The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) on Thursday, in Lagos, insisted that it would not support any political party that is presenting candidates of the same religious faith for a leadership position and their deputies across levels of government in the forthcoming general elections in the country.
It says the decision is in line with the position of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which is an umbrella body of all Christians in the country.
Addressing newsmen shortly after its NEC meeting in Lagos, the National Secretary of PFN, Bishop Cosmas Ilechukwu who is also the General Oversear of Charismatic Renewal Ministries (CRM) said even though the group had no particular candidate nor party in focus as it is not a partisan organisation, any political party with candidates of the same faith ticket, be it Christian–Christian or Muslim–Muslim at all levels would not be supported.
He said NEC discussed this issue at the meeting just like many other issues of concern to the generality of Nigerians including the church such as the rising cases of terrorism, kidnapping, banditry and other criminalities which he said had further worsened the situation of the country before coming with the position.
PFN scribe said the church was very concerned about the state of the country and would continue to uphold the country and the leadership in prayer.
He said even in the face of the unprecedented level of disunity currently experienced in the country, some political parties and politicians could disregard the fragility of this time and rather take decisions that would further polarise the country.
He said a particular reference was that despite the group’s advice to all the political parties that a same faith ticket, be it Christian–Christian or Muslim–Muslim, would not augur well for the unity and future of Nigeria, some political parties chose to ignore that counsel.
“So, PFN now reaffirms its position that the same faith ticket can, in no way, be justified, as it is not in the interest of Nigeria, as it further jeopardises the prospects of peaceful co-existence and building of a united nation.
“PFN is non a partisan group. It has never endorsed any candidate nor a political party for any position in any general election in the country.
“And we shall remain to be non- partisan also in the 2023 general election.
“However, as we shall continue to encourage our members to fully participate in the 2023 general election as we had been doing. We will encourage them to vote in line with what is best for the country and also for the church at all levels.
“This is based on the framework prepared by CAN which is our umbrella body as our guide.
“So, PFN will continue to engage and collaborate with like-minded organisations and individuals to ensure that the 2023 general elections deliver to Nigerians and the Nigeria a ticket that will further unite the country in line with the general expectations and prayers of the good people of Nigeria.”
Bishop Cosmos, however, added that as a group, PFN would continue to be open and broad-minded and leave the door of engagement with all political parties open, so that all the issues that are holding back the development and unity of the country can be comprehensively addressed.