CAN denies N7b bribery allegation

The Kaduna State Chairman of CAN has denied any knowledge of an arrangement where money was shared to chairmen of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 36 states of thefederation by anyone.

Rev. George Dodo

The state CAN Chairman, George Dodo, told Daily Independent in an interview that he was not aware of any meeting where money was shared.

Governor  Chibuike Amaechi in the course of campaigning for the APC Presidential Candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, recently had accused Ministers of God in the country of collecting a bribe of N6 billion to take sides with the party in 2015 general elections.

Amaechi alleged that unnamed leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party paid N6 billion to Christian clerics to campaign against Buhari and the APC.

Since then many pastors have challenged him to be courageous enough to name the pastors who collected the bribe.

But as if to confirm the bribery allegation, a Borno-based Pastor and Executive Director of the Voice of Northern Christian Movement, Kallamu Musa-Dikwa, said on Thursday that the President Goodluck Jonathan actually gave them N7 billion and not N6 billion as alleged by Amaechi who doubles as the Director-General of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation.

Dikwa who said the money was channeled through Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of CAN, disclosed that CAN got the said money on January 26, 2015 and disbursed N3 million each to its state chairmen across the country.

According to Dikwa, an Associate Pastor with the E. Y. N. Church (Enklesiyan Yan’uwan A Nijeriya) Farm Centre Dikwa Road, Maiduguri, Borno State, under Rev. Emmanuel Kwajihe between 2002-2004, “CAN had started threatening Christians in the state (Borno) that they must re-elect President Jonathan in the rescheduled election”.

Dodo, however, queried the credibility of the person behind the report, saying many people were out there just seeking for relevance.

“If, according to reports, that the said Pastor Dikwa is close to Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, then the best person to ask would be the CAN National Chairman to confirm the authenticity or otherwise of the person’s story. This is because I am not aware and as such, cannot speak about something I know nothing about.

“As for the man claiming to be of the Christian faith, I don’t know him and I leave him to God,” ,” the Kaduna CAN stated.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has demanded unreserved apology from Governor Amaechi over his bribery allegation against the Christian folk.

The state PDP on Thursday expressed sadness over the allegation of bribery leveled against ministers of God for purposes of the 2015 general elections.

Describing it as “unsubstantiated” allegation against Ministers of God to vote for certain political office seekers, the PDP in a statement signed by Jerry Needam, Special Adviser on Media to the State Party Chairman, Felix Obuah, said there was no other reason for the baseless and malicious allegation than to drag Christianity to the mud.

The party said: “This, among other reckless utterances of Amaechi, clearly shows the inner thinking and direction of the APC.”

It warned that the calm disposition of Christianity and the gentleness of its adherents must not be taken for granted to insult the ministers of God.

Wondering whether a Muslim brother and, or faithful, as Amaechi claims to be a Christian, could under any guise profane his religion or its leaders in the manner he has done, the PDP demanded unreserved apology from the governor for the undeserved insult to ministers of God.

It warned the APC leadership to call Amaechi and members of his campaign organisation to order.

Also reacting to the allegation, the Chairman of CAN, Lagos Chapter, Apostle Alex Bamgbola, has declared that no one can buy him over with money, let alone trampling on his values and integrity.

Bamgbola said: “There is no human being on earth that can buy me; I am not for sale. If I had been for sale, you wouldn’t find me here. I had access to petroleum when I came back to Nigeria in 1979. I was on the board of 17 companies, then God called me and said everything give it away. I owned ten per cent of two banks and about 25 per cent of three insurance banks, God said never return there and I left it all.”

Speaking further on the said amount given to CAN, he said that the issue is a sad and controversial one and that curses have been pronounced on whoever collected such money from politicians, hence he would not want to comment on it.

“The issue is too sensitive and I won’t want to comment on it. Let the national office of CAN respond as to whether they collected such money or not,” he said.

Bamgbola added that the Elders Forum of CAN has decided not to comment of the alleged bribe scandal again.

When our Correspondent put a call through to the national president of CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, he was said to be in church for evening service, hence he would not react to the matter as at press time.

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