A group of clergymen under the auspices of Coalition of Middle Belt Clergy have distanced themselves from what they describe as divisive comments from some clerics.
The coalition in a statement by its convener, Bishop Prince Madaki on Tuesday in Abuja, said it was not part of alleged recent divisive comment credited to National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria(PFN) Bishop Francis Wale Oke.
“The Coalition of Middle Belt Clergy unequivocally condemns the statement credited to Bishop Francis Wale Oke as highly unfortunate and unacceptable.
“The bishop spoke for himself and not for or on behalf of the Children of God.
“He did not speak in his capacity as the National President of PFN as that would amount to dragging a theological institution into politics, which would amount to surreptitiously imposing theocracy on the country.
He should not use the name of the Pentecostal fellowship for self gains and purposes or he should resign his spiritual commission to pursue politics full time.”
He further said “the Coalition Middle Belt Clergy is of the view that the 2023 presidency will be decided by Nigerians as guided by God. If the electorates decide on someone from the Middle- Belt which is also known as the North Central geo-political zone that person’s faith will be immaterial to the extent that he can lead God’s people to the promised land.
‘It is therefore wise to use this statement to call on Nigerians especially Christians from the Middle – Belt not to be misled by Bishop Francis Wale Oke and those pushing him into this ungodly adventure.
“Our disappointment stems from the divisive tone of Bishop Oke’s statement, which came at a time that the country needs additional healing from the artificial divisions that the rich and the powerful have sown among citizens.
“In the run-up to the 2015 General Elections, certain influential clerics in this country played the ethno-sectarian card to the extent that Nigerians went for each other’s jugular on the bases of ethnicity and religion.
Those who ran this destructive campaign against Nigeria at that time were desperate to the extent that they hired data analysis firm, Cambridge Analytica, to run a disinformation campaign to the effect that a particular presidential candidate was out to Islamize Nigeria.
The convener further said “our thoughts were that the PFN President would have by now disown the statement outrightly or the very least come out to say that he was misquoted. But there has been nothing of such.