The Northern Christian Elders Forum, has distanced itself from the Arewa Pastors Non-denominational Initiative for Peace in Nigeria, whose pilgrimage to the Presidency, has sparked off public outcry from Christendom in Nigeria.
The NOCEF said they neither emanated from the conglomeration of 15 churches under the aegis of Tarayar Ekklisiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria (meaning, Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Christians, nor Evangelical Church Winning All, the two blocs of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the North.
While warning President Muhammadu Buhari, “never to spend tax payers money on them”, the organisation also aligned itself with the position of the CAN that the “so-called Arewa Pastors” were aliens to the body of Jesus Christ.
Speaking with journalists in Jos on Saturday, the Public Relations Officer of NOCEF and Secretary of CAN (North West Zone), Sunday Oibe, said “those who betrayed Christians” during their political pilgrimage to President Muhammadu Buhari “should be treated like Judas Iscariot.”
According to him, the refusal of APPIN to demand for the release of a female student of Government Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, Leah Sharibu, from Boko Haram captivity, is “a confirmation of the fact that they are not Christians.”
He said, “Ordinarily, just coming out from the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Easter for our salvation and still reflecting on the benefits of this sacrifice, we would not have bothered to respond to them. But for incessant calls from notable Christians across the country, it is necessary to put the records straight.
“They should be treated like Judas Iscariot because their action is antithetical to the body of Christ. The summary of the action of these so-called Arewa Pastors led by one John Richard Abu from Benue State and the timing is a confirmation that the spirit of Judas Iscariot is still around and within us.
“For Judas to agree to betray Jesus before the Jewish authorities and for these unknown Arewa Pastors to betray the Nigerian Christian community who have been crying for the release of Leah Sharibu has confirmed that Judas is alive among us. We also call on Christians to intensify their prayers for the immediate and unconditional release of Leah Sharibu, while we also urge the President to stop the killings in the country.”
Oibe described them as “APC, Available-for-use Political Clerics,” whose conducts, he said, are very unfortunate.
He said the calibre of those who visited Buhari have been known to be only relevant at the peak of political activities, adding, “what we are witnessing now is a rehearsal of what to come during the 2019 general elections.”
NOCEF said, “Why are their voices lost over the continuous captivity of Leah Sharibu, if truly they are men of God as they claimed? Why are their voices not being heard over the killings in Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa, Zamfara, Borno and Yobe states?
“While they were sycophantly singing praises to Buhari like the Biblical Judas, dozens were slaughtered in Benue, the home state of John Richard Abu and as usual, their voices were lost.
“They are not known in the Northern Christian hemisphere. In a gathering of 10 Christians in the 19 Northern states and FCT, seven will emanate from the TEKAN-ECWA bloc of CAN.
“We hereby state that these strange faces and political jobbers are unknown to us in the North as they spoke for their pockets. As such, Buhari should beware of these traitors! Their claims of Buhari’s good intentions is simply sycophancy because Nigerians voted for an actionable leader and not a leader whose intention is only known to these hungry clerics.
“We are telling the President and Nigerian politicians to be wary of these political jobbers dressed in cassock as their intentions are out for everybody to see. In particular, we warn the President never to spend tax payers money on them.
“We are aware that Buhari knows that these people are looking for food.
Our independent investigation reveals that the leader is unknown in his own home state of Benue and at the appropriate time, we will expose all of them.