13th February, 2023
ALLEGATION OF RECEIVING N2B FROM PETER OBI: PUT YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER – MURIC TELLS CAN
A popular pastor, Frank Onwumere, has alleged that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, gave the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the sum of N2 billion to endorse him for the presidency. Although CAN has denied the allegation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has identified grey areas in the matter which CAN should clarify.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 13th February, 2023.
The statement reads :
“A popular pastor, Frank Onwumere, yesterday alleged that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, gave the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the sum of N2 billion to endorse him for the presidency (https://www.thetimes.com.ng/2023/02/breaking-peter-obi-gave-us-n2-billion-to-endorse-him-for-presidency-popular-pastor-alleged-obidattiinlagos/).
“Although CAN has denied the allegation, certain grey areas need clarification, at least for the Nigerian public. For instance, the petition written by Pastor Frank Onwumere was dated 15th December, 2022. It was submitted and received in CAN office on 22nd December, 2023. This can be seen in the CAN stamp on the petition when it was stamped ‘received’.
“The Nigerian public may want to know why CAN remained silent regarding the petition for almost two months until the petitioner went on social media yesterday Sunday, 12th February, 2023. The investigation CAN president now promised to conduct could have been carried out in the last week of December 2022 or in the first week of January 2023. What caused the delay? Why did CAN wait until Pastor Frank came out on social media?
“CAN president’s claim that the petitioner just wanted to drag CAN into the 2023 politics does not convince anyone because CAN itself had gate-crashed into the political arena a long time ago.
“Did CAN caution the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) when it announced the launching of its politics department and its setting up of political bureaus in all its parishes with the aim of promoting the political chances of its members? (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/516693-redeemed-church-sets-up-political-department-ahead-of-2023-general-elections.html?tztc=1).
“Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) immediately took the cue from RCCG by directing all churches to establish directorates of politics. Today was born from the wombs of yesterday. These things happened yesterday. CAN may have forgotten but chroniclers and researchers still remember them today.
“We keep the records : https://www.thecable.ng/pfn-backs-rccg-asks-churches-to-create-politics-directorate; https://independent.ng/pfn-directs-churches-to-appoint-political-officers/. Denial of CAN’s special interest and involvement in 2023 politics is ridiculous because evidence of the contrary is already overwhelming. Pastor Frank is not attempting to drag CAN into 2023 politics because CAN is already neck deep in its mucky waters.
“MURIC is not really interested in the veracity or otherwise of Pastor Frank’s allegation because nothing came out of similar allegations in the past. CAN might not have collected N2 billion from Peter Obi for the same reason that CAN might not have collected N7 billion from former President Goodluck Jonathan during the 2025 electioneering campaigns (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/177234-can-denies-collecting-n7billion-bribe-demands-probe.html).
“But the vigour and passion CAN throws into the pursuance of political matters will always remain suspicious. For instance, we know that all the noise over Muslim-Muslim ticket is not unconnected with CAN’s fear of losing influence and patronage in the highest corridor of power in the land. It is not about the ordinary Christian. Again, we are interested in the outcome of this fresh allegation because it may provide a logical raison d’etre for the Muslim-Muslim ticket imbroglio.
“We advise CAN to put its house in order. Pastor Frank does not look like a timid petitioner. The gap between 22nd December 2023 and yesterday, Sunday 12th February 2023 needs filling. Nigerians are yearning for a more convincing narrative, not an escapist version of an idealistic group that does not want to touch ‘dirty’ politics with a long pole.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)