By Ralph Madugu
The Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) has declared that it does not endorse candidates of any political party, ethnic group or religion because it has members in different political parties, hence it has remained neutral and non-partisan.
The Jos DCC made this known in its reaction to an earlier press statement – “ECWA JOS DCC PRAISED HON. SHEHU BALA USMAN US (USMAN’S) INCLUSIVITY AND VALUE FOR HUMAN LIFE” – issued by Hon. Shehu Bala Usman’s Media Secretary, Philip Eplong.
It would be recalled that Eplong had in the statement alleged that Shehu Bala Usman had been endorsed ahead of the October 9 LG polls.
The statement signed by the Acting Secretary of the DCC, Rev. Joshua Auta Aku read in part: “The ECWA Jos DCC leadership received with rude shock the press release or statement made by one Philip Eplong, the Secretary Media Campaign Council of Hon Shehu Bala Usman, APC candidate vying for Chairmanship of Jos North LGA Election slated for Saturday, 9/10/2021.
“The DCC sees it incumbent on her as a matter of spiritual, moral, social and organizational responsibility to respond for the purpose of clarity. This is necessary to avoid and correct the misrepresentation that misled many innocent people. Because when facts are misrepresented it gives room for misconceptions and misrepresentations. Therefore, we must put facts straight.”
According to the DCC leadership, the caption of the press statement was misleading, stating that the APC Chairmanship candidate with his entourage went to the DCC Secretariat unannounced and told the leadership that he was there to solicit for prayer from the DCC leadership in the forthcoming election as an Alumnus of ECWA Secondary School, Miango, and that ECWA was his second family.
The chairmanship candidate, the DCC explained, was in company of three ECWA members vying for councillorship positions in Kabong, Kyenya and Lamingo wards on the platform of the APC and a few other believers from Catholic and others.
They added that, according to Hon. Usman, the aim of the visit was for prayers hence the DCC prayed for ECWA sons and him.
“Secondly, ECWA as a Church denomination have members in different political parties. Therefore, we don’t endorse candidate of any political party, ethnicity or religion. Because ECWA Church is neutral and non-partisan. Being parents to all partisan and non-partisan members, we owe the community and society the duty to pray for the right persons into positions of authority for societal transformation.
“Thirdly, ECWA as a church denomination is not and cannot be partisan. We cannot speak for any political party or candidate. Even if we are begged to support any candidate, we can only attempt with due consultation with our leaders and CAN, the Church’s umbrella body.”
According to the Church leaders, the DCC Chairman told all the candidates that the DCC believed in the sanctity of human life, hence the DCC cannot support anybody who does not share the same belief with them, stressing that because of the sacredness of life, any leader that does not see life from such perspective is not worthy of leading the people.
In their statement the DCC leaders also said, “Fifthly, the DCC Chairman said, Nigeria is a secular state and therefore all people must be allowed to practice their faith without being intimidated or harassed.
“Sixthly, Chairman, ECWA Jos DCC submitted to the Hon Usman that God is the Giver of leadership and authority. If God decided to give him, he must not forget the values he learnt from ECWA School.”
The Jos DCC leaders advised Eplong to “correct the above press release not to hinder the church from her usual magnanimity in opening her doors to people will always come to solicit for prayers in good faith.”