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Ondo CAN denies endorsing candidate, supports restructuring

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The Ondo State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has debunked reports that it has endorsed a particular candidate in the coming presidential election.

The association said it was a neutral, apolitical and non-partisan body which allows individual church members to join the political parties of their choice.

The association stated this during a courtesy visit to the State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, at the Government House, Alagbaka, Akure, on Wednesday.

The CAN team was led by its Chairman, Rev. Fr. Anselm Olorunfemi Ologunwa.

Speaking, the chairman said, “As the clock ticks towards the presidential and National Assembly elections holding this Saturday, it is pertinent for us as CAN to interact with you and put the records straight against the backdrop of some rumours flying around that CAN has endorsed a particular presidential candidate for the election.

“Dear Mr. Governor, of a truth and in all sincerity, the CAN has not and will not endorse any candidate for the election. Those peddling such rumours are mischief makers who wish to tarnish the reputation of the association.

The association said it will not adopt any candidate for elections for the following reasons.

Ologunwa further said, “CAN as an umbrella body for Christians in Nigeria is a neutral, apolitical and non-partisan body which allows individual church members to join the political parties of their choice. Since we have members belonging to different parties, it is thus illogical to adopt a candidate and direct our members to do so.

“It may interest you, our dear governor, to note that even at the national level, CAN did not adopt any candidate, let alone the state chapters. Therefore, Ondo CAN stands by the national leadership of the CAN and remains neutral.

He said the government of Akeredolu has maintained a robust and symbiotic relationship with CAN and it cannot afford to sacrifice that on the altar of politics.

“Therefore, it is only plausible for us to maintain neutrality at elections while we continue to support your government and its laudable programmes geared towards improving the lives of the citizens. In reality, Ondo State CAN is fully in support of Mr. Governor’s stance and bold steps on national issues, including fiscal federalism, devolution of powers, rotational presidency among others,” the CAN chairman added.

In his response, governor Akeredolu thanked the Christian leaders for their prayers and support for his administration.

He also lauded that the CAN leadership had done the right thing by staying neutral in election matters, adding that the church was not meant to play politics but pray for the people and the country.

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