By Fisayo Akinduro
Two billion naira largesse donated by the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr Peter Obi to the churches under the umbrella of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, is now tearing the church apart.
In a petition issued and signed by Pastor Frank Onwumere of Dominion Centre International alleged CAN, Catholic Bishops and PFN of misappropriation of the N2 billion allegedly given to them by Peter Obi for onward disbursement to the various Christian organisations under their umbrella.
In the letter, a copy of which was sent to The Hope, Onwumere expressed his dissatisfaction, displeasure and disbelief on how the funds were disbursed to mega churches, affluent Pentecostal churches, televangelists and renowned popular names in the Christendom.
His words: “We are appalled and disappointed that such humongous amount of money was given to the church by the Labour Party to help and assist in mobilizing and convincing their congregation to vote massively for the candidacy of Mr Peter Obi, but to our chagrin, the said sum of money has developed wings and cannot be traced.
“As we have it on good authority that it has been fleeced by mega churches, popular pastors and leaders who already as we write are receiving the Presidential candidate across the length and breadth of Nigeria without due consideration to other churches that have not received their own part of the funds.”
Reacting to the petition, CAN Chairman Ondo State chapter, Rev. Fr. Anselm Ologunwa denied knowledge of any money given to the organisation.
Also, the National body of CAN has described the petition against the Christian body as untrue and malicious.
President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Archbishop Daniel C. Okoh stated this in a statement issued on Sunday.
Archbishop Okoh categorically stated that the so-called letter of petition reportedly signed by one Pastor Frank Onwumere and addressed to my office is illogical and can best be described as a failed attempt to drag the apex Christian body into the politics of 2023.
He said the CAN will investigate the source of the letter in the interest of the public.
“To set the records straight, I am not aware of any N2b given to Churches in Nigeria to mobilise votes for any 2023 presidential candidate and never received the said petition dated December 22, 2022.
“Nigerians should note that CAN, as a faith-based entity, maintains its non-partisan stance and will not endorse or mobilise support for any candidate in the upcoming elections as against the social media post being circulated by some elements bent on soiling its name and image.”
He, therefore, urged members of the public to disregard the purported letter of petition as its content are not only untrue, but malicious.
“We warn those peddling the falsehood to desist from such acts because they are capable of defaming innocent people and revered religious institutions as well as breaching public peace.”
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