The Northern State Christian Elders Forum has urged the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, to name the church leaders that collected the sum of N6bn to support the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The elders promised to excommunicate such leaders if Amaechi reveals their identity. NOSCEF’s chair, Elder Olaiya Phillips, in a statement at the weekend, also condemned any agenda to induce voters based on religious sentiments. Phillips said, “The debasement alleged is of the gravest kind. What he (Amaechi) alleges, if true, would be a serious indictment of our brethren and he has a duty to reveal what he knows. “We believe that the choice Nigeria’s elections present must be about the best person for the job in every case, rather than about a candidate’s religion.” He added that it would be “unconscionable” for pastors to receive such alleged inducement “at a time in which the needs of our brethren, especially the many displaced and dispossessed in the north, requires every kobo that can be deployed in amelioration. ” Urging Amaechi to name the alleged pastors, Phillips said, “He must conclude what he has begun and advise which individuals parading as men of God have fallen in this manner. He is duty and honour-bound to substantiate his allegation by naming the persons he refers to. “We are anxious to know who these offenders are so that we may avoid them. It would then be incumbent on the umbrella bodies under whose auspices these Pastors collected N6bn to proceed to investigate any such acts of which prima facie evidence is provided. ” The forum said it would relentlessly “shine the torch of truth on those proven to have received gratification to promote a political and divisive agenda.” “We are committed to weeding out from our midst men whose agenda is clearly their own rather than that of our living faith,” Phillips stated.
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