The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno State, Mohammed Naga, has applauded the selection of the former governor of the state, Kashim Shettima, as the vice-presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Global Times Nigeria report that CAN as a religious body had kicked against a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket following Shettima’s emergence as Tinubu’s running mate.
However, in a statement released on Monday, the Borno CAN President said Shettima was fair and supportive to the Christian community in the state during his tenure as governor.
Naga, a bishop, said, “My brothers, those who are not from Borno State may not know, but you and I know better. In the history of Borno State, no governor has been fair to the Christian Community in this state as much as Governor Kashim Shettima. I am saying this in the presence of God Almighty and this is nothing but the truth. Governor Shettima, in the history of Borno, is the only Governor that has sponsored the highest number of Christian Pilgrims every year since 2011.
“I am speaking boldly without fear or favor because as CAN Chairman I do not receive salary or kobo from the government or any institution, but the facts need to be told.
“This governor has shown compassion to the Christian Community.
“For example, when Gwoza people were driven from their ancestral homes, they fled to Maiduguri, and the governor personally came to CAN Centre in Jerusalem Ward two times in June and July 2014. He gave N10 million for their upkeep at first instance, but the victims were not many. By the end of October 2014, the IDPs from Gwoza increased to 42,000 in that camp alone. Governor Shettima came again and gave another N10 million. He also gave an additional N5 million to Christians from Borno who fled to Cameroon to be returned home.
“He gave another N5 million to non-indigenes who fled to Cameroon to come back to Nigeria.
“The governor even directed the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to be supplying food directly to the IDPs under the Christian leadership. The governor insisted that he wanted Christian IDPs to stay together with their Muslim counterparts in various designated IDP camps here in Maiduguri but we the leaders felt it wise to separate Christian IDPs to avoid friction between displaced persons dealing with trauma.”
Naga added that as a Christian and a preacher, he has nothing to fear about Shettima because he’s not a religious bigot.