The General Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has denied claims that he has endorsed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Bakare also denied claims that he criticised the Christian Association of Nigeria for speaking up against the APC’s choice of a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the 2023 presidential election and the controversial appearance of “clergymen” at the unveiling of Kashim Shettima as APC’s vice-presidential candidate.
The cleric’s reaction to the claims was contained in a statement on Friday, titled ‘Reffutal: The statements credited to me are outright lies.’
Bakare described the statements credited to him as “concocted and ridiculous” and accused “unscrupulous writers and bloggers” of being responsible for them.
He said, “Amongst other things, I was quoted to have said that the agitations by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, were ploys by the opposition party, PDP, to force a weak candidate on APC. In addition to this, I was alleged to have said that CAN wanted to lure APC into presenting a weak candidate.
“The spurious writers also alleged that I stressed that Christians are righteous people who behave like Christ, and that CAN are politicians who behave like PDP.
“As if the poorly strewn lies were not enough, I was quoted as saying that Tinubu is my candidate.”
Pastor Bakare, who unsuccessfully sought the presidential ticket of the APC, faulted the reasoning behind the claim that he had endorsed the APC presidential candidate who he had opposed publicly at the party’s primary.
“Isn’t this the same Tinubu that I announced to all and sundry at the APC Presidential Convention that I was not stepping down for? He has suddenly become my candidate!” he said.
The pastor called on the public to disregard the alleged statements as there were not his and do not represent his position. Also, he challenged anyone with evidence that he actually made the statements credited to him to make the evidence public.
“I wish to state unequivocally that the statements are absolute lies. There was nowhere I granted anyone any interview, or preached on any platform, where I said the ludicrous statements,” he said. “I challenge anyone who is in possession of the video or audio file of the statements to please put it in the public space.”
He added, “For the avoidance of doubt, I am a nation builder who will not in any way create real or imaginary division among the people of our great country, through the medium of political parties or religion.”