By Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Plateau State has denied endorsing any governorship candidate in the state and emphasised the need for members to make use of their PVCs and vote for the person who has the interest of the state at heart and would demonstrate selfless leadership to the people.
The State Chairman of CAN, Fr. Polycarp Lubo, made the stance known on Tuesday during a parley with the gubernatorial candidates where they presented their intentions and also signed a peace pact, to maintain decorum during and after the elections.
The cleric, in his speech, commended the gubernatorial candidates for honouring the invitation and reiterated that though CAN is not a political party, it is CAN’s job to support government and ensure when a leader derails, the leader’s attention is drawn for correction to be made.
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His words, ‘Our job is to support the government and when you derail, we draw your attention.
“Take for example the Jaiz Bank issue; about 85% of the people were not happy. We are here to help you to be a better leader for the people of the State.
“CAN have not taken sides with any candidate, we only ask the people to make their PVCs ready for use so you don’t grumble at the outcome.
“CAN is looking for the person with the interests of the state at heart, who will do the work and forget about himself.
“This is a special day for us, we have called their attention to come so we can hear from them.
“They have signed a peace pact that they will not take the laws into their hands and if there is any issue, they should go to a court of law.
“We don’t want bloodshed in Plateau, politics should not bring crisis to us.”
However, some of the candidates including those of the Labour Party, Patrick Dakum; People’s Democratic Party, Caleb Mutfwang; All Progressives Congress, Nentawe Yilwatda; People’s Redemption Party, Luka Panpe; Action Democratic Party, Sanni Dawop, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Samuel Abashe, who was represented by his Campaign Director.
Dakum said, “Being in partnership with the Church is a fruitful venture, the Church knows who is a farmer, a trader, who is sick.
“As a governorship candidate of the Labour Party, I take responsibility for everything that will happen during the campaigns.
“It means that I talk to my supporters to conduct themselves, any mistake or misbehavior of the LP supporter rests on my table. I am taking responsibility by signing this.”
Mutfwang added, “Since we started our campaign, we have been civil, we have been issue-driven and we also believe that all of us are Plateau people.
“There is no need to put any life in jeopardy because of an election. We have always been committed to peace, and one of our key agendas is to promote peace. We signed this to demonstrate that we are for peace.”
To Yilwatda, “We want a united, secured, peaceful, and prosperous Plateau. The signing of the peace pact is key to our vision for Plateau because we need a peaceful Plateau to grow and develop.
“We need peace to have a violenve-free election and leadership that will cater to the welfare of the people.”
Dawop stated, “This will help enhance peace in the structure of campaigns, I stand for peace always,” and Panpe noted, “We are signing this to commit ourselves and make sure that we don’t promote the kind of violence that we have seen in previous elections.’
“Virtually all of us are talking about promoting peace and stability, signing this peace pact promotes such beliefs.”
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