SIR: But for the vigilance of the Evangelical Church Wining All (ECWA) Church which quickly read into the mischief and quickly issued a statement countering the claim that the church is about endorsing a candidate in the next presidential elections, many would have been misled into believing that ECWA is about to jettison the fine principles of objectivity and fairness which it is known for, to line up behind the partisanship and misconceived political choice of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
Rather, the church successfully deliberated on propagating the gospel of Christ with emphasis on soul winning and did not at any time make the endorsement of a presidential candidate for 2023 an issue. There was an attempt to brand the President of ECWA Church, Dr Stephen Baba Panyam as sympathetic to Dogara’s political sojourn. Though the statement did not mention a particular candidate but the suggestive manner it left the issue hanging is a clever way of trying to demarket other parties and their candidates and to make ECWA appear as supporting the PDP candidate.
But in a strongly worded statement, issued by its PRO, Rev. Romanus Ebenwokodi, the church disowned the misleading publications and reprimanded those behind the publications to desist forthwith with their falsehood.
In the statement titled,“ Re: “ECWA president: Church will announce presidential choice soon” a refutation, the church “strongly demanded” that two newspapers, “herewith publicly withdraw the said publications and tender public apologies to ECWA within twenty -four (24) hours beginning 12:00 noon, 18th January 2023.”
The statement reads in part: “The General Church Council wishes to state that at no time did it make the alluded resolution, neither did the president at any time during the proceedings of the Council make the statement credited to him by the newspapers in question.”
The statement further stated that “ECWA as a denomination has its members across all political parties and the leadership of ECWA respects that.
“Therefore, we need the teaming members of ECWA, the church in Nigeria and the general public to understand that the said publications are absolute falsehood that have never been contemplated and are meant to cause unnecessary tension that is capable of dragging the good name of ECWA to the mud.”
When Tinubu emerged successful in the APC Primary, Dogara’s hope of coveting the position of running mate increased based on his calculations that he remains one of the northern Christians in the APC likely to be considered for the position.
Immediately the APC presidential candidate decided on the former governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Shettima, however, hell was let loose and Dogara went into a fury labelling the APC as antagonistic to a particular faith. Fortunately, CAN, Northern Christians and ECWA have all shown that they cannot be used by Dogara and this should serve as a lesson to him and others who want to use the church for political gains to desist from doing so.