Henry Sado, one of the pastors who visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja last week, says he was deceived into joining the delegation.
Under the aegis of Arewa Pastors Non-Denominational Initiative for Peace in Nigeria (APPIN), the pastors endorsed the president and promised to expose those working against him within the Christain fold.
While they discussed different issues with the president, the pastors were silent on the plight of Leah Sharibu, the Christain girl held by Boko Haram for refusing to renounce her faith.
The action of the clerics sparked anger, especially on social media. Some had described the visit as a political pilgrimage to the presidency.
In an attempt to clear his name, Sado who is a pastor at the Abuja branch of Church of Eternal Life, narrated how he got to know of the visit.
“Bishop JRA (John Richard Abu) called me on Wednesday, April 5, 2018, to be part of his team to Aso Rock on Thursday, April 6. He told me about his closeness to a former president of CAN. He also said he had spoken with the chairman of Pentecostal Bishops in the 19 northern states and FCT who is also the founder of Dominion Chapel International Churches, Archbishop Daniels John Praise; hence I should please follow him,” he said.
“I asked him the purpose of the visit to the Villa and he said like other Christian groups that have been visiting the villa, he wants to go and present burning issues to President Buhari, including the case of Leah Sharibu, the female student of Government Science Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe state, who is still being held captive by Boko Haram insurgents and a prayer conference. I am not privy to the speech he presented.
“I met him for the first time on Thursday, April 5, 2019, in fact, I had to call him to identify him in the midst of others. On getting to the villa, the Chaplain of Aso Villa (Seyi Malomo) was surprised to see him and he asked of Archbishop Daniels John Praise and Rev. Yakubu Pam (chairman of CAN in 19 northern states and FCT), two very prominent northern Christian leaders, and he (Abu) said they were not on his team. There and then, I suspected there are issues, I had been conscripted through deception.
“I was asked to stand in for FCT since the Arewa pastors are supposed to come from the 19 northern states and FCT. I Pastor and have lived in Abuja for the past 17 years, by God’s grace. Some Christian leaders have been to our church before. I was former national chairman of YOWICAN (Youth Wing of CAN). I have never turned my back against the Christian community before, my records with the fathers and God speaks for me.”