We never endorsed any candidate for 2019 presidential election — CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has charged Nigerians to discountenance any news attributed to its President that the body has endorsed the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying such is a fake news.

It said the news was the handiwork of an online news medium which it described as “notorious for publishing fake stories,” adding that there was no time the CAN President, Rev (Dr) Samson Ayokunle made a statement endorsing any candidate.

The apex Christian body said the clarification became necessary against the said report which it said had already gone viral on the web, misrepresenting the association.

Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, the Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to CAN President, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, who refuted the claim in a release, on Thursday, charged Nigerians not to fall for false information from “liars and mischief makers.”

His statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a news story published by an online that has become notorious for publishing fake stories. According to the story, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari for the second term in office after CAN had met with some 14 Presidential candidates in Abuja.

“There was nothing like that, either before, during or after the parley. At the tail end of the programme, the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, who briefed the press, did not say any of the candidates has been endorsed.

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“His words: ‘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.

“‘When asked of the outcome of the parley, Rev Ayokunle had said, “We are going to draw our conclusion after we have finished our interview.'”

Also speaking on President Buhari’s decline of assent to the Electoral Act amendment, CAN President said, “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.”

“So, where did His Eminence inform these liars and mischief makers that CAN has endorsed President Buhari for a second term? We appeal to members of the public to beware of those who are fabricating this fake news for whatever reasons. We challenge the online platform that published this fake news to provide relevant footages and an audio clip to back up their report,” CAN said in the release.

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