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Quit Pulpit, ex-CAN President Advises Partisan Clerics

The immediate past president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Dr Samson Ayokunle, has advised clergymen involved in partisan politics to quit their pastoral roles, Punch reports.

The cleric, who gave this advice during an interview, stated that the place of the minister as the head of the church was to preach the gospel to the people and not to engage in partisan politics.

Ayokunle spoke on the heels of some Nigerian clerics getting more involved in politics ahead of the 2023 general election.

While some are vying for political offices, others choose their preferred candidates by publicly issuing endorsements.

Recall that Pastor Tunde Bakare, Serving Overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church and a US-based Nigerian Pastor of Miracle Church, Nicholas Felix, obtained forms for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress at N100m each.

Recently, a delegation of Abuja-based pastors and bishops, at a recent press conference, endorsed the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as their preferred candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

Reacting, the former CAN president frowned upon the move, saying the clerics took the decision without the knowledge of the CAN leadership, and as such, they did it at their own detriment.

He said, “If they want to practise politics, let them resign from the pulpit, because to be partisan is to have a preference, and in a church where you are a leader, you have people from all the political parties there.

“Once you have chosen one political party above the other, you have divided the church. It is not a sinful thing for them to participate in politics, but they have to leave the pulpit.”

While condemning endorsement of political candidates by religious leaders, he said such people were doing so at their own expense, adding “CAN is not a partisan organisation”.

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