The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, is currently meeting behind closed doors with leading presidential candidates ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The meeting which took place at the National Christian Centre Abuja had the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, representing Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC), while the ex-governor of Anambra state and Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Peter Obi, stood in for Atiku Abubakar.
Speaking to journalists outside the meeting hall, CAN President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, said the meeting aims at interrogating the credentials of the candidates as well as their plans for the nation and the church.
He said: “the motive is not to take for granted the 2019 elections. 2019 Nigeria will depend on next year’s presidential election. That is, how free and fair it is going to be.
“The church cannot take the back seat in this situation because it can only prosper when Nigeria prospers. If the election is not free and fair, then, all Nigerians including the church will be in trouble.
“So, we decided to reach out to the presidential candidates to ask them their credentials for aspiring to the highest office in the land. Also, to interrogate their plans for all including the church.
We also brought them together to speak to their consciences so that they don’t set this nation on fire.
“We are going to draw our conclusion after we have finished our interview.”
On President Buhari’s recent decline of assent to the Electoral Act amendment, Ayokunle counselled: “The Executive and the National Assembly should put their house together, whenever there is this kind of disagreement or a stalemate, the executive and the legislature should come together as partners in progress to mutually find a way forward. They can’t afford to play with the future of the country through this forthcoming 2019 general elections. Everything must be done to ensure that the election is free and fair.”