From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
The NKST Church has warned politicians and political parties in Benue State not to use their church service of any kind as a rally to campaign for the 2023 elections.
The statement is coming following social media reports after the visit of the APC Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue State, Very Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, to the just concluded National Conference of the NKST Choir.
The Church, in a statement signed by the NKST Secretary General, Rev. Ephraim Shir, explained that Fr Alia visited the just concluded NKST Choir National Conference at Amaafu with some members of the APC Benue state on 1st December 2022, a time the NKST Executive Committee headed by the NKST President, Rev DZ Anza, had visited the same conference, earlier on November 30, 2022, and left.
They noted that the said visit took place when the conference had proceeded on a recession to resume in a later hour, and when the leadership of the choir resumed from break they allowed Fr Alia to address the conference but not for the purpose of the campaign.
The statement said it was unfortunate that reports making the rounds purported that their event was used for a political campaign.
Following the misunderstanding, the church warned that no NKST event, Church service of any kind should be used as a rally for campaigning by any political party or candidate.
The statement read in part, “that NKST as a Church is not partisan and as such cannot practice same.
“No politician or party should take undue advantage of a recession time at any NKST event to propagate campaigns unless the leadership of such an NKST event is available to control excesses.”
The statement also said the leadership of NKST Church shall conduct a proper investigation into the said incident and shall sanction any one of her members who may be found guilty of instigating, promoting, encouraging or influencing such a scenario.
They said NKST as a Church shall continue to intercede for peace, unity of Benue and would at all times continue to pray for all political candidates of various political parties for God’s will to take preeminence in their individual aspirations.
“We, therefore, urge every candidate to be at liberty in requesting prayers from us as a Church for that is one of our core mandates and obligations,” the statement said.