The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has slammed the National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF) for criticising its congratulatory visit to President Muhammadu Buhari over his re-election.
NCEF had described the visit as “shocking” and “hasty” as the outcome of the February 23 presidential election was still being challenged in court.
But in a statement through its Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Mr. Samuel Kwamkur, CAN said it already distanced itself from NCEF since 2018 and so the group lacked moral right to criticise any of its actions.
The statement read, “It is getting to one year now since CAN disassociated itself from the activities of NCEF. The decision to visit President Buhari is not supposed to be with their knowledge since they are not part of CAN.
“CAN has disbanded NCEF and they have no reason to join issues with CAN. If CAN is going right, they will go left. CAN has no business with the elders forum on this matter.
“Most of the leaders of CAN were in that team who went to see President Buhari. The five blocs constituting CAN were fully represented by the leaders of the blocs.
“We visited Buhari as a constituted body, not a political party, neither do we share political interest as an association.
“We work with the authority that be and if Independent National Election Commission, INEC, is the constituted authority with the mandate to conduct elections and declare the winner, what reasons do we have to say no to it?
“It means we are been partisan, if we go against the decision of INEC.
“Christians are advised to respect authorities. The bible did not say respect the leaders that love you or behave well to you. There is no condition to that admonition in the bible. If you read our speech to President Buhari, we stated that we visited because INEC has declared him winner.
“There is nothing wrong with the opposition going to court. In fact, we appreciate the moves to avoid crisis after election. If the court later decided in favour of the opposition, CAN will also go and congratulate the person again. We have also taken decision to see the opposition and share with them to encourage the rightful moves
“We have been confronting this administration with the truth. How can the elders forum want to summon the CAN president and direct him on what to do? It is not proper.”