Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, recounted how he resisted calls to shut down the Goshen Camp of the Living Faith in Masaka, Nasarawa State.
Bishop Abioye, Vice President of Living Faith Church Worldwide, had urged Christians to vote for candidates of their faith in the previous general elections, emphasizing the importance of religious considerations in politics.
At the 2023 Peace and Development Summit for Young University Students in Abuja, Governor Sule disclosed that despite suggestions from others, he chose not to arrest Bishop Abioye for his statements. The bishop had asked why a Christian couldn’t be the governor of Nasarawa State and encouraged Christians to support Christian candidates.
The governor recalled the pressure he faced, with some advising him to check if the church had paid its taxes and, if not, to close it down. There were even suggestions to arrest Bishop Abioye due to his remarks. However, Governor Sule refused to take such actions, defending the bishop’s right to express his views.
He said, “Indeed, for those of you who remember, we have most of the major religious organizations in Nasarawa State, like the Goshen City at Kilometer 36, which is presided by the respected Bishop David Abioye, who once released a video just before the elections asking: why can’t a Christian be a governor in Nasarawa State.
“He then urged Christians to vote only for Christian candidates. Some people came and advised me, let us check whether that church has paid their taxes, otherwise close the church.
“They said let us send security to arrest him (Bishop Abioye) for making those kinds of statements, but I said no.
This incident occurred prior to the Governorship Election Tribunal Petition ruling on October 2, 2023, where David Ombugadu of the PDP was declared the rightful winner of the March 18 elections, nullifying Sule’s victory.