Church leaders in Plateau State yesterday noted with "deep shock and concern" recent 'unfounded' insinuations that some of its members had taken sides with certain political candidates ahead of Saturday's elections.

An emergency meeting of all Heads of Denominations in the State categorically dismissed the speculations as 'false'.

A communiqué from the meeting signed by The Most Rev. Dr. Benjamin A. Kwashi, Bishop of Jos Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius Kaigama, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Rev. Dr. Datiri Dachallom, the COCIN President and Rev. Dr. Soja Bewarang, the State CAN Chairman, insisted "no Church, Catholic, COCIN, ECWA, Anglican, PFN or any denomination has asked anyone not to vote for any candidates."

The Church leaders admitted some 'desperate' politicians and 'overzealous' pastors may have made 'fictitious' and 'malicious' comments but maintained that all Churches in the State were united devoid of political interests.

The full statement reads:

EMERGENCY MEETING OF DENOMINATIONAL LEADERS HELD ON THURSDAY 7TH MARCH, 2019

The emergency meeting of the Christian Denominational leaders in Plateau State held on 7th March, 2019, at the office of the Anglican Bishop of Jos was cordial, prayerful and transparent in all discussions.

All the Heads of Christian Denominations noted with shock and with deep concern some of the unfounded publications and insinuations about churches backing or not backing any candidate in the elections on Saturday 9th March, 2019, and wish to separate the truth from the fiction and rumours which are making the rounds and posts on social media as it relates to the coming election.

In the meeting held by all Heads of all the Denominations on the Plateau on Thursday 7th March, the leaders wish to emphasise that no church has adopted any candidate(s) either for the office of the governorship election or any elective offices on Saturday.

Let it be clear also that no Church, CATHOLIC, COCIN, ECWA, ANGLICAN, PFN or any denomination has asked anyone not to vote for candidates of the other denominations. We are aware that some desperate politicians and overzealous pastors may have made some fictitious and malicious comments, but let it be said that there is no truth in the allegations. The Church on the Plateau is united in maintaining the unity of the Church devoid of political and denominational differences.

In all these matters:

1. The rumour that the CAN Chairman is partisan and follows a political party has been found not to be true.

2. The rumour that the COCIN President is recruiting other denominations against a Catholic candidate has been debunked by the COCIN President.

3. The rumour that the Anglican Bishop of Jos has been recruited by COCIN to muster support against a Catholic candidate is also false.

4. The rumour that the COCIN President has been monetarily induced to back a candidate has also been refuted by the President.

Let it be very clear that no head of any church is for or against any particular governorship candidate. The Christian Association of Nigeria and the Denominational Heads remain neutral. We are united in prayer for all the contestants, and pray for peaceful and credible elections.

We request all citizens to go out to vote for the candidates of their choice.

Thank you and God bless

The Most Rev. Dr. Benjamin A. Kwashi, Bishop of Jos

The Most Rev. Dr. Ignatius Kaigama, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jos

The Rev. Dr. Datiri Dachallom, COCIN President

The Rev. Dr. Soja Bewarang, CAN Chairman