Nigerian church rejects bribery accusations

Claims the government of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan gave £20 million to the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at its February meeting to encourage its members to vote for him in the country’s General Election schedule for 28 March 2015 were untrue, said the Rt. Rev. Peter Imasuen, Bishop of the Anglican Dicoese of Benin, and chairman of the Edo State branch of CAN. On 16 Feb 2015 an independent pastor, the Rev. Musa-Dikwa claimed the president gave each CAN state chairman the money to help bring out the vote in support of the government. However Bishop Imasuen said he knew nothing about the claim and had received no money. He told reporters: “I am not a politician; what we owe the country is prayer. So, I don’t know anything about money. They didn’t give me any money and I was not even there when we had the last CAN meeting …” Asked if he would have accepted money from the government he responded: “Collect the money for what? What will I use the money for? We are men of God; we are to pray for the peace of the country. At the time you now take money, how will God answer your prayer? I don’t run after riches. I run after blessings; riches come and go but blessings remain.” He added that taking a bribe was not only immoral, it was impractical. “Even if you give me money, I would be afraid; I will not sleep because the politicians will be after you, everybody will be after you, the thieves will know that you have money. So, I will rather relax my mind and be okay with whatever God gives me.”

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