by Bassey Inyang
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in Cross River State has alleged that the Director General (DG) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, gave money to five hundred pastors in October last year to get their support for his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Thisday Newspaper, Bassey reports that the pastors made the allegation against Amaechi who is also the Rivers State Governor in apparent response to the allegations he made recently against pastors in the country whom he accused of collecting N6 billion from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to mount campaigns against the presidential candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari.
Commenting on the N6 billion allegations made by Amaechi against pastors yesterday, the Chairman of the PFN in Cross River State, Bishop Emmah Isong, told journalists that though no money had been given to pastors as alleged by Amaechi, however, the DG of the Buhari’s presidential campaign lacks the moral authority to accuse anyone of giving pastors money to campaign against the political interest of the APC.
Buttressing his claim that Amaechi was being hypocritical concerning the allegation he levelled against pastors in the country, Isong who spoke at the headquarters of his church, the Christian Central Chapel International (CCCI) , said: “My first answer to that will be that the governor that said that did not mention names. Pastor (Enoch) Adeboye himself on the 4th of February at The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) headquarters in Lagos, in front of 6,000 pastors challenged that whoever made the allegations should mention names. Up till today we have not heard the names of whoever collected the N6 billion to share to the pastors.
“Number two point is that: If N6 billion was shared to pastors to mobilise Christians for the elections, you should know that people like Adeboye, whom I call one of the most important Christians in Nigeria, who has the largest church would have been aware, and would have advised against it.
“Again, I in Cross River State, being the number one pentecostal and as chairman of PFN for over eight years now, I have not also collected one kobo.
“By these, talking about Adeboye at the national and I at the state here, I believe this N6 billion which was given in the dream has not yet been transferred to physical cash.
“My other point is that the governor that alleged this N6 billion, in October 2014 gathered 500 pastors at Presidential Hotel Port Harcourt and also gave each of them money. I can give you three account numbers and names of those who benefitted from his own money which he gave to those pastors.
“And therefore for him to accuse pastors of collecting N6 billion, is a fiction of his own imagination of a strategy he is already practicing in his own party.
“So, I put this accusation back to him to deny that he did not give money to pastors; which is what prompted him to wake up to say pastors have collected N6 billion. So let him begin that charity at home.”
The PFN chairman stated that Amaechi’s comments about the N6 billion and pastors in the country was similar, and comes from the same forces that attempted to discredit the reputation of the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) , Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor over the arms importation controversy that pitched Nigeria against South Africa.
“And be that as it may, I believe that the same spirit of accusing Pastor Ayo ( Oritsejafor) of $9.2 million, which was not true, is the same cabal which is cooking up N6 billion accusations.”
Stating that the accusation level by Amaechi against pastors was done in bad fate and has attracted negative consequences for the APC, Isong said: “The accusation is against pastors because some people are thinking that all pastors are PDP. They don’t know that a bulk of pastors support APC. It is just an assumption, however, that all pastors are PDP and Jonathan. It is not true. Some pastors in Cross River support the Labour Party (LP), some pastors in Rivers are APC, some in Imo are APGA (All Progressives Grand Alliance), some in Abuja are PDP. So, there is no 100 per cent gathering of pastors to a particular party. This is what the person that did that accusation does not even know. In fact by raising that alarm, he lost a lot of pastors that were supporting APC”.
Isong said he was prepared to submmit himself for investigation concerning Amaechi’s allegation against pastors.
“However there is no such money as Amaechi alleged. I can be investigated. My accounts are open,” Isong said.
The PFN boss said: “Amaechi goofed by accusing men of God and indicting them on a matter he cannot prove.”