Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) has described as blasphemous and treacherous, the alleged recruitment of fake ‘bishops’ to attend the unveiling of former Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, as the running mate of All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
HURIWA said the action demonstrates the absolute lack of respect of the All Progressives Congress for the Christian faith.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, said Nigeria would have been on fire had Christian-Christian candidates hired fake Imams to attend their political events.
Recall that an unpleasant spectacle of funnily dressed allegedly hired ‘bishops’ was seen at the unveiling ceremony of Shettima at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
Footages of the alleged fake bishops dressed in cassocks who attended the event flooded social media amid controversy surrounding the same faith ticket of the ruling party.
One of the ‘bishops’ who spoke with Peoples Gazette, Joseph Odaudu said the APC hired them a motor park behind Eagle Square promised to pay them N100,000 each but paid them N40,000, and got them cassocks to attend Shettima’s unveiling in order to present a false image of acceptance by the Christian community.
“They came to meet us at the car park behind Eagle Square and they promised to give me N100,000. They bought food for us and took us to another place where they gave us clothes to dress like Christian leaders and reverend fathers.
“But after we finished, they only gave me N40,000 and another person said they got only N30,000. I don’t know why they changed our agreement because they said they had N100,000 for us,” Odaudu narrated.
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The APC and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; as well as his running mate, Kashim Shettima, again insulted the millions of Christians in Nigeria by staging an insolent spectacle of hired bishops at the unveiling of Shettima.
“This singular act is as blasphemous and treacherous against Christianity by the Muslim-Muslim presidential hopefuls. Nigeria would have been on fire if Christian-Christian presidential hopefuls had recruited fake Imams to portray public acceptance.
“HURIWA further described as lame, unacceptable, and pungent excuse the explanation of the Tinubu Support Organisation that the hired persons were upcoming bishops. Its failure to mention the names of the hired bishops and the denomination or churches they are from show the grand deception and shenanigan in the whole despicable episode staged by Tinubu and Shettima’s candidacy, in any event, is a combination that divides Nigeria alongside religious lines. The APC and Tinubu support team should stop the dark propaganda. It has failed and pushing it further or justifying the despicable action is condemnable. We challenge Tinubu and Shettima to publish the list of these so-called clerics, their Churches, denominations, and exact addresses.”
HURIWA, however, warned the APC, Tinubu, and Shettima against ridiculing the Christian faith after excluding Christians in their selection process.
“Whilst we preach religious tolerance, we frown upon any action that derides another’s faith to score political points.
“This is devilish and should be rejected by all men and good women of a good conscience,” the statement noted.