The Christian Association of Nigeria leaders on Wednesday met with the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and handed the former Lagos State governor their demands for a better Nigeria.
Tinubu met with the CAN leaders alongside his wife, Oluremi Tinubu; running mate, Kashim Shettima; Speaker of the House of Representatives; Femi Gbajabiamila; Deputy Senate Leader, Boroffice Ajayi, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, and Minister of Special Duties, George Akume.
Others are Governor Hope Uzodinnma of Imo State, his counterpart in Ebonyi, David Umahi; Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje and Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara.
This was disclosed in a statement by Tinubu’s media officer, Tunde Rahman.
The CAN leaders demand include assent for establishment of state police or a decentralized policing system, devolution of power to states, equal rights for all religions and their adherents.
Others are right to self-determination by all ethnic groups, right to control natural resources by communities that bear them, no to open grazing, and equitable electoral system that guarantees the right to vote and be voted for among others.
Responding, Tinubu commended the religious leaders for their contribution to the task of nation building, with promise tp study their demands.
He said, “My belief in the need for secular government and faith-based organizations to work in unison is not something adopted recently to benefit my campaign.
“As Governor of Lagos, I partnered with the Christian to improve lives and foster education. For instance, I returned mission schools to their owners, most of who are Christians. More importantly, we fostered an atmosphere of religious tolerance and inter-faith collaboration. My cabinet was diverse and talented.
“In the exercise of government, I did not give a thought to whether a team member was Christian or Muslim, Yoruba, Igbo or Arewa. I have never lent myself to baseless prejudice and discrimination. To do so would be a recipe for failure in the governance of a diverse society and I am not a man that is familiar with failing.
“I never chased people out of Lagos nor made them feel unwanted. Under my administration Lagos welcomed all comers and continues to do so today.
“After me, Lagos has had one Muslim and two Christian governors. I may not be perfect. What human being is? But I am not a petty man secretly wedded to secret biases and prejudices.”
He added, “You, as an organization and as individual leaders of CAN, are entrusted as the watch person of the welfare of this society from a Christian perspective, which means functioning in an atmosphere of charity, understanding, patience and wisdom.
“I understand the tremendous importance of your work and have nothing but the deepest respect for your selfless contributions to our national cause,” he added.