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2023 Election

2023 Election: List Of Pastors, Sheikh Vying For Elective Positions




List Of Pastors, Sheikh Vying For VP, Senate, Guber Seats, Others In 2023 Elections

There were at least seven ‘notable’ Christian and Muslim clerics vying for major political positions in the 2023 general elections.

Naija News reports that the general election is commencing February 25th, starting with the President and Vice President and members of the Senate and House of Representatives polls. Polls for governorship and other state elective positions will continue subsequently in March.

It is worth noting that some clerics have ‘abandoned’ their primary calling to join politics and are hopeful of securing elective positions in the forthcoming elections.

Below is the list of the Clerics seeking election positions in the 2023 general elections:

Bishop Isaac Idahosa

The Benue State-born is the presiding Bishop and the senior pastor of God First Ministry, popularly known as Illumination Assembly, Lekki Light Centre (LLC).

Idahosa is the vice presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), running a ticket with former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Naija News reports.

The cleric claimed during an interview months ago that he had no ambition to vie for a political office at the time he was unveiled as the NNPP vice presidential candidate.

Sheik Ibrahim Khaleel

The Kano State-based Islamic scholar expressed interest in contesting the governorship seat in Kano. The cleric had never hidden his interest in politics in Kano for a very long time, this news platform understands.

Sheikh Khaleel was a member of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and contested for the governorship of the state in the 2011 elections. He recently decamped from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and joined the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

Khaleel was said to have dumped the APC because of the crisis rocking the party in Kano at then.

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormen Alia

The Catholic Church priest is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State. Alia dumped his 32 years of priesthood and delved into politics in 2022.

Alia is renowned to be one of the Catholic priests who pull a large crowd during masses at the various parishes he shepherded before his sudden venture into politics a year ago.

Until his entry into politics, Alia held sway as project director for the proposed Catholic University, Ankaa-Vandeikya, of the Catholic Diocese of Gboko.

Pastor Usani Usani

The Cross River-born clergyman is the presiding Pastor at the Liberty Church, in Calabar. Usani is contesting the Cross River governorship seat on the platform of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Naija News understands.

Usani was a former minister of Niger Delta Affairs. He is though not a full-time pastor, he only presides over a branch of the church but has been more involved in politics since he left the teaching service to become a commissioner.

He was a chairman of the APC in Cross River State before he was appointed as minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

Apostle Essien Ayi

Another cleric vying for a political office in Cross River is Apostle Ayi. The cleric was said to have founded a church in Calabar which is just growing.

Ayi is vying to return to the House of Representatives to represent the Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar federal constituency.

Pastor Oga Osim

Osim also hails from Cross River State and is reportedly the governorship candidate of the Labour Party.

The self-proclaimed cleric who is said to be in his late 40s has been a full-time priest holding a senior rank at a church called Patriarch Christ Shepherd.

He has been posted to several stations of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star in many states of Nigeria and African countries as a station priest, Daily Trust said in its publication.

Pastor Umo Eno

In Akwa Ibom, the current Commissioner for Land and Water Resources, Pastor Eno, is seeking to succeed Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Governor Emmanuel had shown interest in the cleric to take over after him. While justifying the choice of the pastor as his preferred successor said, Gov Emmanuel during an interview recently, said: “I mean well for this state, that is why I waited for God to show me the man who would continue with the pace of developmental strides we have started in the last six plus years and then move the needle even further.

“Pastor Umo Eno is a highly respected person. He has enormous capacity, he is the epitome of humility and is blessed with a common touch, a compelling story, and he is God-fearing.

“He is a successful entrepreneur who has employed our people, and lifted thousands from poverty to prosperity. He will be coming to the office of the governor with an economic blueprint that would further guarantee employment, development and economic prosperity for our people.

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“He is a man of peace and will ensure that the peace and security of life we have enjoyed in the last six plus years will be maintained. His life story resonates with the story of most ordinary Akwa Ibom people.”