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The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Tuesday denied endorsing any presidential candidate.
It also advised Christians to avoid violence before, during and after the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
The body further urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to be neutral to all political parties without fear or favour.
In a statement in Abuja by its Acting General Secretary, Daramola Joseph, CAN said: “The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has not endorsed and will never endorse any of the candidates eyeing the number one seat or any elective post but asks its members to vote according to the leading of the Holy Spirit and their consciences.
“We have been hearing speculations going rounds that CAN has endorsed one presidential candidate or the other. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
“CAN is apolitical, non-partisan and impartial but we are for God and His people.
“Our members cut across all political divides and some of them are even contesting for one post or the other including the Presidential.
“So, the idea of endorsing any candidate as favourite does not arise.
“We have not and will not endorse any candidate for any elective office in the country.”
On who the body is backing, it said: “The choice of CAN is any candidate who exhibits godliness, trustworthiness, sincerity of purpose, decency, patriotism, true commitment to national service and who has shown care for the Christian community over the years.
“Christians are called upon to vote credibly and trusted candidates into the various elective positions.
“We must also be discerning about their policy and the understanding of policy details.
“CAN stands for a credible, fair and violence-free election. We urge all the candidates to show maturity, leadership, sportsmanship and eschew electoral malpractice and violence in whatever form.
“They should also call their followers to order and ensure they all operate within the framework of the law.
“Voter intimidation and vote-buying are anathema to democratic governance and should never be allowed.
“The law enforcement agencies and other election umpires are enjoined not to be partisan in any form.
“The peaceful elections and smooth transition of power witnessed in 2015 should be re-enacted in 2019 if new leaders are elected at any level.
“The Church in Nigeria through CAN is committed to praying and working earnestly towards actualizing this goal.
“We trust God to give Nigeria a Leader and Deliverer of his choice in February 2019.”

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