2019: Akwa Ibom Christian youths endorse Buhari, Ekere


Akwa Ibom Christian youths under the aegis of Christian Youths Leaders Assembly, on Saturday, endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Nsima Ekere, the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), for the 2019 presidential and governorship elections.
The duo was endorsed and presented with symbolic keys to State House, Abuja, and Government House, Uyo, during a solemn assembly held at Uyo Township Stadium and attended by members of the organization drawn from 329 wards and 2,273 villages in the state.

Accepting the endorsement, Buhari, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly (Senate) Matters, Senator Ita Enang, appreciated the Christian youths for his endorsement and that of Mr Ekere and urged them to take advantage of the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill, which he recently signed into law, to participate more actively in politics.
He said his government was addressing the security challenges in the country which have wrongly been given religious colouration, assuring that he will not do anything to make one religion look superior to the other.
Buhari said he was adopting all proper measures to free Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl still in captivity by Boko Haram terrorist group.
In his speech, Ekere commended the Christian youths for choosing a different path from some Christian leaders in the state who have been going round preaching hate.
“Today, you have redeemed Christianity. Before I came here, I heard all sorts of stories about Christian leaders turning themselves into a political organization and going from church to church, preaching hate. Christianity teaches us that we should love one another. I think it is not Christianity for a father to choose a child over another. The Spirit of God will go with us and He will be our enabler, our strength,” he said.
Ekere lauded Buhari for fighting the ills of Nigeria and putting the country on the path of progress.
Chief Don Etiebet, the Akwa Ibom State Leader and Caucus Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), thanked the Christian youths for their endorsement of President Buhari who, he said, loves all Nigerians including Akwa Ibom people.
He also appreciated the endorsement of Mr Ekere to run for the governorship position of Akwa Ibom State on the APC ticket.

Senator Godswill Akpabio, former Senate Minority Leader, who was honoured as the Grand Patron of the organization, criticised the politicisation of religion by some messengers of hate, admonishing that “you cannot hate somebody on the basis of his religion or ethnicity, we are all one.”
He commended the Christian youths for breaking the religious barrier to endorse President Buhari, a Muslim, for re-election and urged other Nigerians to learn such religious tolerance from them.
Mr Ini Okopido, the APC State Chairman, said he had no choice than to abide by the endorsement of the youths.
“The Bible says when God says yes and you believe, it will happen. As the State Chairman of APC, my duty is to ensure that we deliver Akwa Ibom to APC. You say you have endorsed one of our aspirants. I have no power to do anything on my own. Because the people have spoken, that is the voice of God. I have no voice of my own,” he said.
Pastor Imeime Jerome, the National President of the organization, who presented the symbolic keys, said they endorsed President Buhari because of his passion and commitment to the development of Nigeria and interest in Akwa Ibom State as reflected in the appointment of many indigenes of the state into key positions, especially Mr Ekere.
He commended Mr Ekere for his humility, peace-making role and outstanding performance as the NDDC boss for nearly two years.
“We will support him because with him as Governor, he will bring progress and stability to the state. Christian youths, anywhere you go, speak Nsima Ekere,” he said.
Pastor Jerome described the Christian Youths Leaders Assembly as the largest non-denominational Christian youth group in the world with branches in all 36 states of the country and 23 countries, the latest being Kenya, South Africa and Liberia.


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