Tinubu (left) and Shettima
By Ndahi Marama
The Christian Community in Maiduguri are in a state of confusion following a statement allegedly credited to Bishop Mohammed Willians Naga, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN ) , Borno state Chapter, applauding the selection of Sen. Kashim Shettima, the former Borno state Governor and Senator representing Borno Central at the National Assembly as running mate by Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential flagbearer in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Bishop Naga is the founder/Head of the Pentecostal Belivers Covenant Church (PBCC) in Borno state.
Our Correspondent reports that the said story which was reported in some national dailies (not Vanguard), which also went viral on social media space had it that Bishop Naga had applauded the choice of Sen. Shettima by Sen. Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections.
The statement added that Bishop Naga said the state have never had a better deal under Shettima who was at the helm of affairs as governor in Borno state between 2011 and 2019.
Some parts of the alleged statement from Naga reads, ” My brothers, those who are not from Borno State may not know, but you and I know better. In the history of Borno State, there is no Governor that has been fair to the Christian Community in this State as much as Governor Kashim Shettima.
“I am saying this in the presence of God Almighty and this is nothing but the truth. Governor Shettima, in the history of Borno, is the only Governor that has sponsored highest number of Christian Pilgrims every year since 2011.
“I am speaking boldly without fear or favour because as CAN Chairman I do not receive salary or kobo from Government or any institution, but the facts need to be told. This Governor has shown compassion to the Christian Community.”
But reacting to the story making round on Monday in Maiduguri, the CAN Chairman, Bishop Naga denied making any commendation or issuing statement to any Journalist, and said the alleged statement was an interview he granted to some Journalists on 3rd April, 2017 while Senator Kashim Shettima was a Governor of the State.
He expressed shock that an acclaimed and unprofessional Journalist will mischievously lifted such an interview, portrayed it as if was granted on Monday being 11th of July, 2022, surprisingly prove a point for his paymaster.
Consequently upon this unwholesome development, Bishop Naga said, he has summoned a meeting for all the CAN representatives in the state as well as the National body which comes up tomorrow Tuesday 12th July 2022 , after which, CAN will issue a statement or its position regarding the story.
“I granted no interview to anybody on Monday 11th July 2022. It was a mischievous propaganda, seeking cheap popularity on my character,” Bishop Naga said.