Festus Keyamo, the Spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council has berated the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria over its stance on the contentious Muslim-Muslim ticket of the ruling APC.
A livid Keyamo, who appeared on ‘Politics Today,’ a popular programme on Channels Television, warned the religious body to concentrate on selling the gospel of salvation to Nigerians instead of deciding which political candidates should be elected into the seat of power.
The PCC image-maker’s outburst was a response to a disclaimer issued by the PFN disowning the delegation of ‘Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria’ who recently visited the party’s presidential flag bearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at his Abuja campaign office.
Deputy National Secretary of the PFN, Bishop David Bakare, had told reporters that the group was unknown to the PFN.
Bakare disclosed that “there is nothing in PFN that is regionally based like Southern or Northern Pentecostal Bishops.”
This is even as the PFN scribe maintained that the position of the arm of the Christian Association of Nigeria on the same-faith presidential ticket of the APC has not changed.
Reacting to the disclaimer on Sunday’s live programme, Keyamo stated that the Pentecostal fellowship should concentrate on its primary assignment, which is to seek how to lead the Christian faithful to paradise.
He said, “The purpose or duty of pastors, we have said so before, is to lead people to heaven. It is not to lead people to villa. The PFN should go and vote for their choice of candidates on Election Day if they seek to. They should not be questioning the decision not our party publicly.
“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.
“Nigerians are hungry and want to see how the hunger issue can be addressed and not the same-faith ticket. They want to see our policy on Agriculture and see what Asiwaju has done before as governor of Lagos State and he can bring over such dexterity.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria noted that it has become a trend for both CAN and PFN to meddle in the affairs of the ruling party, despite not being members of the political platform.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment queried the motive behind such frequent interference, saying the Christian bodies are desperately making a mole out of the joint-faith ticket.
“Is the PFN or CAN a member or structure of APC? The vice presidential candidate is a decision of our party leaders. 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. In the past, there have been Muslim-Muslim tickets in this country and we heard no such noise. In fact, the Action Congress of Nigeria fielded a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2011. Sometimes, these issues are things that are just over-trumpeted by the Press,” he said.