A former National Vice Chairman South-south of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Hilliard Eta, has asked the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to stay away from politics and stop acting like a political wing of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
CAN had openly rejected the Muslim-Muslim ticket’s choice of the APC, accusing the ruling party of undermining the Christian’s interest.
Speaking to journalists Tuesday at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, Eta frowned at the antagonistic posture of CAN over the choice of Senator Kashim Shettima as the running mate to the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the 2023 poll.
Faulting the notions held in certain quarters that the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC was part of the subterranean plot to Islamise Nigeria; Eta accused CAN of working in cahoots with the PDP to undermine the APC in the 2023 poll.
The Cross River state-born politician remarked that CAN lacked the moral high ground to protect the interests of Christians in the country.
Eta said: “Politics is different from the pulpit and the pulpit should not be used to confuse the people of Nigeria. I am a Christian and I am not satisfied with Christendom in Nigeria.
“And it has something to do with what the Muslims are doing. It has more to do with what the pastors are doing. The pastors should question themselves why people are leaving Christianity.
“When you fly in an aero plane with monies of people who are trekking, when you build universities from the sweat of mothers who cannot pay the fees of their wards, then you know why people are leaving Christendom.
“I have been in Abuja since 2014. I have a lot of Muslim friends. At no time did any of my Muslim friends even invite me to the mosque not to speak of me leaving my religion.
“But if I leave my religion today, it would be on account of what the pastors are doing which is miracle for naira, prophesies for millions and speaking from both sides of their mouths. So, these are some of the things we must question in Christianity not to bring Christianity into politics.
“I need to say this. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is the religious wing of the PDP. It has been so established and we have reasons to say so because the sitting Vice President today is a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, yet CAN did not support him in 2019. He was on the ballot in 2015, they did not support him. They supported Atiku Abubakar who is a Muslim because CAN is beholden to the PDP.
“Before this Muslim-Muslim matter came up, we in the South said the presidency should come to the South whether in PDP or in APC. Now the PDP did their primary first and a Fulani Muslim became their candidate, why did this CAN not speak against that ticket?
“All of a sudden, CAN now found its voice the moment the APC selected Senator Shettima as our Vice Presidential candidate. Let me also say here that before Senator Shettima was picked, we had one Alhaji Masari on the ticket. It did not bother them. Do you know why Shettima is bothering them? It is because we know that with Shettima we have locked up the North East geopolitical zone. It’s a political matter; we want to win this election.”