Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Northern CAN disowns Dogara, Babachir, others

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The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in 19 Northern States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has disowned a meeting held in Abuja penultimate Tuesday by the former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Lawal Babachir and others with chairmen of the CAN from the region over the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential election.

However, Northern CAN said it had since taken a position on the Muslim-Muslim ticket, and as such, the recent meeting was not at its instance.

CAN said, “We take exception to that, we are not part of it and will never be part of it. Any time we want to speak, we have our channels of speaking”.

Speaking to Reporters on the controversial Abuja meeting, the Secretary General of Northern CAN, Elder Sunday Oibe said none of the officials of the association was contacted or invited to the meeting.

“It is not true that the leadership Chairmen of the Christian Association (Northern CAN) in the Northern states, met in Abuja, to take a position on the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket.

“Northern CAN was one of the Christian groups that earlier took a stand against Muslim-Muslim ticket.

“Our position had been taken, we don’t dwell on the past. For some people to gather in Abuja to say that chairmen of CAN in the 19 Northern states met, is an attempt to divide the church and it will not work.

“The few chairmen who attended the meeting said they were invited for a meeting by an NGO. Behold the meeting was called by the former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Lawal Babachir.

“Why must they call church leaders to their meeting? CAN is not a political party, we have our members across all political parties.

“When it was good for them, they did not call Northern CAN leaders for meetings, why are they calling CAN leaders to their meetings?

“Those who attended the meeting were taken aback because it was not the kind of meeting they told them.

“Unfortunately, some certain persons were being used, to reach out to the leadership of CAN in the Northern states.

“We want to use this opportunity to tell the world that Northern CAN has leadership in the person of Rev. Yakubu Pam, who is the chairman, Rev Fr Dodo as the Vice Chairman and myself as the secretary among other officials. We have an official channel of communication.

“For anybody to use the name of Northern CAN to garnish their political agenda is unacceptable.

“Politicians should know that some people see this era of politicking as an opportunity to make money and they will do all sorts of things to collect money from politicians.

“Northern CAN will never go to any politician to hang around. Our doors are opened to every politician that feels he wants to consult or interface with us, but we will never go to see any politician because our association is not a political party.

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“Those who feel this is their season to make money, going about using the name of Northern CAN should desist from such. Northern CAN can never allow itself to be used by politicians to score political points or to settle political scores.

“If Dogara and Babachir and their group are aggrieved over certain things, they should fight it at the party level and stop dragging CAN into it because it will dent the image of the association.

“We urged politicians to be wary of some people in a cassock who think the political season is for them to make money, but we will not allow them to use the name of Northern CAN.

“You cannot talk about fighting injustice using falsehood. The Bible says you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. You cannot hoodwink people to fight your cause,” Elder Oibe said.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who is a Muslim from the South, emerged as the presidential candidate of the governing APC for the 2023 elections while the party thereafter chose a fellow Muslim and former governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, as the running mate.

Dogara, who took to his verified Twitter handle, on Tuesday, said the meeting with the Christian leaders from the North and FCT was to decide on a pan-Nigerian platform to embrace in the 2023 elections.

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