The Senior Pastor at Shekinah Global Ministries, Jos, Plateau State, Reverend Danjuma Banyang, has alleged that the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, gave millions of naira to the clerics that met with him in Abuja.
Last week, Tinubu met with over 100 Bishops of Northern extraction under the aupicises of Northern Pentacostal Bishops led by Arch. Bishop John Praise Daniel.
Recall that shortly after the meeting, it was rumoured that Tinubu, a Muslim from the southwest, allegedly bribed the clerics in a bid to win the support of Northern Christians following the backlash which followed his selection of Senator Kashim Shettima, a fellow Muslim from Borno State, as his running mate.
According to a story which circulated on social media, a source in the meeting said Archbishop Praise received the sum of N100 million, while other clerics got amounts ranging from N50, N20, N10, N5 and N1 million, depending on ranking.
However, one of the clerics has now publicly admitted to receiving monetary inducement from Tinubu.
Reverend Danjuma Banyang, the Senior Pastor at Shekinah Global Ministries, in a lengthy post shared in a WhatsApp group called “Blunt Truth”, for which he is the admin, confirmed that all the clerics were given money by Tinubu.
He however, did not reveal how much he was given but said the money was tagged as “transport money”.
“At the end, breakfast was served, with some campaign souvenirs, like towels, tea mugs, notebooks and some transport money to all attendants,” he said.
However, following reactions after he admitted to being bribed by Tinubu, Reverend Banyang tendered an apology in another piece he posted.
He said it was an error of judgment on his part to have participated in the meeting and to have even collected Tinubu’s money.
It read thus:
“Error of judgment”
“As soon as I reported the meeting here there was an outcry about it! Many called me personally to voice their concern and how this would be interpreted by the larger Body of Christ and Nigerians in general! I appreciate your love and maturity.
“For the many reasons advanced here and by those who reached out to me, it has occurred to me that this was an error of judgement on my part to have accepted to attend the meeting, and also on the part of the organizers!
“But I wish to correct some wrong impressions! The meeting did not take place at BAT’s campaign office but in a hotel. Also, it was not the group that invited BAT! He got in touch with Archbishop Praise John Daniel, the National Vice President of PFN, and therefore, the most senior PFN official in the North! Bishop Jonas Katung is also a National Advisory Council member of the PFN. They are well known and respected Christian leaders across this country and perhaps beyond! But given the reasons expressed here, they should have anticipated the backlash that would follow the meeting and rejected it!
“Brothers and sisters in Christ, this meeting was well intentioned but was obviously held in error of judgement, not anticipating the reactions that would follow! Some people have ascribed base motives for holding the meeting, knowing some of us involved, this is hardly charitable!
“But what has happened has given me and am (sic) sure the conveners some lessons learnt the hard way! I can promise you that none of such will happen again, and if it does I won’t be part of it.
“Can we then bury the hatchets now, please? At least on this platform! Thank you!”
Recall that barely two days after the clerics met with Tinubu the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) disowned the ‘Pentecostal Bishops’ Forum of Northern Nigeria.
The Deputy National Secretary of PFN, Bishop David Bakare, said such group does not exist within the PFN, saying, “there is nothing in PFN that is regional based like Southern or Northern Pentecostal Bishops.
“The PFN was not part of the meeting with the presidential candidate that was highly politicised. We are, however, aware of the ripples in the public domain about this matter. I am speaking officially to clarify that PFN has nothing to do with that,” he stated.
Continuing, Bakare said: “The PFN is an arm of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the position of the fellowship on the same faith presidential ticket of the APC has not changed. I am speaking to you officially and authoritatively that the ranks of the Christian community and of course, the PFN, which I represent, is not broken at all.
“The Pentecostal Bishops’ Forum of Northern Nigeria is not known to the PFN. The forum does not have any affiliation or relationship with the PFN that is registered with the government of this nation. The position of the PFN on same faith ticket still stands as it was in the beginning and we have not, for any reason, shifted our position on that matter.”