The leader of the Pastors and Bishops in Abuja, Apostle Babatunde Oguntimehin who recently endorsed the ambition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu has said they are not faceless people.
Oguntimehin said they are mostly grassroots clerics who have deep connections with their members who are up to thousands in some cases.
He added that they are a fully registered body that belong to one or two blocs in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), and Organisation of African Instituted Churches, adding that it is unfortunate that the Christian umbrella organization has described them as faceless.
We recalled the clerics had declared support for Tinubu at a town hall meeting in Abuja with some party chieftains of the Tinubu support group, City Boy Movement over the weekend.
But in its reaction, CAN in a statement by Special Assistant to the CAN President, Most Rev. Daniel Okoh on media, Luminous Jannamike disowned the clerics, saying they are not a part of the body.
The statement emphasized that the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC remains rejected by the Christian body.
However, Oguntimehin has now countered the submission by CAN saying they are Christians, members of CAN and Pastors over churches.
He added that while they won’t be joining issues directly with CAN because they are their fathers, everyone is free to support any candidate based on his/her own convictions.
He said, “Let me clear the air on CAN recent comment, tagging us faceless pastors. We are not. We are Christians, pastors, and members of CAN. Some of our pastors are also members of PFN and Organisation of African Instituted Churches.
“I think we should be careful in our choice of words as men and women of God. Even the Bible told us that it is not what goes into us that defines us but what comes out of us. We can’t say anything against them because they are our fathers and body. But I just want to appeal to them not to use such words against men of God. We are not faceless. This is my face.
“To further prove that these pastors are not faceless, I have a register of their names, churches, locations and even streets of their churches here with me as evidence. We have a nine-member executive committee in every state of the federation.
“In my own church, for instance, I have 750 members. Others have mega centres with about 1,000 to 2,000 members spread across Nigerians. This is because our coalition deals with grassroots pastors who have personal connections with their followers. I don’t think it is out of place if these pastors and their members all over the country made up their minds to vote for APC candidates.
“In that town hall you attended that day, you have seen the 630 pastors in attendance. These pastors you saw were heads of several churches. Some of them are general overseers that have about five to 10 parishes under them.
“When it comes to politics, we have our rights to support a candidate and participate in elections. That is the position we took on Saturday.”