Some men in cassocks on Wednesday attended the unveiling of Kashim Shettima as the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 presidential election.
The affiliations of the men, dressed in different attires representing various Christian denominations, remained unclear.
The presence of the cassock-wearing participants suggested some Christian leaders are in support of APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket in spite of opposition by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
But CAN swiftly disowned the men, saying they were impostors hired by the APC to fake a Christian-community support for the Tinubu-Shettima ticket.
Mr Tinubu had on July 10 in Daura, Katsina State, named Mr Shettima, a former Borno State governor and serving senator, as his running mate.
The choice of the former governor sparked criticisms from those who believe Mr Tinubu, a southern Muslim, should have picked a Christian as running mate.
CAN said the unidentified Christian ‘clerics’ at Wednesday’s unveiling of Mr Shettima were not its members.
A spokesperson for the association, Bayo Oladeji, told PREMIUM TIMES the priests at the venue were ‘fake’. He did not say how he determined that the men were not genuine.
He accused the Tinibu Campaign Organisation of consistently peddling lies to justify the choice of Mr Shettima.
“They are fake,” Mr Oladeji said. “They are not our members. CAN was not represented there. Anybody can wear a cassock, anybody can buy it in the market and claim to be anything.
“Were you not in this country, when they exhumed a four-year old interview, published it in Trust (Daily Trust), claiming that was the Chairman of CAN in Borno endorsing Shettima? Were you not in this country when they presented a photograph from 2017 saying ‘CAN officials’ visited Shettima?
“Were you not in this country when they said Baba Adeboye has endorsed Muslim/Muslim ticket. The Redeemed Christian Church of God had to come out to say no? CAN was not there. Is that how to introduce CAN? The media should have asked them questions, not me,” Mr Oladeji said.