The Borno State chairman of the Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Mohammed Williams Naga, has denied ever endorsing Senator Kashim Shettima as the right choice for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential running mate for the 2023 elections.
Reacting to the story making the rounds on Monday evening in Maiduguri, the CAN chairman, denied making any commendation or issuing statement to any journalist, noting the alleged endorsement was lifted from an interview he granted to some journalists on April 3, 2017 whien Senator Kashim Shettima was a governor of Borno State.
He expressed shock that an acclaimed professional journalist would mischievously lift such an interview, portray it as if it was granted on Monday being July 11, 2022.
Consequently upon the unwholesome development, Bishop Naga said he has summoned a meeting of all the CAN representatives in the state as well as the national body, which comes up on Tuesday, July 12, 2022, after which CAN will issue a statement on its position regarding the development.
“I granted no interview to anybody on Monday, 11th July 2022. It was a mischievous propaganda, seeking cheap popularity on my character,” Bishop Naga stated.
The Christian community in Maiduguri was earlier in a state of confusion following the alleged endorsement of Senator Shettima, the immediate-past Borno State governor and Senator representing Borno Central at the National Assembly, as the running mate of the APC presidential standard bearer in the forthcoming 2023 general elections, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Some aggrieved Christian youths have called on the CAN chairman to come open and refute the said statement credited to him or resign.
Bishop Naga is the founder/head of the Pentecostal Believers Covenant Church (PBCC) in the State.
LEADERSHIP reports that the said report wherein Bishop Naga allegedly endorsed Shettima, which was published in some national dailies (not this newspaper) and had also went viral on social media space, claimed the Bishop had applauded the choice of Shettima as Tinubu’s running mate.
The statement added that Bishop Naga purported said the state never had it so good until Shettima, who was at the helm of affairs as governor in Borno State between 2011 and 2019, came around.
Some parts of the alleged statement from Naga had read, “My brothers, those who are not from Borno State may not know, but you and I know better. In the history of Borno State, there is no Governor that has been fair to the Christian community in this State as much as Governor Kashim Shettima.
“I am saying this in the presence of God Almighty and this is nothing but the truth. Governor Shettima, in the history of Borno, is the only Governor that has sponsored highest number of Christian Pilgrims every year since 2011.
“I am speaking boldly without fear or favour because as CAN Chairman I do not receive salary or kobo from Government or any institution, but the facts need to be told. This Governor has shown compassion to the Christian Community.”