The Assistant General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Apostle Biodun Sanyaolu, has reacted to his inclusion of his name in the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sanyaolu was reacting to a report done by Naija News that eight CAN members who are opposed to the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the ruling party were named as members of the APC campaign council.
Following the development, the inclusion of the CAN officials in the Bola Tinubu campaign team had generated a lot of controversies and remained the topic of discussion on several forums.
But in a statement on Friday, Sanyaolu said his inclusion in the APC Presidential Campaign Council was not a mistake, adding his name was not smuggled into the list.
He said despite being a member of CAN and an Apostle of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim & Seraphim Church, he has been a member of the ruling party for years.
Sanyaolu stated that his participation in partisan politics is largely known to the Church, members of the congregation and CAN.
He stated his decision to serve in the council was a personal decision, adding that his nomination was based on his political involvements rather than CAN.
The statement read, “I wish to humbly react and set the record straight as regard the press statement signed by the National President of CAN, wherein CAN distanced itself from members of the association in the Tinubu/Shettima 2023 President Campaign Council list. Naturally, I shouldn’t say anything after the President has spoken.
“But reading through the various comments by different people, who have spoken out of ignorance, I consider it necessary to let them know who I am, and where I am coming from.
“CAN as an association has the exclusive and inalienable right to distance itself from the APC presidential list because of its long-standing position against the same-faith ticket of the ruling party. The position subsists and it is the voice of the Christians in Nigeria. Again, CAN is father to all. Notwithstanding, we must not lose cognizance of the fact that the party consists of members across all religious divides whom at their individual levels are still entitled to their fundamental human rights.
“It is pertinent for me to state that as a member of CAN and an Apostle of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim & Seraphim Church, I have been in partisan politics for some over three decades. I have been involved in politics from the Grassroot to State and National Level. In the course of my political sojourn I have had cause to be a member of several political parties and lately, the APC. My participation in partisan politics is largely known to the Church, members of the congregation and CAN.
“In 1993, I was the State Secretary of the NRC in Ogun State. Additionally, I was the party representative at the State Collation Centre despite the fact that MKO Abiola, who was keenly contesting that election as an SDP candidate, was an indigene of Egba where I hailed from.
“On the return of democracy, I served in the cabinet of His Excellency Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Governor of Ogun State, as an Honourable Commissioner between 2003 and 2007. I was later appointed as the Chairman of the Ogun State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board based on my publicly known religious postures and involvements.
“Even while as a Director in CAN, I was the Peoples Democratic Party Senatorial flagbearer in the 2019 general election where I contested to represent the Ogun Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly. It was shortly after losing that election to Governor Amosun that I was appointed as the Assistant General Secretary of CAN after its General Assembly, in November 2019, the tenure of which will lapse in November 2023. Because the new President is from my bloc, and the consistitution does not support the two officers from same bloc, I have offered to resign in a few days away.
“I can say without equivocation and with all sense of modesty that along all these engagements, I have comported myself as a true Christian and Apostle of God. I have never discredited, ridiculed or brought disrepute to the name of CAN which is the largest ecumenical body in Africa.
“It was while serving as the Assistant General Secretary in 2020 that I moved into the APC because of the unending internal crisis in the PDP in Ogun State. Yet again, I obtained the nomination form and actually re-contested for the Ogun Central Senatorial District at the primary election held in May 2022 on the platform of the APC, and on the prompting of CAN that members should be involved in politics.
“My nomination into the PCC came in the estimation and recognition of my several political involvements spanning 30 years at the national, state and grassroots levels and not on the basis of being an officer of CAN. Even as a Commissioner, I never compromised my faith, nor hide the fact that I am an Apostle in God’s Vineyard. Anyone who cares to know can verify this.
“I am not a politician without a second address. I am a Chartered Accountant by profession and a big time farmer and therefore, I cannot descend so low or trade the name of CAN or any other body for pecuniary gains. It is not in my character and it can never be. My nomination into the Tinubu/Shettima 2023 President campaign council list is based on my political involvements rather than CAN.
“Above all, permit me to put on record that my decision to serve in the Tinubu/Shettima 2023 President Campaign Council is a personal decision, which has nothing to do with CAN. At moments like these, we may need to separate the man from the office.”