By Ed Malik, A | October 19, 2022
Prominent civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Wednesday, called for the sack of the Lagos State chapter Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Stephen Adegbite, over his endorsement of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, called on CAN National President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh, and other leading members of the Christian body to expel Adegbite immediately as he has openly opposed the stance of CAN on Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling APC.
The group said Adegbite’s apostate endorsement is pointer that he’s playing stomach politics with the body of Christ and has implicitly committed gross violations of the code of conduct of his office, abuse of power and insubordination of superior authority of CAN national leadership by going to the public to endorse in spite of the resolution they had taken.
Like many analysts who have weighed in on the matter, opined that a muslim-muslim ticket is an insult and brazen attempt to cancel the larger demography of Christians, as opposed to a more acceptable understanding that recognizes the balance of faith as a tool to knit together the delicate line of religious barrier in our national affairs.
HURIWA recalled that CAN in September 2021 suspended the then Gombe State Caretaker chairman, Rev. Sunday Congo, for writing a congratulatory letter to the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, without the approval of the Association’s National Executive Committee.
The group asserted that disciplinary measures must be maintained and enforced without respect of persons with even more strictness towards the 2023 elections, saying that some desperate politicians and proponents of APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket are trying to buy over some CAN members and break the ranks of the body and sabotage Christians for the next four years, for a start in their parochial interpretation of the articles of our co-existence.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Lagos State, Stephen Adegbite, must be removed with immediate effect for compromise and for acting in flagrant contravention of the stance of the national body of the Christian body.”
“Adegbite’s defense that his endorsement of Tinubu is based on his “wonderful relationship” with the former Lagos State governor and that his approval of Tinubu is in personal capacity is total nonsense and should be told to that he’s only masquerading as a believer but in real terms, it’s his stomach that he’s attending taking care of at the detriment of Christians because the line between personal and corporate is blurred due to the position he occupies.”
“HURIWA called on CAN National President, Archbishop Daniel Okoh and the Christian hierachy, to impeach Adegbite and inaugurate a leader who is aligned with the position of Christians collectively. Adegbite can’t address the press as CAN and return to say it was personal. In any case, both excuses are inexcusable!
“HURIWA’s position on APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket is sacrosanct and unchanging. The permutation is a slap on millions of Christians in the country and an insult. HURIWA, alongside CAN, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, and well-meaning Christians doggedly reject APC ‘s same faith candidature.”, declared the group.