The Catholic Church on Wednesday said it did not send any representation to the public presentation of Kashim Shettima as the vice presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Consequently, the prominent Christian body said unidentified persons dressed in robes at the event in Abuja earlier today were imposters.
“We have seen the photos circulating online, they are not Catholic bishops. The Catholic Church did not send any representation to the event held today by Bola Tinubu and his running mate Kashim Shettima,” Rev. Fr. Patrick Alumuku, a spokesman for the Catholic Church Headquarters in Abuja, told Peoples Gazette. “If you look at the manner the imposters dressed and conducted themselves, you will see they are not Catholic Church officials.”
The event at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, was initially scheduled for last Thursday but was shifted till today following a hail of complaints that trailed the selection of Mr Shettima, a Muslim former governor of Borneo State, by the APC presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The fake bishops were apparently hired by Mr Tinubu’s campaign to give Christian voters a false impression that his decision to pick a fellow Muslim despite strong objections and national security implications was accepted by the Christian community.
The Christian Association of Nigeria, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and other concerned bodies had registered their opposition to the presentation of a Muslim-Muslim ticket by the ruling party for the 2023 general election.
Christian leaders in the APC had also warned that the same faith presidential ticket would spell doom for the party in the upcoming polling as there were already accusations that the party was tending towards an Islamic janjaweed inclination.
But in an apparent move to douse the criticisms, the unknown persons appearing in Christian leaders’ apparel were led into the venue of the unveiling amid taunts.