Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, and Senator Kashim Shettima, his running mate, have received the endorsement of over 100 pastors and prophets in Rivers State.
The clergy members of Rivers Pastors Unite for Tinubu (RPUT), who had gathered in Port Harcourt on Monday, declared after their meeting that the APC candidate remained the only one capable of resolving the nation’s issues.
None of the candidates, according to the position of the clerics following the meeting, had helped the Christian community as much as Tinubu, according to the Coordinator, RPUT, Pastor Sunday Edimeh, who is also the Founder, of One Life Bible Church.
Edimeh however clarified that their position applied only to the presidential election and had nothing to do with the governorship and other elections in the state.
Other clerics, who attended the meeting were Pastor Julius Dan of the Apostolic Church Nigeria; Apostle Stephen Ngajaekwu, Christ King of Glory; Pastor John Monday, QWA Iboe Church among others.
Quoting from the scriptures, Edimeh urged the Christians to stand for the truth and reciprocate Tinubu’s good deeds to the Christian community by mobilizing votes for him nationwide.
He also urged Christian leaders and their followers to shun any presidential candidate playing a Christian or religious card ahead of the poll.
He said: “None of the leading Presidential candidates has supported the Christian community as much as Bola Tinubu. He has sown only good seeds on the soil of the Christian community and such should never be dismissed.
“We call on fellow clergymen and women to stand with the truth now. We are aware that a Presidential candidate is playing up the Christian agenda but the pertinent question is before now, how has he uplifted the Christian community?
“The choice of a running mate does not in any way, pose a threat to the Christian community. Hence, let us dissociate from the cold-hearted proclivities of political transition, which seek to orchestrate needless divisions based on religious grounds. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has not presented any conduct to suggest his non-tolerance for the religious sentiments of all Nigerians.
“As a matter of fact, he has through his personal life, demonstrated an utmost liberal nature and tolerance in giving support to his wife, Senator(Pastor) Remi Tinubu’s spiritual convictions to practice Christianity and serve as a minister of the gospel of Christ.
“The nation’s democratic political antecedent, with all past Presidents and Vice-presidents from Southern Nigeria being Christian, proves a fair disposition towards Christian stakeholders, and these religious debates are not founded on critical analysis. We urge the Christian community not to withdraw support based on religious grounds. We must remain loyal to the gospel of love into which we have been called”.
Edimeh dismissed insinuations of ill health against Tinubu saying the rigorous campaigns the APC candidate had run ahead of the poll had given him a clean bill of health
He said: “Having observed the rigorous campaigns of Tinubu, it goes without saying that the claims of him ailing are unfounded and should not be considered in the scheme of things.
“We, however, demand that he remains committed to delivering on all the campaign promises as failure would amount to reputational damage and loss of trust which the electorate and respected bodies such as ours have bestowed upon him.
“This statement is not in any way, a compromise of our faith or religious convictions, it is rather, an acknowledgment of Bola Ahmed Asiwaju’s candidacy and alignment with his plans and policies gave careful scrutiny of his presented manifesto. Nigeria belongs to us all and we will not allow divisions to get in the way of quality leadership and prosperity”.
Edimeh said the clerics were not in doubt of Tinubu’s capacity to deliver good governance to facilitate growth and development citing his proven track record in transformational leadership in Lagos State.
He insisted that Tinubu had routinely demonstrated competence, grit, and tenacity, which had earned him a reputation as a leader of leaders, whose influence and competence had been tested and trusted through the times.
He said: “Bola Tinubu is indeed a kingmaker, who has nurtured numerous political proteges regardless of their religious and ethnic inclinations, as a matter of fact”.
He identified some of the pastors, that served in Tinubu’s past administration but had continued to enjoy the support of the APC candidate to rise to positions of prominence in the country.
Among others, he named Pastor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice-President; Pastor Ben Akabueze, a former commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, who is in charge of Nigeria’s Budget as well as Pastor Babatunde Fowler, the immediate past Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Describing Tinubu as pro-masses, Ndah said: “In 2019, during the government’s attempt to increase VAT rates, knowing the implication of such a policy on the poor, Asiwaju was quick to call on relevant stakeholders to reconsider the policy while offering a recommendation which had the capacity to achieve increased internally generated revenue which was the policy’s initial aim.
“He has also been a leading voice in speaking for the masses against the duo of ill-timed Central Bank of Nigeria’s currency redesign and cashless policy which has left the poor bearing the brunt of it.
“To allay the fears of skeptics who propagate cynicism and bigotry, the All Progressives Congress Presidential flag bearer has displayed an unquestionable commitment to nationhood and development devoid of ethnic colorations.
“As governor, his focus was actualizing the blueprint for the state’s development the appointment of cabinet members outside his ethnic affiliations is a testament”.