by Ibrahim Faruk
Pastor Tunde Bakare, the vice-presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 elections and pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, spoke with journalists on Sunday after preaching a sermon titled: ‘Corruption and the Soul of Nigeria’ at his church in Lagos.
Here are the five takeaways we got from listening to the pastor-activist-politician.
1. 2014 is the new 2015
“I don’t believe there will be an election in 2015. Instead, the election will come up in 2014. There are issues that will come up that will make the election happen in 2014,” he said.
Well, good thing, this is just what the cleric “believes” and not what “God says.” And save for a constitutional amendment, we don’t see how this belief can come to pass. But let’s see. Bakare lamented the deteriorating conditions in the country and blamed the backwardness, especially the retrogressive indices common with Nigeria in international ratings to the unabated corruption among political office holders.
2. Corruption kills, Trumpets save.
Pastor Bakare was gracious enough to enlighten his listeners on the evils that we have been desperately seeking answers to and the solutions for them.
In his words, “Corruption is killing Nigeria.”
So how do we avoid this certain death? “We must pray and blow the trumpets in the hope that our nation can be saved by God before it sinks,” he said.
3. There was ANOTHER country.
It wasn’t exactly a personal account of history, but Bakare did acknowledge that “we have two nations in Nigeria; the Federal Republic of NNPC and the democratic Nigeria.”
He was referring to the $1.5 billion loan collected by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) without proper approval and with
no precise action taken against them.
4. Presidential ambush will emancipate Nigeria from corruption… not trumpets.
In what might have been a slight contradiction, the cleric said the feud between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo as part of the “ambush”, which he mentioned earlier in his sermon, will lead to the eventual emancipation of the country.
He doesn’t really like Obasanjo anyway, and he chided the ex-president for portraying President Jonathan as not tackling corruption, noting that it was Obasanjo who entrenched corruption in the country. He said “Obasanjo goes about saying that Nigeria will go up in flames because his successor was allowing corruption to go on unchecked but he laid the foundation for corruption.”
5. Pastors are not party men, not even former CPC vice-presidential candidate, Tunde Bakare
When the pastor was asked which party he now belongs to, Bakare said: “I’d never have any political party in my life. I belong to God. I sat down at home when the CPC called and I accepted because I believe that there are still men who will rescue the country. Now I don’t have any political ambition. I’m now doing what I love to do most. Politics can only take away from me.”
Pastor Bakare, however, reiterated calls for a national dialogue as a way forward and assured Nigerians that there was still hope for Nigeria to attain its full potential in a near future, with God’s intervention.