The Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike has told the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state that if anyone calls him betrayal of Christian faith he would expose politicians who are betraying Christianity.
Wike made this submission during an interactive session with the leadership and critical stakeholders of the Rivers State chapter of CAN at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Tuesday night.
The Nation said the Governor explained to the Christian body that all aspirants to the various positions in the governoship and state House of Assembly elections on March 18 election particularly for the governorship are Christians.
He cautioned CAN against embarking on a decision to endorse any of the candidates, arguing that such action could create a division within the association and undermine the peace of the state.
He said, “Nobody can say that through this election, I called him or her and said, look, this is where you will go to. Nobody can also say that you came to me, see what the church has decided to do.
“Now we are going for local election, not national election. Why will people begin to bring CAN into it, which we have never done before. CAN Rivers State has always been one. You, going to take one of the families to say endorse this person, you’re killing CAN because this State is a Christian State.”
Wike, criticized the attitude of the politicians who only remembered the church when they wanted to appeal to religious sentiment to favour their motive but would come back after achieving their aim to support the church.
He said, “What I don’t like is politicians using the church because they want to benefit at that time. After that time, what happens? Do you listen to the church again?
“You don’t listen to the church. If, as politicians who are Christians, will listen to the church, the church will not be where and how it is today. The church would have grown stronger.”
Wike stated that he summoned courage to declare Rivers a Christian state, and owed nobody any apology, adding, that decision was used against him during the Peoples Democratic Part residential primary.
He stressed that his regime has established a cordial relationship with the Christian community with fees waved when any church applied to use facility of government, noting that he built the Ecumenical Centre in Port Harcourt
According to him, “I do things because I am one person who have so much benefitted from the mercy of God. So, when people say that I am a betrayal of Christian faith, I laugh.
“Let nobody in the Christian circle say, me I am betrayal of Christian faith because they will make me to expose so many people and politicians.”
Wike recalled that it was a unanimous decision of the integrity group that they would back southern presidency and they did so in their various states during the 25th February 2023 presidential election.
He said, “I am one of the apostles of southern presidency. I stood for it and I fought for it. I did not waver. I never betrayed the interest of the south, I never and I will not do it till tomorrow.
“Anybody who knows me when I want to fight, I will fight without hiding. Let nobody bring me to that in saying that I didn’t tot support the Christian presidency, that person must be wicked to tag me that because I will not and I have never failed the church and Christendom.”
While urging CAN to be critical about politicians who wanted to divide them using either the Catholic against the others, Wike said that the Christian body must be united in such a way that it will be difficult for anyone to divide them while canvassing for their votes, adding that member of CAN must work for a united Christ.
Wike said he is in better position as politicians to tell them who will deliver if elected as the governor of the statem
He said Sir Siminialayi Fubara, the governorship candidate of the PDP, is the best among all governorship candidates because he is a technocrat and had risen through the rungs of civil service to become the Accountant-General of the state.
He reassured CAN that Fubara is a humble and more disposed to continuing with the infrastructural development of the state.
Wike noted that Rivers had not grown on a steady developmental pace because it had not gotten its transition right without hitches.
While urginh CAN to support Fubara, he said they should pray for a smooth transition that would usher the date into a phase of continuous development.
He said, “So, the church, this is your own. The way I handed myself over to the church, that is how I’m handing him (Fubara) over to you.
“Do the same thing you did for me and you will not regret it. Spread the gospel to every where. Saturday has come. Let our people participate by voting for a quiet and smooth transition in Rivers State.”
Reacting, Rivers State Chairman of CAN, His Grace, Most Reverend Dokiboeriya Kaladokubo praised Wike for his kind words.
He commended the governor for the laudable projetcs that enhance the development of the state during his administration.
Most Reverend Kaladokubo said the church and its leadership would pray for absolute peace to reign during the election.