It is what we understood from the brief remarks of the ECWA president that we communicated to the media. “
By Ife Osemedua
365Daily – A delegation of northern christians led by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has apologised for a misrepresentation of the outcome of its engagement with the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Church.
Rt. Hon. Dogara had represented the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar, at the 2023 extraordinary General Church Council (GCC) of the church in Jos, Plateau State.
This followed a statement credited to Rev. Romanus Ebenwokodi, the spokesperson of ECWA Church, denying that the church leadership endorsed a particular candidate for the presidential election holding in February.
Spokesman of the delegation, Hon. Timothy Golu, said in a statement issued on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, that the misunderstanding arising from the meeting was not intended to be mischieveous, malicious or to cause tension.”
He explained: “I want to say with absolute respect to ECWA President, Rev Dr Stephen Baba Panya and the entire leadership that no statement written was mischievous and malicious and intended to create unnecessary tension. At no point did the statement say the church has endorsed and named its own Presidential candidate.
“What the ECWA President said was that they will ponder and pray for guidance of the Holy Ghost as they make their decision. The decision of course,will be those of its members who belong to different political parties to choose from the many candidates.
“All members of the delegation who represented the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar are hopeful that majority of such individual decisions will favour us as a party.
“We believe that there is nothing wrong with the statement as reported, as the same remarks can be said to all the Presidential candidates who are seeking for votes from members of the church.
“We believe that the pressure from fellow politicians of other political parties who felt outsmarted must have created and prompted the press statement from the church.
“We are aware that politicians who failed to honour such a distinguished gathering will naturally feel jealous of the hospitable reception accorded the Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara and his delegation on behalf of Atiku and can raise the stakes to seek to fill the vacuum created by their deliberate absence.
“We urge the church not to be worried by the antics of other politicians who would go to any extent to pile pressure and sometimes seek to blackmail to score cheap political gains. Let them also visit the church to pass their message to the people instead of assuming negative analysis of what others said.
“As Christians, we have no reason to cast aspersions or create stories for any political objective. It is what we understood from the brief remarks of the ECWA president that we communicated to the media.
“We want to restate our high respect to His Lordship, the President of ECWA, Rev Dr Stephen Baba Panya ,the distinguished GCC and the entire membership of the church and will never ever contemplate any form of disrespect. Some members of the delegation are also members of ECWA.”