spotted dressed in Catholic Bishop outfits, which tends to lend some validation to the choice of the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC.
Reacting to the development, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said that those men spotted in religious garbs were mechanics and other artisans allegedly hired and sewn clerical garments by the APC Presidential candidate.
The religious body, which also disowned the fake bishops, said the move was the latest plot by Tinubu to hoodwink Nigerian Christians into accepting the Muslim-Muslim ticket.
But Tinubu Support Organization in a statement by its spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, maintained that the “clergymen were not fake, not mechanics or yam sellers” as been rumoured online.
The group also claimed that the clergymen who attended the event were ‘upcoming bishops’ who are still building their missions and not yet known in Christendom.
The statement read, “Tinubu Campaign Organisation has described as unwarranted distractions the viral pictures and videos of some Christian clergymen and women at the unveiling of the All Progressives Congress Vice presidential candidate, Senator KASHIM SHETTIMA, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“APC formally presented Senator Shettima to the public and its various organs as the running mate to the party’s presidential standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the well-attended ceremony at Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
“The TCO through its Director of Media and Communication, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, said the event was an open affair, which allowed members of the public to attend, including the clergymen and some others now being derided by hirelings of the opposition.
“We want to say that those clergymen were not fake, not mechanics or yam sellers as the purveyors of hatred have made Nigerians to believe in the social media. They are not big names in Christendom yet, they are gradually building up their missions.
“They are church leaders who genuinely believe that Nigerians must eschew politics of hatred and religious bigotry and rather embrace politics of peace and nation building.
“We, therefore, deplore the hysterical twisting of the presence of these men and women in cassocks and the false accusation against our candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Shettima.
“The orchestrated social media sensation over the presence of the men is needless and all calculated to detract from the huge success recorded at the momentous event on Wednesday.
“We believe Nigerians are too wise and discerning to see through this shenanigan. Asiwaju Tinubu and his running mate and our great party are working very hard to provide purposeful leadership and good progressive governance that will improve the quality of life of Nigerians.
“We are well aware that the opposition parties and the sponsors of the social media charade are jittery and threatened by the intimidating political credentials of our candidates. The only way they hope to shift attention of public scrutiny away from their uninspiring candidates and credentials is to create social media distraction.
“Our campaign is determined on focusing on core governance issues that affect all Nigerians with a view to confronting them and make the desired improvements in the standard of living of our people.”
Tinubu and the APC have been accused by some prominent Nigerians and religious advocates of being insensitive to the religious diversity of the country by presenting a single faith ticket for the February 2023 presidential election.
A few days ago Kashim Shettima reacted to the outrage trailing the Muslim-Muslim ticket, saying Nigerians should look beyond religion when electing leaders, adding that there is no plan by Bola Tinubu to Islamise the country.