The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has denied that it gave a clean bill of health to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over allegations of corruption made against him by self-styled political activist and former spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Timi Frank.
It said, in a statement, that it only said it will throw its weight behind him if he is proved innocent.
Bothered by various media interpretations of the comments of its President, Dr. Supo Ayokunle, when he granted an interview to journalists at the Presidential Villa; and the spiralling criticisms of his comments, the Office of the President of the umbrella Christian organisation has released the context of the President’s comments and a full transcript of his interview with journalists.
It reads: “After we (CAN Executive officials) had interacted with him (Osinbajo) and he said that the allegation was baseless and should be treated as rubbish, and not only that, that he said that he was going to pursue the matter legally to prove his innocence, we then assured him that if he is proved innocent, then we will throw our weight behind him. We thereafter prayed for him and our nation, Nigeria. We urged him to continue to serve the nation with clean hands.
“The leadership of CAN has never endorsed corruption. In our earlier visits to President Muhammadu Buhari, we had praised him for fighting the war against corruption but urged him to make it comprehensive, sparing no one irrespective of political affiliation.
“Whatever might have been reported in the press, this is a direct transcript of the interview the President of Christian Association of Nigeria had with some journalists after hearing Osunbajo’s side of the matter. If anyone has anything contrary to this, let him or her produce it.
“Question: You have just had a meeting with the Vice President, what was the meeting all about?”
Dr. Ayokunle: “We were there to pray for him and also to let him tell us about the allegations against him whether true or false, and he has cleared the air that there was no iota of truth in what some people decided to bring out against him. And he was ready to prove himself (innocent) and to go all out with them. If there is an allegation, there must be evidence to prove it. Therefore, he said we should see it as rubbish. It can never happen with him and it has never happened.
Question: According to the Constitution, he can never step down to be probed now. What is your take about it?
Dr. Ayokunle: “That is left to him. I am not in his position.
Question: He told you that the allegation was not true, so, what did you tell him?
Dr. Ayokunle: If the allegation was not true and the people who alleged cannot prove it, then, you know that the Church will be very proud of him, and will continue to be proud (of him) and we are praying for him and we are also saying that nobody should toy with the innocent that are faithfully serving us in the nation for whatever reason, the whole of Nigerians will rise together to fight such people.
Question: The Vice President is threatening to go to…
Dr. Ayokunle: Go to any other issue, I have answered you enough on that matter. I am not ready to take any other question on that.
Question: About the issue of Busola and COZA, we what to know what has been going on because it seems as if this thing is also escalating. What is your stake about it?
Dr. Ayokunle: The court is handling that. Let each of them go and say whatever they know to court. I am not involved in COZA. I am not involved in Busola.
Question: Sir, as Nigeria clocks 59, what message do you have for Nigerians?
Dr. Ayokunle: My message to Nigerians is that Nigeria is a land that flows with milk and honey but presently, the land is facing serious challenges. All of us must team up together to fight the challenges and overcome. If we resolve to fight the challenges, the will power is within us, in the name of the Lord that we serve, we know that we shall overcome.