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I will be president of Nigeria, but not by election –Bakare declares

…denies saying he will contest election for office of President
…Berates Buhari for failing to deliver of promises

Senior Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has recanted his earlier position that God told him to run for the office of the president of the country, saying that though he indeed said God told him to run, that he did not say he was going to run for election.

Making the clarification in his State of the Nation address which he delivered before his church congregation, in Lagos on Sunday, titled, ‘It Is Time To Renegotiate Our Union,’ Bakare insisted that what Nigeria needed now was not election, but restructuring.

Insisting that he would become Nigeria’s president, the cleric however said it would not be by election, adding that election was not the only way to be president of a country, noting that nowhere in his earlier declaration did he say he was running for an election to secure the number one seat in the country.

Bakare who also the Convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), also used the opportunity to berate the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari for doing too little in addressing the varied issues bedeviling the nation, saying the government was only scratching the wall in performance ratings, describing the country’s economy under this administration as crude as the crude oil that Nigeria relies on for sustenance and its approach to security a total failure.

While insisting that what Nigeria needed now was not election, but restructuring in order to witness return to good old days when regions were competing amongst themselves and Western Region under the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, established its own television station before France, Bakare added that, “Nowhere in that declaration did I mention running for election.”

According to him, “It is however, not surprising that politicians and the politically-minded have interpreted it as such. Their narrow interpretation reminds me of Joshua’s description of the sound from the Israeli camp while Moses was away on the mountain with God. Whereas the Israelites were making merry, to Joshua, a man of war, every sound from the camp was a sound of war. In like manner, every time the word ‘run’ is used in a statement, the politician thinks of elections, while a statesman thinks of the next generation,” he said.

“I am, by God’s grace, a nation builder propelled by the dream of a New Nigeria and hopefully will become a statesman someday,” Bakare said, declaring, “I am indeed running, but not for elections; it is a race of destiny and the destination is certain.”

Bakare, who was the Vice presidential running mate to President Buhari in the 2011 elections recalled that there were biblical precedents, including the stories of Joseph, David, Nehemiah and Daniel; and also historical precedents, including the case of George Washington, Chief Awolowo, among others, who all rose to topmost position in their country without any election.

“How then can it happen, if not by elections?’ My simple response is that there are biblical precedents, including the stories of Joseph, David, Nehemiah and Daniel; there are also historical precedents, including the case of George Washington whose unanimous election was merely an endorsement, and Gerald Ford who, under the terms of the 25th Amendment, took the oath as Vice President on December 6, 1973, and, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, was inaugurated as the 38th President of the United States on August 9, 1974, without a single election,” he said.

“To this end I was born, and for this purpose I came into the world: To lead Nigeria into her prophetic destiny. It will happen in due course, in God’s way, and in God’s time,” he declared.

Speaking further, Bakare that the bold claim of the sage not to die in prison but return to become greater occurrence in Nigeria’s history came to manifest by being appointed after his release by General Yakubu Gowon as the Federal Commissioner for Finance and Vice Chairman of the Federal Executive Council in the Gowon administration, “today’s equivalent of Vice President and Minister of Finance.”

“My question to the cynics is, therefore: How did Papa Chief Obafemi Awolowo know that he would not die in prison but would be released to serve Nigeria? If they cannot answer this question, then neither will I tell them by what authority I make these audacious declarations,” he added.

“Having established the fact that I am ready to follow God’s leading in the service of my nation, let me reiterate that what Nigeria needs now is not another election but a return to the drawing board to renegotiate our union,” Bakare declared, recalling that he had similarly in 2015 called for restructuring as a way of avoiding gathering storm and avoidable shipwreck in the country.

According to him, his call then came at a time when others were clamouring for elections, saying, “Three years later, the majority that were wrong have become the minority, and the minority that was right is becoming the majority.”

Speaking on the performance of President Buhari’s administration, Bakare, while noting that some measure of progress had been made within the first 31 months, said however the regime appeared to be merely patching the cracks on the wall as was the case with previous administrations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He lamented that all around the country were signs of retrogression for an administration that anchored its policy outlook on three main thrusts, including security, job creation through diversification, and anti-corruption.

“Some measure of progress has been made within the first thirty-one months of this administration. However, as was the case with previous administrations, the current government appears to be merely patching the cracks on the wall. This administration anchored its policy outlook on three main thrusts, including security, job creation through diversification, and anti-corruption, yet all around us are signs of retrogression,” he lamented.

According to the cleric, the unemployment rate had continued to grow worse with about 16million out of job between 2015 and 2017, with Nigeria still unable to export much beyond crude as oil still accounts for over 90% of total exports revenue, lamenting further that that the ineffectiveness of the anti-corruption war had occasioned the loss of crucial corruption cases.

He said nothing indicted the Buhari regime more than its failure in security, which he identified as of one key performance area that ought to be its strength, describing as highly disturbing the mayhem being continually unleashed by herdsmen on communities in different states across the country, including Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Kaduna, Enugu, Edo and Ogun States, saying that the ugly result had left trails of weeping and wailing in the affected states.

Bakare further noted that by the rejection of popular call for restructuring of the country in his nationwide broadcast, Buhari had further alienated his government from the voice of reason.

“Therefore, I say to those who have the power to take the decisions and actions necessary to end these atrocities, especially by restructuring the nation, but have failed to do so for political gains, that they are attempting to establish a city by iniquity and there are dire consequences,” he warned.

Patrick Okohue

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