According to the office of Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, his meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have no political undertone.
The archbishop who was a keynote speaker at an interfaith conference on the 2019 elections and delivered a paper titled ‘Towards 2019 Elections: the moral actions for the common good of Nigeria’, on Saturday, October 13, 2018 in Abuja met separately with Abubakar and President Buhari.
In a statement by his spokesperson, the Archbishop said there are speculations that he made the visits for political reasons.
Countering such reports, the spokesperson said:
“The Archbishop is strictly neutral and does not make endorsements in elections.
“The choice of the next President of the Federal Republic is one for the Nigerian people. The Archbishop continues to pray for the peace and flourishing of Nigeria and the security of all its people.
“At the invitation of the INTERFAITH INITIATIVE FOR PEACE, the Archbishop of Canterbury made a brief visit to Nigeria on 13 October 2013 and delivered an address on ethics during electoral campaigns supporting the general desire for free, fair, transparent, peaceful and credible elections.
“In the course of his visit, with the support of the British High Commissioner Paul Arkwright, he met separately with President Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar”.