Climate change: Tinubu's 'church rat' comment metaphor - Group

The Christian Youths Movement for Tinubu-Shettima, a support group for the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, has said the comments of the APC standard bearer on climate change, where he said that it was a “question of how do you prevent a church rat from eating poisoned holy communion,” was a metaphor.

In a Thursday statement made available to The PUNCH, and signed by its Coordinator and Public Relations Officer, Adeleke Olorunwa, and Ogumah Segun, the group said the statement made by Tinubu was not in any way intended to denigrate the body of Christ as some persons painted it.

“In actual fact, that statement was just a mere metaphor he used to buttress his mastery of the challenges of climate change as it affects the poor countries in relations to the industrialised countries that are the major contributors to the challenges of climate change and global warming.

“The allusions to the ‘church rat and poisoned communion’ is just to show that the climate policies formulated by international organisations is such that continually places the poor nations under disadvantages. Like the typical saying in our local parlance, ‘as poor as a church rat’ it’s a metaphor showing the helpless conditions of poor Africans and other developing countries,” the statement partly read.

Tinubu, while addressing the Arewa interactive committee on Monday in Kaduna, had said developed countries must be ready to provide financial support if Nigeria must comply with climate change guidelines.

Tinubu said, “It’s a question of how do you prevent a church rat from eating poisoned holy communion. That’s the way. 

“We are a poor nation. They ban coal, and we follow. They say firewood is not for fetching. They say we need to plant more trees and they are not giving us money.

“We need to tell the West; if you don’t guarantee our finances and work with us to stop this, we are not going to comply with your climate change. The ‘church rat’ comment had generated reactions among Nigerians.

Reacting further, the group said, “That statement has nothing to do with the real holy communion we use in the churches in remembrance of our lord Jesus Christ. However, opposition politicians in their usual fraudulent manner want to make a political capital out of a harmless statement.

“The climate change argument is a debate many opposition candidates can’t go into because of the wide range of issues involved.”

“We want to, again, assure the Christian community that Tinubu’s love for Christianity is unwavering, intact and nothing can change it not even the coming elections,” the group concluded.