Festus Keyamo, the spokesman for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council, has condemned Christian pastors and leaders for meddling in the affairs of the party following its option on a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
Keyamo, while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, urged Christian leaders to concentrate on ‘soul winning’ rather than dabbling into politics.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was responding to the position of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) on the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, are both Muslims — a development that has elicited mixed reactions from Nigerians, especially the Christian community.
The PFN had on Sunday said it had no affiliation with the Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria whose members met with Tinubu on Friday in Abuja.
The Deputy National Secretary of the PFN, Bishop David Bakare, had in an interview with The Cable, maintained that the opposition of the PFN, an arm of the Christian Association of Nigeria, on the same-faith presidential ticket of the APC had not changed.
But Keyamo who was visibly livid over the insistence of the Christian clerics against the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC queried: “Is the PFN or CAN a member or structure of APC? The vice presidential candidate is a decision of our party leaders.”
He added, “The PFN are not members of our party, they should not be coming to question the decision of our party publicly. The duty of pastors is to lead people to heaven, not to lead people to Villa [the seat of power in Nigria].
“They are not called by God to lead people to the Villa. If I go to church every Sunday, I want to hear the sermon of God, I don’t want to hear the sermon of politics or who should rule me.
“It is our party’s decision. These external bodies are not part of us. If they want to take part in the decision-making process, they can as well come and join the political party. But they cannot stay outside and dictate to us how to conduct our affairs.
“If it is so offensive to certain persons, there is no need for the noise. They have options.
“They are called by God to lead to heaven. If I go to Church every Sunday, I want to hear the sermon of God, not the sermon of politics on who should rule me. I want to listen to them talk about salvation, not villa,” Keyamo said in dismissal of the objections of the Christian leaders and pastors to the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC.