Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has denied reports that he mobilised Christian clergymen to the unveiling of his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, in Abuja on Wednesday.
DIPLOMATIC DIARY reported that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had on Tuesday described the presence of the clergymen in Bishops garments as an unprofessional nollywood script.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and its chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, during an interview with journalists in Abuja, had said the Presidential candidate of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was free to “hire mechanics and other artisans and sew clerical garments for them.”
According to Hayab, “The people we saw at the unveiling of Shettima paraded as Bishops are people who did not have enough time to learn how to wear Bishop garments. Take a closer look at their photo and you will see another Nollywood movie.”
But responding through a statement from his Campaign Organisation (TCO), Tinubu described, as unwarranted distractions, his linking with the viral pictures and videos of some Christian clergymen and women at the unveiling.
The TCO through its Director of Media and Communication, Bayo Onanuga, claimed that since the event was an open affair, which allowed members of the public to attend, including the clergymen and some others, there is no need for hirelings of the opposition to make such claims.
The statement read: “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 shenanigans. 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.”